EIRs complement the rights awarded under the FOI (Scotland) Act and give people the general right of access to environmental information. The information covered includes:
- anything to do with the environment itself including the land, flora, fauna, habitats, water and air
- any activities which may impact on the above eg pollution, radiation, greening and planting initiatives etc.
- Edinburgh Napier University policies and procedures relating to the environment
EIR procedures: In accordance with best practice Edinburgh Napier University will, where appropriate, deal with EIR requests in the same manner as Freedom of Information requests and to the same 20 working day deadline.
Further information regarding Edinburgh Napier's environmental information can be obtained under the Publication Scheme class 8.10 Physical Resources and on our Sustainability website.
The Scottish Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the EIRs in Scotland, and the Scottish government publish an EIR Code of Practice.
Environmental Information Regulations
All Scottish public authorities are subject to the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EI(S)Rs), which now requires authorities to organise environmental information relative to their functions, keep it up-to-date, and to actively disseminate certain categories of information to the public. The information must be made progressively available electronically, unless it was recorded before 14 February 2003 and is not already in electronic form.
The Act does not distinguish between environmental and other types of information, so it is expected that environmental information will be included in authorities' publication schemes. Including such information not only fulfils the legal requirement to disseminate it actively, it potentially reduces the number of specific requests for information, by allowing the public to access the environmental information integrated with other information about the institution.
The basic types of information expected to be included in a scheme include:
(For the full list, please see the EI(S)Rs).
- policies, plans and progress reports relating to the environment
- data from monitoring of activities likely to affect the environment
- environmental impact studies and risk assessments concerning elements of the environment
- facts and analyses of facts which inform environmental policy.
It is understood that not all authorities will hold every type of information.
The Commissioner has stated a preference that authorities place individual pieces of environmental information in the most appropriate classes rather than gathering it all together in a single class. Most environmental information is not solely environmental, and its environmental implications may not be the primary reason for disseminating the information, so we have followed the Commissioner's suggestion in drawing up the scheme. The MPS has been specifically prepared on this basis.
For further information on environmental information, please consult the Environmental Information Regulations. Information on charging for environmental information can be found in the Fees section.