Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations

The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 provide a right of access to environmental information held by Scottish Public Authorities.

The definition of environmental information is very broad and includes:

  • the state of elements of the environment and their interaction (air, water, soil, land and landscape, natural sites, flora and fauna)
  • discharges, emissions, noise, radiation, waste measures and activities affecting the environment (e.g. policies, legislation, plans, activities)
  • reports on implementation of environmental legislation
  • cost benefit and economic analysis
  • effects of the environment on conditions of human life (including flood, buildings)

The Regulations are governed by the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is also responsible for the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.



The majority of our staff have been furloughed due to COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, our FOI requests will be dealt with by the City of Edinburgh Council. 


You can find more about FOI requests, including information on lead times, through the City of Edinburgh Council website.





In responding to requests for information under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRS), we are entitled to charge a reasonable amount towards making the information available. This includes information which may have been requested under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

The costs for EIRS requests are based on estimated costs of staff time to locate and retrieve information, plus any costs associated with putting the information into a particular format, copying and postage costs.

We do not charge for the time taken to decide if we hold the information requested, or the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released.

Further information on charges is available in our Guide to Information PDF.



As with Freedom of Information legislation, environmental information may be withheld if there is a good reason for doing so. 

If we withhold information, we will let you know why. If you are unhappy with our decision, or with the way we have dealt with your request, you can ask us to review our decision.

If you do not agree with the outcome of the review, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to investigate.