Under article 12(5) of the AIE Regulations, the Commissioner reviewed the decision of the Department. He affirmed the Department's decision to refuse the appellant's request for access to environmental information, but varied the reasons for refusal.
He found that the Department was not justified in its decision that the information requested did not fall within the definition of "environmental information" set out in article 3(1). He found that the appellant's request does not relate to emissions into the environment for the purposes of article 10(1).
The Commissioner found that the Department was partly justified in refusing to provide access to information on identifiable individuals recorded as owners or operators of peat extraction sites, on the basis that the exception under article 8(a)(i) applied to this information. He found that the Department was not justified in its decision that article 8(a)(i) applied to other information contained in the Peatlands Survey, to the extent that such information does not refer to identifiable individuals. He found that the Department was not justified in its decision that the exception under article 8(a)(ii) applied to the information requested. The Commissioner found that the exceptions under article 8(a)(iv) and 9(2)(d) do not apply in the present case. He found that article 9(1)(b) applies to the information requested, as disclosure of the information requested would adversely affect the course of justice. He found that the public interest in disclosure of the requested information did not outweigh the interests served by refusal under articles 8(a)(i) and 9(1)(b).
31 Jan 2017