Understanding the Environmental Information Regulations


This course is available by: Classroom, Virtual-LIVE and eLearning


This course can be attended on an in-person basis at dedicated training venues (the yellow box below lists the upcoming dates and cities). There are ample opportunities to network with other delegates during coffee breaks and at the sit-down lunch.
Classroom Training Courses

Virtual-LIVE (WEBEX)

For those who prefer undertaking LIVE training remotely, PDP’s virtual courses allow delegates to interact directly with the trainer and to participate in group activities, mirroring the typical structure of Classroom sessions.
Virtual Training Courses


PDP’s eLearning courses are facilitated via a dedicated learning platform using videos, supplementary documentation and multiple choice self-assessment questions. The content can be viewed at any time allowing delegates to train around other commitments. Find out more information on PDP’s eLearning courses.

















Understanding the Environmental Information Regulations


Course Overview:

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (‘EIR’) cover a very wide range of information requests, many of which are wrongly assumed to fall under the Freedom of Information Act.

While the scope of the EIR includes information about the most directly “green” environmental functions of the public sector, it is not restricted to them, and embraces information about a much wider range of their activities. The EIR cover land use planning, transport, waste, energy, and agriculture; but they also extend (for example) to information about housing development, nuisance, buildings maintenance, the care of cultural sites, and aspects of public health and food safety.

This course explains the meaning and scope of the EIR. It examines in detail the boundary with FOI, based on guidance and decisions, including the leading case of Henney in the Court of Appeal.

The course looks at the main differences between the EIR and the FOI Act, and why this matters. It explains which organisations are subject to the EIR, the handling of EIR requests (including mixed FOI/EIR requests), and specific issues such as the:

  • express presumption in favour of disclosure
  • extent to which the EIR override other legislation
  • ‘aggregation’ of public interests factors in favour of non-disclosure
  • duty to disseminate environmental information; and
  • power to charge.

The course looks in detail at the exemptions (“exceptions”) from the EIR, many of which differ markedly from those under the FOIA. Particular issues include:

  • how likely harm needs to be before certain exceptions apply; and
  • the meaning of ‘emissions’, where some EIR exceptions do not apply

At the same time, the course questions the frequent assumption that requests under the EIR will necessarily lead to greater levels of disclosure than under the FOI Act.

EIR requests involving personal data are handled briefly on this course, since the topic is covered in detail in the course on FOI and Data Protection - How They Work Together.

Public authorities and their advisors, and those in the private sector to whom the EIR apply, need to understand the Regulations in order to handle information requests correctly. The course equips practitioners to recognise and handle practical issues arising under the EIR with confidence.
Understanding the EIR is also an important aspect of understanding the scope of the FOI Act.

Attendance on this course can be used as credit towards gaining the Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information.

Course Trainer

Damien Welfare

Damien Welfare
Former Public
Law Barrister

Trainer's biography
and other courses
by this Trainer

Upcoming Training Dates
Virtual-LIVE (Teams)Friday, 13 September 2024
London (Classroom)Friday, 18 October 2024
Manchester (Classroom)Friday, 01 November 2024
Virtual-LIVE (Teams)Friday, 29 November 2024


- Classroom - £595.00 plus VAT
- Virtual-LIVE (WEBEX) - £495.00 plus VAT
- eLearning - £395.00 plus VAT

Additional Information:

- Classroom/Virtual-LIVE - 10.00am to 4.00pm
- eLearning - on-demand training available immediately

Discounts available:
Classroom / Virtual-LIVE:
10% discount for additional delegates for this course when booked together

20% discount for additional delegates booked together (up to 5). Group Licences also available

Who should attend:
Information Officers, Environmental Information Officers, Information Managers, Freedom of Information Officers, Data Protection Officers, Information Lawyers, Environmental Lawyers, Legal Advisors, Consultants and Legal advisors to private sector companies providing public services or exercising public functions, and others.



Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection (PC.dp.)


Practitioner Certificate in Freedom of Information (PC.foi.)




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Course Testimonials

“Damien Welfare was a fantastic tutor and one of the best I've encountered on any PDP course so far. I think when you're learning something that is in depth and requires concentration for a full day, great presentation/teaching skills make all the difference. The way he presented and explained things made the material easier to understand and enjoyable to listen to.”
Hanna Brown

“I found the eLearning course useful and learnt about some recent EIR case law which I know I will be able to use.”
Jane Ivey
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

“Very well run course, very informative.”
Alan Haycock
Solihull Care Trust

“Very useful!”
Jenny Brook Smith
South Bucks District Council

“As an FOI practitioner this course was very enlightening and increased my knowledge of EIR. I would recommend this course to colleagues.”
Julia Okpa
Department for Transport

Frances Pond
UCE Birmingham


“Excellent, very helpful. Thanks once again PDP for an excellent course.”
Grace McCalla

“Very good explanation.”
Olu Adedeji

“A very informative course.”
Bournemouth Water

Richard Barton

“The tutor’s knowledge was excellent and insightful.”
Louise Smith
Financial Ombudsman Service

“Trainer was very good and knowledgeable.”
Jane Ivey
HS2 Ltd