Environmental Information Requests
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide public access to environmental information held by public authorities.
The principle behind the law is that giving the public access to environmental information will encourage greater awareness of issues that affect the environment. Greater awareness helps increase public participation in decision making; it makes public bodies more accountable and transparent and it builds public confidence and trust in them.
The definition of Environmental Information is very wide and includes written, electronic, visual or audio information on:
- The state of the elements of the environment, e.g. air, atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms.
- Factors affecting the environment e.g. substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases.
- Measures (including administrative measures) and activities affecting or designed to protect the environment e.g. policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements.
- Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation.
- Cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of environmental measures and activities
- The state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures in as much as they are affected by the state of the environment, or factors, measures or activities affecting the environment.
The Regulations apply only to the environmental information held by public authorities. The Freedom of Information Act gives people access to most other types of information held by public authorities.
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council may refuse to disclose information where an exception applies and the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in its disclosure.
Transfer of a request
Where Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council receives a request for environmental information but does not hold the information requested and believes that another public authority holds the information, the request may be transferred or we may supply the applicant with the name and address of that authority.
Publically Available Environmental Information
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council are required to provide a range of environmental information e.g. public registers, under a range of other legislation. This information may be viewed on the website and the links are provided below
Making a request
If you wish to make a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations, please make your application, using the contact details provided below. It is advisable to make your application in writing stating clearly the information you require to allow us to best identify and locate the information. If your request is written please ensure you include your name and address.
When we receive your request we will
We will acknowledge receipt of your request within three days. At this point we will either confirm it as a valid request, ask for further information, or tell you if we've rejected it and why.
All requests for information will be dealt with as soon as possible, and in any event within 20 working days of receipt of the request, unless, exceptionally, an extension of no more than a further 20 working days is needed where the information requested is both complex and voluminous.
All responses will be sent electronically unless otherwise requested.
We may make reasonable charges for providing information available under Environmental Information Regulations where a large volume of material has been requested. In general, a reasonable charge is one that covers the actual costs we incur in producing the information – for example, the costs of printing, copying and postage.
If you are not happy with our response
If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which we deal with it you may ask us to review any decision we make. If you wish us to undertake such a review you should write to:
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council
Lagan Valley Island
Tel: 028 9244 7300
If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review you may complain to the Information Commissioner by writing to:
The Information Commissioner’s Office
All requests for Environmental Information relating to the Environmental Health Service Unit should be made to::
Environmental Health Manager
Environmental Protection Section
Environmental Health Service Unit
Lagan Valley Island
Lisburn BT27 4RL
Tel: 028 9244 7300
For more information on accessing environmental information please visit the NI Direct website.