The Senate and Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation assembled in Congress, etc. sanction with force of Law:
REGIME OF LIBRE ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC INFORMATIONARTICLE 1 . Object. This Act establishes the minimum environmental protection budgets to guarantee the right to access to environmental information that is in the possession of the State, both at the national and provincial level, at the municipal level and at the City of Buenos Aires, as well as at the local level and in public, private or mixed public service companies. ARTICLE 2 Definition of environmental information. Environmental information means all such information in any form of expression or support related to the environment, natural or cultural resources and sustainable development. In particular:
(a) The state of the environment or any of its natural or cultural components, including its reciprocal interactions, as well as the activities and works that affect or can significantly affect them;
(b) Policies, plans, programmes and actions related to environmental management.ARTICLE 3 . Access to information. Access to environmental information shall be free and free of charge for any natural or legal person, except for those expenses associated with the resources used for the delivery of the requested information. In order to access environmental information, there will be no need to establish reasons or interest. A formal request must be submitted to the appropriate person, with the necessary information and the identification of the applicants residing in the country, except agreements with countries or international agencies on the basis of reciprocity.
In no case shall the amount established to meet the costs associated with the resources used for the delivery of the requested information involve any impairment to the exercise of the right conferred by this law.ARTICLE 4 Mandatory subjects. The competent authorities of public agencies, and the holders of public service providers, whether public, private or mixed, are obliged to provide the required environmental information under the conditions established by this Act and its regulations. ARTICLE 5° Procedure. The competent national, provincial and city authorities of Buenos Aires will conclude the criteria for establishing procedures for accessing environmental information in each jurisdiction within the Federal Environment Council (COFEMA). ARTICLE 6 . Centralization and dissemination. The national environmental authority, through the competent area, will cooperate to facilitate access to environmental information, promoting the dissemination of information material generated in different jurisdictions. ARTICLE 7 . Denial of information. The requested environmental information may be denied only in the following cases:
(a) When national defence, internal security or international relations could be affected;
(b) Where the requested information is subject to consideration by judicial authorities, in any state of the proceedings, and its disclosure or use by third parties may prejudice the normal development of the judicial procedure;
(c) When commercial or industrial secrecy could be affected, or intellectual property;
(d) When personal data confidentiality could be affected;
(e) Where the requested information corresponds to scientific research work, while these are not published;
(f) Where the object of the request cannot be determined for lack of sufficient data or imprecision;
(g) Where the requested information is classified as secret or confidential by existing laws and their respective regulations.
The total or partial denial of access to information should be substantiated and, in the case of administrative authority, comply with the reasonableness of the administrative act provided for by the rules of the respective jurisdictions.ARTICLE 8 . Periods. The resolution of requests for environmental information will take place within a maximum period of thirty (30) working days, from the date of submission of the request. ARTICLE 9 Violations of the law. Offences to this law, obstruction, falsehood, concealment, lack of response shall be considered within the time limit set forth in the preceding article, or unjustified refusal to provide the requested information, and any act or omission which, without justified cause, affects the regular exercise of the right established by this law. In such cases, a direct judicial remedy, of a very high nature, shall be provided to the competent courts.
Any public official and employee whose conduct falls within the requirements of this article shall be liable to the penalties provided for in Act No. 25.164 or to those established by each jurisdiction, without prejudice to the civil and criminal responsibilities that may correspond.
Public service companies that do not comply with the obligations required by this Act shall be liable to the penalties provided for in the rules or contracts governing the granting of the relevant public service, without prejudice to the civil and criminal responsibilities that may be appropriate.ARTICLE 10. . Regulation. This law shall be regulated within 90 days. ARTICLE 11. Contact the Executive.
IN THE SESSION OF THE ARGENTINE CONGRESS, IN GOOD AIRES, TO THE VEINTISEIES OF THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER OF THE YEAR DOS MIL TRES.
EDUARDO O. CHANGE. . DANIEL O. SCIOLI. . Eduardo D. Rollano. . Juan Estrada.