Law On Right To Information And Participation In Public Decision-Making Processes Relating To The Environment (Environmental Law)

Original Language Title: Lov om rett til miljøinformasjon og deltakelse i offentlige beslutningsprosesser av betydning for miljøet (miljøinformasjonsloven)

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Read the untranslated law here: https://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/2003-05-09-31

Law on right to information and participation in public decision-making processes relating to the environment (environmental law).


Date LOV-2003-05-09-31


Department Climate and Environment Ministry

Edited

LOV-2006-05-19-16 from 01.01.2009


Published in 2003 Booklet 7


Commencement 01.01.2004

Changes


Promulgated


Short Title
Information Act - mlinfl.

Chapter Overview:

Chapter 1. Introductory provisions (§§ 1-7)
Chapter 2. Duty to have knowledge of environmental conditions (§§ 8-9)
Chapter 3. Environmental information by public body (§§ 10 - 15)
Chapter 4. environmental information about operations (operations, etc.). (§§ 16-19)
Chapter 5. Participation in decision-making processes relating to the environment (Article 20)
Chapter 6. Commencement and amendments to other laws (§§ 21-22)

Chapter 1. Introductory provisions

§ 1. The purpose of this Act is intended to ensure public access to environmental information and thereby make it easier for individuals to contribute to the protection of the environment, to protect themselves against health and environmental damage, and to influence public and private decision-makers in environmental issues. The law should also promote the public the opportunity to participate in public decision-making processes relating to the environment.

§ 2. What is understood by environmental
(1) The environmental information means factual information and reviews about

A)
environment

B)
factors that affect or may affect the environment, including

-
Planned and implemented projects or activities in the environment,

-
Products' features or content,

-
Conditions of operating the business, and

-
Administrative decisions and actions, including individual decisions, agreements, regulations, plans, strategies and programs, and associated analyzes, calculations and assumptions,

C)
human health, safety and living conditions to the extent they are affected or could be affected by the state of the environment or factors referred to in subparagraph b.

(2) The environment is understood the external environment including cultural heritage.

§ 3. Relationship with other legislation
(1) This Act does not restrict the right to information under the Freedom of Information Act, Public Administration or other legislation.

(2) The right to environmental information applies to the limitations imposed by the Copyright Act.

(3) This Act does not apply information in cases dealt with by the administration of justice.

§ 4. The geographical scope
(1) This Act applies to Norwegian government agencies and businesses that are established in Norway.

(2) The King may decide that the Act shall wholly or partly apply to public bodies and businesses on Svalbard and Jan Mayen. The King may issue regulations on the application of the continental shelf and in the Economic Zone for businesses not established in Norway.

§ 5. Definition of public authority and scope of Chapters 3 and 4
(1) The provisions of Chapter 3 apply to public bodies. By public body is meant

A)
any administrative body covered by Freedom of Information Act § 2

B)
legal bodies carrying public functions or provide services to the public, and which is controlled by a body falling under subparagraph a. This does not apply to activities carried on in competition with private. Public control exists when the body comes under subparagraph a, appoint more than half the members of the entity's governing bodies or otherwise has a controlling influence over the legal entity,

C)
legal entities which by law, regulation or on behalf of agencies that fall under subparagraph a or b, are tasked to perform public functions or provide services to the public relating to the environment. This only applies to environmental information related to these functions or services.

(2) The provisions of Chapter 4 applies to all other public or private sector, including businesses and other organized activities.

§ 6. Payment It is not right to take payment for the environmental information that anyone has the right to be given under this Act, unless otherwise provided in regulations issued pursuant to this Act or the Freedom of Information Act § 8 ​​|| |
§ 7. Regulations to the Act The King may issue supplementary provisions to the law, including rules on payment for environmental information and the competence and procedure for Appeals environmental information.

Chapter 2. Duty to have knowledge of environmental conditions


§ 8. The government's responsibility to have and make available environmental information Agencies mentioned in § 5 first paragraph a will at a senior level have environmental information which is relevant to their own responsibilities and functions, and make this information widely available .

§ 9. Knowledge of environmental conditions in their own activities Any activity covered by Chapter 3 or 4 are required to possess knowledge of aspects of the operation, including its inputs and products, which could have an appreciable impact on the environment.

Chapter 3. Environmental information among public body

§ 10. Right to information in government agency
(1) Everyone has the right to obtain environmental information from a public body, so framt information provided to the competent body or covered by body knowledge obligation under §§ 8 or 9, and there is no exemption from information rights under the Act.

