A Manual of Environmental Protection Law: The Pollution Control Functions of the Environment Agency and SEPA

By Michael Fry | Go to book overview
a. that every request for information relating to the environment which is made for the purposes of that provision is responded to as soon as possible;
b. that no such request is responded to more than two months after it is made;
c. that, where the response to such a request contains a refusal to make information available, the refusal is in writing and specifies the reasons for the refusal; and
d. that no charge that exceeds a reasonable amount is made for making information relating to the environment available in accordance with that provision.

Explanatory Note
(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations implement Council Directive 90/313/EEC on the freedom of access to information on the environment (OJ No. L158, 23.6.90, p. 56).

Regulation 2(1) provides that the Regulations apply where the information requested is not the subject of other statutory obligations of disclosure. Paragraph (2) of regulation 2 provides a definition for the purposes of the Regulations of information which relates to the environment and paragraph (3) indicates the public authorities and other persons who are subject to the obligation to make such information available under the Regulations. These paragraphs are based on Articles 2 and 6 of the Directive.

Regulation 3(1) contains the primary obligation for environmental information to be made available on request. Paragraphs (2) to (6) of regulation 3 give effect to the provisions of the Directive relating to procedural arrangements and make clear that failure to comply with the requirements of the Regulations will be a breach of the duty owed to the person making the request. Paragraph (7) of regulation 3 disapplies any statutory provision or rule of law restricting or prohibiting disclosure of information inconsistently with the requirements of the Regulations.

Regulation 4 provides for the categories of information to which the obligation of disclosure does not apply: paragraph (2) provides for those cases where the information is not required to be disclosed and paragraph (3) provides for those cases where the Regulations neither authorise nor require the disclosure of the information.

Regulation 5 provides that where any environmental information not covered by the Regulations is required by any statutory provision to be made available to any person, arrangements for doing so must be sufficient to satisfy the requirements imposed by the Directive and set out in the regulation.

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