The Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts operate alongside the AIE Regulations so that people can gain access to environmental information under both the FOI Acts and the AIE Regulations.
If you wish to access personal information held by the Council under the Data Protection legislation, please refer to Data Protection.
The AIE legislation covers information held in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form under 6 different categories:
- The state of the elements of the environment, e.g. air, water, soil, land, landscape, biological diversity
- Factors affecting, or likely to affect, the elements of the environment, e.g. energy, noise, radiation, waste, other releases into the environment
- Measures designed to protect the elements of the environment, e.g. policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements
- Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation
- Analyses and assumptions used within the framework of measures designed to protect the environment
- The state of human health and safety, the food chain, cultural sites and built structures in as much as they may be affected by the elements of the environment
To request information you must:
- Submit your request in writing or by email and clearly state that it is being made under the AIE Regulations
- Provide your contact details
- Explain as clearly as possible the environmental information you need
- Specify in your request if you require the information in a particular format
- Submit your request in writing to the Freedom of Information Officer, Corporate Affairs & Governance Department, Fingal County Council, Civic Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin, D15 W638 or by email to [email protected] and clearly state that it is being made under the AIE Regulations
In some cases we must refuse access to the information sought if:
- The information is personal
- The information has been supplied by a third party voluntarily
- The disclosure of information would make it more likely that the environment would be damaged
- The confidentiality of the Council could be breached
Under the AIE Regulations we may refuse access to information for reasons of:
- International relations, national defence or public security
- The course of justice
- Commercial or industrial confidentiality
- Intellectual property rights
- Material in the course of completion
- Internal communications with other public authorities
- The request being considered to be unreasonable due to the volume or range of information sought or the request being too general
The Council must reply to your request for information under AIE Regulations within one month of receiving your application.
If you are not happy with our response or if we don’t reply within one month, you can request an internal review of your application within one month of receiving the original decision letter. We must then respond to your appeal within one month of receiving it and the review will be undertaken by an officer of the Council who was not involved in the original decision
All applications under AIE Regulations and any subsequent appeals must be made in writing or by email to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Corporate Affairs & Governance Department, Fingal County Council, Civic Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin, D15 W638
If you are unhappy with the internal review, or the Council does not reply to your request for a review of their decision, you can ask for an independent review of the decision from the Commissioner for Environmental Information. Third parties affected by the Council’s decision may also appeal to the Commissioner. Written appeals to the Commissioner must be sent within one month of the internal review decision, along with the relevant fee, to:
Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information
6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773
As provided for in the AIE Regulations, there is no initial fee when lodging a request for information under AIE. A public authority may however, charge a reasonable fee for supplying Environmental Information in accordance with the Regulations. Fingal County Council shall not charge a fee for the examination in situ of information requested. Details of charges, if any will be advised once the request has been examined and considered.
Fingal County Council has set these fees as follows:
- If an applicant requires hard copies there will be a fee of €0.04 per sheet depending on the volume of information contained in the request.
- €20.00 per hour for time spent by staff on answering individual requests for information. We will ensure that the total amount of the charges does not exceed a reasonable amount.
- There is no charge for applying for an internal review.
- The Commissioner for Environmental Information charges €50 for an appeal
- A reduced fee of €15 is charged by the Commissioner for Environmental Information to medical card holders and their dependents and to third parties who did not make the original request but who are appealing the decision to release information as they believe it affects them.
We received a total of 14 AIE Requests in 2016 - 6 were granted, 3 were part-granted and 5 were refused.
11 Requests in 2017, 5 granted, 3 part granted, 2 refused, 1 withdrawn, 1 Internal Review.
We received a total of 11 AIE Requests in 2018 - 3 Granted, 2 Part-Granted, 5 Refused, 1 Withdrawn, 2 Internal Rewiews, 1 referral to OCEI (Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information).
We received a total of 18 AIE Requests in 2019 – 4 were granted, 9 were Part-Granted, 2 were Refused, 1 was Withdrawn and 2 were carried forward for decision in 2020. There were 2 Internal Reviews.