Islington Council deals with requests for information that are covered by the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).
Definition of Environmental Information
Environmental information covers information on the state of the environment, such as air, water, soil, land, flora and fauna and diversity and will also include information on genetically modified organisms. In addition, information on emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances; measures and activities such as policies, plans and agreements; reports, cost benefit and economic analyses are included. The state of human health and safety, contamination of the food chain; cultural sites and built structures as they may be affected by environmental factors, will also be considered environmental information.
Distinctions Between EIR and the Freedom of Information Act
The two acts above are aligned in many ways. At Islington, therefore, both sets of regulations are dealt with under the same process. The key to this process is that:
- a response to all requests for information must be provided within 20 working days
- information can only be withheld when allowed (or required) to do so by specific exemptions granted to us by law
The differences are that:
- EIR provides different exemptions that can be applied for, compared to FOI
- EIR requires that requests are taken over the telephone, whereas most FOI requests should be written