Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations

Public access to information on the environment from public authorities has been given statutory effect by European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 [S.I. 133 of 2007], [S.I. 662 of 2011] and [S.I. 615 of 2014] . The text of this legislation and guidelines on its application is available on the website of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. The legislation provides a definition of environmental information and of public authorities from which such information may be requested. For the purposes of applying the Regulations to the Department of Health, environmental information could include the state of human health and safety, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures insofar as they are, or may be, affected by the state of the elements of the environment (air, atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape etc).

This area of our site provides information on how to make a request, under AIE Regulations, to the Department of Health.

Name and contact details for AIE Officer in the Department of Health

Ms. Kathleen Butler, Room 3.10, Freedom of Information Unit, Department of Health, Hawkins House, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 – 6354725

Email: FOI@health.gov.ie

Making a request

Requests for environmental information under the Regulations can be made to the Department of Health in the following way:

  • submit a request to the AIE Officer (details above) in writing or by email to FOI@health.gov.ie
  • state that the request is made under the AIE Regulations
  • state your name, address and any other contact details
  •  be as specific as possible regarding the information required
  •  specify the preferred format in which the information is requested

In general, the Department is required to respond to an AIE request within one month of its receipt.

Information will be provided with due regard to the Regulations in respect of grounds under which certain information may be withheld.

Procedure for Appealing a Decision

An internal review of the decision can be requested if information was refused in whole or in part. A review can also be requested if an applicant considers that their request has not been dealt with properly or if the fee to be charged is considered excessive.

This request for internal review, for which there is no charge, must be made within one month of receipt of the original decision.

The internal review involves a complete reconsideration of the matter by a member of the Department, unconnected with the original decision, whose rank is the same as or higher than that of the original decision maker. A written outcome shall be notified to the applicant within one month from receipt of the request.

If the outcome of the internal review is not satisfactory an appeal can be made to the Commissioner for Environmental Information. This appeal should be made within one month of receipt of notification of the internal review outcome. The Commissioner may extend these time limits for a particular case.

Contact details for the Commissioner are contained on www.ocei.ie.

Fees and Charges

There is no charge for:

  • the actual making of a request for environmental information
  • access to public registers or lists of environmental information
  • the examination in situ of such information
  • a request for an internal review.

The Department may charge a reasonable fee when it makes available such information to include costs of compiling, copying, printing or posting of information.

A fee of €50 must be charged for an appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information. A reduced appeal fee of €15 is provided for in the case of medical card holders and their dependents and in the case of third parties appealing a decision to release certain information. This fee may be waived by the Commissioner where the Department has not provided the information within the specified time period.

Access to Information on the Environment: 2013 – 2016 Statistics