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About the Office

Office entranceThe Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information (OCEI) is located at 18 Lower Leeson Street, in Dublin.

The Access to Information on the Environment Regulations, 2007 (the Regulations), made by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, give effect in Ireland to Directive 2003/4/EC.

The purpose of the Directive is to guarantee the right of access to environmental information held by or for public authorities. The Directive provides for stronger rights of access to environmental information than those provided under a previous 1990 Directive.

Specifically, the Irish regulations now provide for a statutory, independent appeals mechanism - provided by the OCEI and with the power to make binding decisions - something which was not a feature of earlier arrangements.

The Regulations provide for a fee of €50 (reduced to €15 for medical card holders) to be paid by those wishing to appeal. Before the OCEI can accept an appeal, the appellant must show that he or she has availed of the right to internal review of the public authority's decision.

Text of the regulations and of the EU Directive, along with a guidance note on the new access regime, are available on this link to the website of the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government.