Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on public access to environmental information (the AIE Directive) provides that, subject to certain exceptions, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request to any person without that person having to state an interest.
The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 133 of 2007) (the AIE Regulations) transpose the AIE Directive into Irish law. The Regulations came into operation on 1 May 2007.
The Regulations provide for a wider definition of environmental information than existed previously, and introduce a formal appeals procedure for access to information on the environment. These Regualtions also oblige public authorities to be proactive in disseminating environmental information to the public.
Some information is not immediately available under the AIE Regulations. Access may be restricted by certain exemptions or involve specific procedures and time limits, as outlined in How to get information under the AIE Regulations.
There are no fees for making AIE requests. However, the Council can charge for the time spent finding records and for any photocopying costs.
For further details contact:Freedom of Information (FOI) Officer,Wexford County Council,Carricklawn,Wexford.Phone: (053) 9196389Fax: (053) 9196030Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The AIE Regulations allow people access to environmental information held by or for public authorities which is not routinely available through other means.
Routinely Available Information
Wexford County Council makes a wide range of information about its activities and services available to the public. Any member of the public can obtain such information without having to make a formal request using the AIE Regulations or any other piece of legislation.
Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts 1997 and 2003 operate in parallel with the AIE Regulations. This means that people can gain access to environmental information under the FOI Acts and the AIE Regulations.
Public authorities must take into account the differences between the AIE Regulations and the FOI Acts.