(2) Environment The information provided to the competent body when information

A)
is in the public body's possession, or

B)
kept by a natural or legal person on behalf of the government agency.

(3) A request for environmental information may be refused if it is too generally worded or does not provide sufficient basis for identifying what the claim. Before a claim is rejected, the applicant be given reasonable assistance to formulate the claim in a way that it can be treated.

(4) If the request for access aimed at the wrong organ, it shall as soon as possible forward the request to the appropriate person or guidance about which public bodies that are believed to have information.

§ 11. Exceptions
(1) Requirements for environmental information may be refused if there is a genuine and reasonable need for it in the individual case and the information or document containing the information may be exempt from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

(2) In assessing whether there is genuine and reasonable need for first paragraph the environmental and public interests served by disclosure shall be weighed against the interest served by the refusal. If the environmental and public interests weigh heaviest, the information disclosed.

(3) If part of the requested information may be denied disclosed, the other information is given out, when not this give a clearly misleading impression of the contents.

§ 12. Environmental information that must always be disclosed, the public shall, notwithstanding the provisions of § 11 always get information about

A)
hazardous pollution or contamination that can cause severe damage to the environment,

B)
precautions to prevent or minimize damage referred to in subparagraph a, and

C)
unlawful interference or unlawful damage to the environment.

§ 13. Procedural
(1) The Authority shall, with due regard for procedural how the information will be disclosed. It may be required hardcopy or electronic copy of this information in any existing format and language versions. Authority does not have to provide a copy of formats and versions of the information that is publicly available.

(2) The information should be adequate and understandable in relation to the information needs requirement expressed. If the request can be answered adequately by referring to widely available public records, reports, product labels or the like, information can constantly refer to them. When providing access to information as it relates to intellectual property rights, it shall, if it has knowledge of the information about who is the holder of the rights or the licensee body has received information from. This does not apply when it emerges clearly unnecessary to provide such information. The King may issue regulations stipulating that the provisions of the first paragraph, second sentence, and second paragraph, third and fourth sentences of this paragraph shall not apply to certain activities or types of businesses that are not covered by the EEA Agreement Annex XI. 5k (Directive 2003/98 / EC) on the use of information from the public sector.

(3) Any person who receives a request for environmental information, will decide this and disclose the information as soon as possible and at the latest within fifteen working days of receiving the request. If the amount of information or the information character makes it disproportionately burdensome to disclose it within fifteen working days, it shall at the latest be arrived at information seeking within two months. It shall as soon as possible and at the latest within fifteen working days of receiving the request, informed of the reason for the extension and when a decision can be expected to be present. Provisional response may be omitted if it is clearly unnecessary.


(4) If a request for environmental information is refused, the administrative agency shall refer to that provision as the refusal, give a brief justification for the refusal, state the admission and deadline for requiring detailed justification, and indicate the right to appeal and the deadline. Rejection shall be in writing.

(5) Information Applicants may within three weeks of the decision was received, demand to get a detailed justification of the assessments that underlie the rejection. The justification shall be provided as soon as possible and no later than ten business days after the request for further justification is received. The justification must be provided in writing if the applicant so requests.

§ 14. Identification of information which is important for competitive reasons to keep secret and special rules on procedural
(1) Public bodies may require any person that provides information to the agency, or as a requirement for environmental information touches, shall identify which part of the information that is important for competitive reasons to keep secret, and give a reason for this.

(2) Prior information subject to statutory confidentiality disclosed, should the data subject, given the opportunity to comment within an appropriate time limit.

(3) If the authority wishes to disclose information that is subject to professional secrecy, the person the information concerns notified. The decision can be appealed. The provisions of § 15 shall apply accordingly. The appeal has suspensive effect.

§ 15. Appeals
(1) Refusal of a request for environmental information may be appealed to the next highest administrative body. The same applies to rejection of claims under § 10 subsection. The deadline for appeals is three weeks from the date of notification of the decision was reached the person concerned. If answer is not reached within two months after the request for information was received by the public authority shall constitute refusal can be appealed. Have information constantly asked to be provided with more detailed reasons for such denial in accordance with § 13, last paragraph, interrupted appeal deadline.

