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Access environmental information
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) came into force on 1 January 2005. The EIR specifically allows people to request environmental information from public authorities and those bodies carrying out a public function.
The statutory response time is 20 working days however the procedures to deal with requests under EIR are slightly different, there are certain exemptions and charges may apply for some information.
What information is covered by the EIR?
Environmental information covers:
- Information about the state of the elements (the elements are air and atmosphere, soil, water, land, landscape, and biological diversity and its components)
- Information about how those elements work together (or don't work together)
- Information about factors like substances, activities, products, actions and processes which affect or are likely to affect any of the elements, or their interaction
- Information about emissions, discharges or releases of any substance into the environment
- Information about measures or activities which will affect or protect any of the elements or their interaction
- Any analyses or calculations which are used in making decisions about the environment
- Information about human health and safety, living conditions, cultural sites or structures, in so far as they are affected by those elements
How do I make a request under EIR?
- Requests for environmental information can be made verbally or in writing (hard copy or electronic).
- A request can be made to any employee of a public authority but it may be dealt with more efficiently if you are able to direct requests to the appropriate person or section.
- If a request is believed to be too general, the applicant will be contacted to determine specifically what information they would like.
- The timescale for responses is 20 working days (40 working days for complex and voluminous requests).
- Warrington Borough Council reserves the right to make a charge for environmental information requests.
- Inevitably there is information for which there would be adverse consequences should it be released (for example, the nesting location of a rare bird species). To prevent such an event happening, the Regulations contain a number of exceptions which would allow public authorities to withhold that information.
Alternatively, you can send the request in the post to:
Warrington Borough Council
26-30 Horsemarket Street