The legislation governing Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) is the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007. This gives legal rights to those seeking access to environmental information from public authorities.
These Regulations were amended by the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2011. Both pieces of legislation are to be read together and can be referred to as the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2011. An unofficial consolidated version of the Regulations has been prepared by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for ease of reference.
The Regulations 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.
The AIE Regulations operates in parallel with the Freedom of Information Act 2014. While these two pieces of legislation are broadly similar with respect to environmental information, there are material differences in the grounds under which access to information can be refused under the two pieces of legislation.