Environmental Information Regulations
Current Environmental Information Regulations have been in force
since December 1992. Changes to this legislation are being made
under the European Communities Act 1972 and these take effect from
1st January 2005.
All public authorities that are subject to FOIA are subject to
EIRs as well. EIRs, however, also apply to a wider range of
organisations, additionally any body or person who has
responsibility for the environment. EIRs therefore include private
companies and partnerships with public authorities (water, energy,
waste and transport).
Environmental Information is information about:
- The state of the elements of the environment - air, water,
soil, land, flora and fauna, landscape and natural sites,
genetically modified organisms, biological diversity - and the
interactions between them
- Factors affecting or likely to affect environmental elements -
energy, noise, radiation, waste, emissions, discharges and other
releases into the environment
- Measures (including administrative measures, policies,
legislation, plans, programmes and environmental agreements) and
activities affecting or likely to affect elements and/or
- The state of human health and safety, conditions of human life,
the food chain, cultural sites and built structures in as much as
they are or may be affected by elements
- Cost benefit and other economic analysis used in environmental
The regulations provide a statutory right of access to ALL
recorded information about the environment that we hold, subject to
certain exemptions to disclosure. This information can be in any
format or media; paper, microfilm, microfiche, photos, video,
audio, email, computer files, and post-it notes.
There is some information that won't be given on request. Some
of our important documents have a set retention period; this means
they must be kept for a certain period of time, usually to comply
with statute, before they are destroyed. If we have disposed of a
document in accordance with our retention schedule, we cannot be
expected to provide it. However we do have a duty to tell you why
the information you've asked for is not available.
In the near future, we hope to have information on the website
about our records management policy, processes and our retention
In addition, we may not be able to give you some of the
information you have asked for if an exemption to disclosure
applies; for example, if releasing the information you have
requested would have a detrimental effect on the environment.
However, we have a duty to tell you if we have withheld information
and which one of the seven exemptions was used as
You can make a request for environmental information by any
method - including face-to-face, or by phone.
- You must state your name and an address for
- You must state clearly what information is required and how you
would prefer to receive this information (for example; summary,
report, email, visit to inspect records in person)
- You do not have to mention the Environmental Information
Regulations but it would help us to help you if you do.
By post: Information Resilience & Transparency
Team, Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House, County Hall,
Maidstone. ME14 1XQ
By email: - email@example.com
By fax: - 01622 696075
By phone: - 08458 247247 and ask for the
Information Resilience & Transparency Team
Once you have submitted a request, we must respond as soon as
possible. We have 20 working days to complete your request although
we can extend this to 40 working days for complex cases.
If your request is unclear, we will contact you to clarify
exactly what information you are looking for. The 20 (or 40)
working days starts from the date we confirm details of your
In some instances, a charge may apply for the supplying the
information you want. If so, we will advise you of the cost and you
will need to pay this before we proceed with your request. You may
be required to contribute towards specific costs such as
photocopying, translation services, or postage. If the costs of us
looking for the information you want, extrapolating and collating
it exceed £450 (which is equivalent to 18 hours @ £25 per hour),
you may be asked to pay this too.
If you refuse to pay then we are not obliged to supply you with
the information you've asked for.
If we refuse to deal with your request, or do not provide you
with the information you have asked for, we must write to you and
explain our reasons. We will also give you details of how you can
get our decision reassessed. If following reassessment, you are
still unhappy with our response, you can ask the Information
Commissioner to review our decision.
There is no limit to how many requests that you can make,
providing each request is different. If you make repeated requests
for the same information, however, or are obviously trying to
disrupt our operations, we do reserve the right to refuse