Proposed update to Aarhus Convention law out for consultation

Proposed update to Aarhus Convention law out for consultation

Eamon Ryan

Proposals to update regulations on accessing environmental information to bring them into line with the Aarhus Convention have gone out to consultation.

The Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations are one of over 60 pieces of legislation used to implement the Aarhus Convention in Ireland.

The AIE Regulations, amongst other things, provide a definition of environmental information and set out the way in which public authorities must deal with requests for environmental information from the public.

They also provide for both an internal review and an appeal procedure in the event that a person is not satisfied with a decision about a request they have made.

This consultation provides the public with an opportunity to comment on the existing AIE Regulations and to input into new regulations which will be introduced to amend the current ones.

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan said: “Access to Information on the Environment has been part of the EU legal order for 30 years and of Irish law since 1993. During that time it has been central to the process of improving environmental governance.

“It has been invaluable to citizens and civil society in, to use the wording of the Aarhus Convention, asserting their right to live in an environment adequate to their health and well-being, and observing their duty to protect and improve the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

“As we prepare to update the Regulations to bring them into compliance with the Aarhus Convention, we also invite input on other changes to improve the effectiveness of the Regulations for all concerned.”

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