Access to Information on the Environment

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General information

The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007

to 2014 give legal rights to those seeking access to information on the environment from public authorities.

Subject to certain exceptions, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request to any person.

The Regulations provide a definition of environmental information and outline the manner in which requests for information may be submitted to public authorities. The Regulations also provide for a formal appeals procedure in the event that a person is unhappy with a decision on their request.

How do I make an AIE request?

Before making a request for information under AIE you should first visit the OSi websites, as the information you require may already be available.

OSi provides access free of charge to a range of its mapping products, including modern mapping, historical mapping from the first surveys of Ireland and, aerial imagery. For further information and details of mapping products available visit our websites: www.osi.ie and www.geohive.ie.

In the event of a request, an application for AIE information pertaining to OSi may be submitted to FOI Officer, Ordnance Survey Ireland, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8 or by email to Foi@osi.ie.

Essentials of a valid request

When making a request for information under the AIE Regulations 2007-2014, you are required to:

· state that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations 2007-2014 and submit it in writing or electronic form

· provide your contact details

· state in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information required, and specify the form and manner of access desired

· in accordance with the Regulations, a Public Authority may decide to charge a reasonable fee for supplying environmental information (see fees below)

· Normally you will be notified of the decision on your request within 1 month of receipt.

What can I do if I am unhappy with a decision on my request?

If you consider that your original request for environmental information was refused wholly or partially, or was otherwise not properly dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the AIE Regulations, you may, not later than one month following the receipt of the decision of OSi, request OSi to carry out an internal review of the decision in part or in whole.

Fees

As provided for in AIE Regulations, there is no initial fee required when lodging a request with OSi. A public authority however, may charge a reasonable fee for supplying environmental information in accordance with the Regulations.

OSi has set out these fees below, however, it should be noted that these may be waived where the cost is estimated at less than €10.00. Details of charges, if any, will be advised in the final decision letter.

Fees will be calculated upon receipt of a request and is dependent on the volume of work involved in compiling information where it has not been previously made available in an accessible format. OSi makes some of its data available for viewing free of charge through a Map Viewer which can be found on the Ordnance Survey website – www.Osi.ie.

OSi data is protected under Government Copyright and is made available under licencing agreements. The licencing cost depends on the quantity of data required and the proposed use of data. Any licence fee payable is separate to the charges noted below.

Fees for search and retrieval and copying of records released – This fee has been set as €20.95 per hour

Copying charges – Photocopy per sheet €0.04, CD Rom €10.16

Is there a fee for appeals to the Commissioner for Environmental Information

A fee of €50 shall be charged for making an appeal to the Commissioner under article 12.

A fee of €15 shall apply in respect of an appeal pursuant to article 12 by—

(a) a holder of a medical card,

(b) a dependant of a holder of a medical card, or

(c) a person referred to in article 12(3)(b),

Further detailed information including the Official Guidelines which accompany the AIE Regulations is available from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government at the following link: http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/AccesstoInformationontheEnvironment/