What is Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)?
Access to information on the environment is important to enable members of the public to know and understand what is happening in the environment around them. It also assists the public to participate in environmental decision making in an informed manner.
The government ensures that members of the public have this access through implementation of the AIE Regulations in Ireland.
Environmental information held by, or for, a public authority should be provided to any person who requests it from public authorities under the AIE Regulations. Particular procedures apply to this process and access to information may be refused in certain circumstances. There is also an appeals process in case a person is unhappy with a decision on their request.
Requests under the AIE Regulations should be made to the public authority which the applicant believes holds the information.
Information not available under the AIE Regulations?
The AIE regulations do not apply to environmental information that is required to be made available under any other statutory provision.
Information that does not come within the scope of the definition of environmental information, and which is not already publicly available, as outlined above, may be requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2014
Making a Request
The Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations 2007-2018 gives you the right to access environmental information held by, or for, Public Authorities.
Please state in your email / letter that your request is submitted under the AIE Regulations 2007-2018.
If you wish to request access to environmental information held by, or for, the Dental Health Foundation Ireland, simply email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can post it to:
The Dental Health Foundation
PO Box 12343
In your correspondence you should:
- State that your request is being made under the AIE Regulations
- Give your name, address and any other relevant contact details
- Being as specific as possible, tell us what environmental information you require and in what preferred format
The Dental Health Foundation publishes all non-personal requests and replies on its website from January 2018.
When can I expect a response to my request?
The Dental Health Foundation will notify you of the decision on your request within one month of our receiving it.
On receipt of an AIE request, the Dental Health Foundation will issue you with an acknowledgement letter outlining the date the request was received and the latest date by which a decision will be issued.
A decision on your request may be to grant, part grant or refuse the information requested and will issue as soon as possible but no later than one month from the date of receipt of your request. There is provision in the regulations to extend this one month period under certain circumstances.
The regulations set out mandatory and discretionary grounds for refusal of information. In either case we must specify in writing the reasons for refusal.
Where the information is held by a public authority other than the Dental Health Foundation we will either refer your request directly to the appropriate public authority or advise you of the appropriate public authority to whom your request should be directed.
Will it cost me anything?
There is no fee to make a request under AIE Regulations. However, the regulations do allow a public authority to charge a reasonable fee for the cost of supplying the environmental information.
- search, retrieval and copying of records: €20 per hour
- photocopy: €0.04 per sheet
- CD Rom: €10
Details of any charges that apply will be advised in the final decision letter. Please note that the fee may be waived where the cost is estimated at less than €100.
We may also disregard charges if the record contains only personal information and if, having regard to the means of the requester, it would not be reasonable to apply one.
What if I am unhappy with a decision?
You can request an internal review of the decision if your request for environmental information has been either wholly or partially refused, or if you believe it has not been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the AIE Regulations. You should make this request for an internal review within one month of receiving the final decision.
Requests for internal reviews should be submitted to:
Dental Health Foundation Ireland
PO BOX 12343
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review, you may ask the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information (OCEI) to review the matter. You should request an appeal to the OCEI within one month of receiving the decision of the internal review.
The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 133 of 2007), gives legal rights to those seeking access to information on the environment from public authorities.
These Regulations came into effect on 1 May 2007, repealing the previous legislation, the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 1998. S.I. 662 of 2011, S.I. 615 of 2014 and S.I. 309 of 2018 revised these regulations further.
The amalgamation of these four pieces of legislation should be read together as one, and may be referred to as the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2018.
An unofficial consolidation of the Regulations is available here.
Information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request to any person subject to certain exceptions.
The Regulations provide a definition of environmental information and outline the manner in which requests for information should be provided 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.
AIE Statistics and Disclosure Log
The Dental Health Foundation maintains a record of all AIE requests that it receives and posts summaries online for reference purposes.