Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 came into effect on 1st January 2005 at the same time as the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

The regulations established arrangements to allow people to request environmental information from public authorities and those bodies carrying out a public function. The Scottish Information Commissioner enforces these regulations.

Access to environmental information is not new; in 2004 there were already in place existing 1992 regulations that had been further amended in 1998. The 2004 regulations updated the existing arrangements to make sure that Scotland complied with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental matters, signed by the UK at Aarhus (Arhus) in Denmark in 1998 (usually called "The Aarhus (Arhus) Convention").

Also an EC Directive in 2007 established an Infrastructure For Spatial Information In Europe (INSPIRE) to support Community environmental policies and activities which may have an impact on the environment. The INSPIRE (Scotland) Regulations 2009 came into force to implement this Directive in Scotland.