Access to Information on the Environment
The Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Directive was transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2014 (the “AIE Regulations”). Under the AIE Regulations, members of the public can request access to environmental information from public authorities.
How to request environmental information
Requests for Environmental information should be made through the Freedom of Information Unit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via post at: Colvill House, 24-26 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. You do not need to specify the reason for your request, but all requests should:
- Be made in writing or electronic form
- State that the request is made under the AIE Regulations
- State your name, address and any other relevant contact details
- State, in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information that you require
- If you require access to the environmental information in a particular form or manner, specify the form or manner of access desired.
- If possible include a contact telephone number (to allow us to contact you to clarify your request, if necessary).
You will receive a response within one month from the date on which the request is received by Gas Networks Ireland.
In accordance with Regulation 7(b) of the AIE Regulations, where Gas Networks Ireland is unable, because of the volume or complexity of the environmental information requested, to make a decision within one month from the date on which such request is received, it shall, as soon as possible and at the latest, before the expiry of that month—
(i) give notice in writing to the applicant of the reasons why it is not possible to do so, and
(ii) specify the date, not later than 2 months from the date on which the request was received, by which the response shall be made, and make a decision on the request and, where appropriate, make the information available to the applicant by the specified date.
What charges apply to AIE requests?
There is no initial fee for making an application under the AIE Regulations. However the Regulations do allow a public authority to charge a reasonable fee for the cost of supplying environmental information and Gas Networks Ireland has set the following charges:
- €20 per hour for the search and retrieval of records.
There are further charges for the copying of records, as follows:
- €0.04 per sheet
- €10.00 per CD ROM
However, there is a minimum threshold of €100 below which no search, retrieval and copying fees will be applied. In other words, no charge applies in cases where the total search, retrieval and copying charge attaching to a request is €100 or less. Once the charge is greater than €100, full fees apply.
Should charges be necessary to process your request, a member of staff from the Gas Networks Ireland AIE section will contact you in writing to advise of charges before proceeding.
- Electronic payment
- Postal Order
- Bank Draft
- Postal Orders, Cheques and Bank Drafts should be made payable to: Gas Networks Ireland
Please be advised that Public bodies may refuse AIE requests on certain mandatory grounds such as where the information constitutes personal information relating to a person who has not consented to the disclosure of the information. Discretionary grounds for refusal may also be applicable including where disclosure would adversely affect commercial or industrial confidentiality.
If you would like to appeal a decision made by Gas Networks Ireland, in accordance with Regulation 11 of the AIE Regulations you can do so by sending a request in writing not later than one month following receipt of the GNI’s decision, asking for an internal review of the decision. Please address your review request to: email@example.com or via post to: Colvill House, 24-26 Talbot Street, Dublin 1.
If after the internal review, you are dissatisfied with the decision and would like to make a complaint or appeal the decision again, you can do so by contacting the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information (“CEI”). You must appeal or make a complaint to the CEI within one month of receiving the decision from Gas Networks Ireland. For more details, see the OCEI website.