Environmental Information Regulations 2004

There have been Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) in the UK since 1992 and they were updated in 2004.  They are based on European legislation and give a statutory right of access to environmental information held by public authorities, which includes the University.

What is Environmental Information?

The definition of "environmental information" in the EIRs is very wide.  It is any information on the state of the environment and includes any information relating to:

  1. air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity (including genetically modified organisms) and flora and fauna;
  2. energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment;
  3. measures and activities such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements that may or do not affect the environment or are designed to protect the environment;
  4. reports and cost benefits and other economics analysis and assumptions;
  5. the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain;
  6. cultural sites and built structures when they are or may be affected by environmental matters.

Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs)

The Freedom of Information Act is domestic law, whereas the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 are based on a European Union Directive on public access to environmental information.  Both FOI and EIRs came into effect on 1 January 2005.

There are both similarities between FOI and the EIRs and differences - for instance they share the same 20 working day deadline for replies to requests, but have slightly different lists of 'exemptions' (or 'exceptions' as they are known under EIRs).

Making a request

The easiest way to make a request for environmental information is to email freedom-information@bristol.ac.uk. You can also telephone: 0117 331 7751. 

Or write to:

Information Rights Officer
University of Bristol
University Secretary's Office
Senate House
Tyndall Avenue
Bristol  BS8 1TH