Environmental Issues

Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)

Environmental Awareness

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.

Due to the closure of the Council’s offices following implementation of the new COVID-19 measures those wishing to submit Access to Information on the Environment requests are asked to do so by email  to [email protected] Those seeking information may wish to first look at the publicly available information on the Council’s website which may contain the information sought.

The AIE legislation covers information held in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form under 6 different categories:

  1. The state of the elements of the environment, e.g. air, water, soil, land, landscape, biological diversity
  2. Factors affecting, or likely to affect, the elements of the environment, e.g. energy, noise, radiation, waste, other releases into the environment
  3. Measures designed to protect the elements of the environment, e.g. policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements
  4. Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation
  5. Analyses and assumptions used within the framework of measures designed to protect the environment
  6. 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 

Email:  [email protected]
Telephone: 01 890 5162

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

Email:  [email protected]
Telephone: 01 6395689
Website: www.ocei.ie

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 any charges that apply will be advised in the final decision letter.

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.

FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL AIE REQUESTS
YEAR TOTAL GRANT PART GRANT REFUSE WITHDRAWN
2019 18 4 10 3 1
2018 11 3 2 5 1
2017 11 5 3 2 1
2016 14 6 3 5  

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