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Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)

The following is some general information on Access to Information on the Environment (AIE).

The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2014 (S.I. No. 133 of 2007, S.I. No. 662 of 2011, S.I. 615 of 2014 and S.I. 309 of 2018) (hereafter referred to as the AIE Regulations), give legal rights to those seeking to access information on the environment from public authorities. 

Under these regulations, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request, subject to certain exceptions. The AIE regulations also oblige public authorities to be proactive in disseminating environmental information to the public. 

The AIE Regulations provide a definition of environmental information; outline the manner in which requests for information may be submitted to public authorities and the manner in which public authorities are required to deal with requests e.g. timeframes for response.  The regulations also provide for a formal appeals procedure in the event that a person is unhappy with a decision on their request.

Is there a charge for getting information under the AIE Regulations?

There is no initial fee required when lodging a request for information under AIE.  A Public Authority may however, charge a reasonable fee when it makes available environmental information in accordance with the Regulations. Depending on the volume of information to be released, the Forestry Appeals Committee  may charge for the time spent retrieving records which could, for example, include the cost of staff or other costs connected with searching, retrieving (€20 per hour), compiling or copying of the information (4 cent per sheet).