Environmental Information

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The Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) 2004 give the public access rights to environmental information held by a public authority. For more information on Environmental information, please see below.

Anyone can make a request. Requests can be received either by letter, verbally or electronically

A request can be made either in writing, verbally or electronically. Please use the contact details shown below:

 

Information Governance Unit 

University of Strathclyde 

McCance Building

16 Richmond Street

Glasgow G1 1XQ

Telephone: 0141 548 2438

Email foi@strath.ac.uk

 

What is environmental information?

Environmental information can be any of the following:

  • The state of the elements such as air, atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites, flora and fauna, including cattle, crops, GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms), wildlife and biological diversity and it includes any interaction between them.
  • Factors such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of environment or any interaction between them.
  • Measures and activities affecting or likely to affect, or intended to protect the state of the elements of the environment and the interaction between them. This includes administrative measures, policies, legislation, plans, programmes and environmental agreements.
  • Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation
  • Cost benefit and other economic analyses used in environmental decision making
  • The state of human health and safety, conditions of human life, the food chain, cultural sites and built structures, which are, or are likely to be affected by the state of the elements of the environment and the interaction between them.

For greater detail, see the Scottish Government Descriptions

How much does a request cost?

For simplicity, the University will apply the same charging policy for information requested under both the EIRs and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act up to the cost threshold of £600. Following the current Fees Regulations, this means that the first £100 of information will be provided free of charge. Under EIRs, if the projected costs of providing information are above £600, they may be charged in full.

If charge is to be made, you will be told how much it is and how this figure was decided.

A charge can be made to cover the cost of producing the information requested. Where a fee is chargeable, payment must be received before the information can be provided.

Can my request be refused?

http://www.hmso.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2004/20040520.htm#10

In some cases a request for information may be refused. Below are a few examples of these:

  • We do not hold the information.
  • The request is manifestly unreasonable
  • The request relates to information that is incomplete or unfinished
  • The request contravenes any of the Data Protection principles.

 

For a full list of the exceptions please go to:

How are the EIRs similar to Freedom of Information?

Both the EIRs and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act:

  • encourage proactive dissemination of information to the publichave a 20 working day turnaround time limit; this can be extended in EIRs to 40 days for voluminous or complex requests.
  • require public authorities to provide assistance to the public when making a request
  • require the information to be provided in the form and format in which it was requested
  • are overseen by the Scottish Information Commissioner who promotes and enforces compliance.

 

What are the main differences between EIR and FOISA?

  • Requests for environmental information can be accepted verbally, FOISA requests must be in writing
  • EIRs have exceptions rather than exemptions and all of these are subject to the public interest test
  • Provision for charging of fees is different - there is no upper of lower threshold and authorities can recover, in full, the cost of supplying the information.
Further Information

Further information on the Environmental Information Regulations can be found at the following links:



Scottish Information Commissioner

The Law: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/EIRs/EIRs.asp

General Guidance, including fees:  http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/uploadedfiles/EIRGuidance.pdf

 

Scottish Government

Section 62 Code of Practice: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2006/08/14104256/0

Guidance: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2005/09/12134712/47142

 

Should you require any additional information please contact the University's Information Governance Unit, see contact details above or Email foi@strath.ac.uk

 

 

 

Please note that the above information also relates to any publicly owned subsidiary companies of the University of Strathclyde.