(2) For an appeal against the refusal of the public body covered by § 5 first paragraph b or c, the appeals body is the administrative agency that

A)
controlling body,

B)
have given assignments to body or control body which has given assignments to body or

C)
has adopted regulations or are responsible for law business offers service under.

(3) The provisions of offentlighetsloven1 concerning appeals apply insofar as they are applicable to appeal if your request for environmental information from public bodies.

Chapter 4. Environmental information about operations (operations, etc..)

§ 16. Right to information about activities
(1) Everyone has the right to environmental information from operations referred to in § 5 second paragraph concerning aspects of the operation, including its inputs and products, which could have an appreciable impact on the environment .

(2) The right to environmental information under the first paragraph also applies to the environmental impact resulting from the production or distribution of products outside our borders, to the extent such information is available. Operations shall request such information preceding supply chain if this is necessary to answer the request.

(3) A request for environmental information may be refused if it is too generally worded or does not provide sufficient basis for identifying what the claim.

§ 17. Exceptions
(1) Requirements for environmental information may be refused if

A)
exempted because public disclosure would facilitate the commission of acts that may damage parts of the environment that are particularly vulnerable or threatened with extinction,

B)
claim is manifestly unreasonable or

C)
requested information concerning technical devices and procedures, as well as operational or business matters which for competition reasons important to keep secret in the interests of the person whom the information relates.

(2) Environmental information referred to in § 12, should always be disclosed. The provisions of § 14 subsections apply correspondingly insofar as appropriate.

(3) The provisions of § 11 third paragraph applies correspondingly.

§ 18 Procedure
(1) Whoever gets the request for environmental information may disclose information in the form it considers appropriate.

(2) The information should be adequate and understandable in relation to the information needs requirement expressed. If the request can be answered adequately by referring to widely available public records, reports, product labels or the like, information can constantly refer to them.

(3) More businesses can work together to fulfill disclosure obligations.


(4) Any person who receives a request for environmental information, will decide this and disclose the information as soon as possible and no later than one month after receiving the request. If the amount of information or the information character makes it disproportionately burdensome to disclose it within a month, the latest being reached information searches within two months. It shall as soon as possible and no later than one month after receiving the request, informed of the reason for the extension and when a decision can be expected to be present. Provisional response may be omitted if it is clearly unnecessary.

(5) If a request for environmental information is refused, the agency shall refer to that provision as the refusal, state the admission and deadline for requiring detailed justification, and the right of appeal and enticing.

(6) Information Applicants may within three weeks of the decision was received, require a brief explanation for the rejection. The justification shall be provided as soon as possible and no later than ten business days after the request for an explanation is received. The justification must be provided in writing if the applicant so requests.

§ 19. Appeals
(1) Refusal of a request for environmental information pursuant to this chapter or by the Product Control Act § 10 may be appealed to the Appeals Board for Environmental Information. The same applies to rejection of claims under § 16 subsection.

(2) Appeals submitted to the Appeals Board for environmental information, with a copy to the company that made the decision. The deadline for appeals is three weeks from the date of notification of the decision was reached the person concerned. If answer is not reached within two months after the request for information was received by the business, this is regarded as refusal can be appealed. Have information constantly asked to be provided with more detailed reasons for such denial in accordance with § 18, last paragraph, interrupted appeal deadline.

(3) The Appeals Board shall consist of a chairman, deputy chairman and six members, all appointed by the King for four years. On initial appointment may be set shorter term for some members. Chairman and Deputy Chairman shall have a law degree. Three of the members shall have their background in the private and the other three from an environmental organization, a consumer organization or a media agency.

(4) In the treatment of individual cases the Appeals environmental consist of chairperson or deputy chairperson and two members with backgrounds respectively from industry or from environmental, media or consumer side.

(5) Decisions of the Appeals Board shall be taken by simple majority in a written reasoned decision.

(6) Appeal Tribunal's decision is especially enforceable by the Enforcement Act Section 13

Chapter 5. Participation in decision-making processes relating to the environment

§ 20. The right to participate in decisions relating to the formulation of regulations, plans and programs
(1) Public authorities shall in connection with the formulation of legislation, plans and programs that may affect the environment, provide public the opportunity to provide input. This will be done in stages and with time frames that ensure real opportunity to influence decisions. The general public must in this regard be given necessary information.

(2) For regulations, plans or programs which may have significant consequences for the environment should be carried out a public consultation. Such consultation shall be held well before the decision is taken. At the hearing, there must be an explanation of the proposed impacts to the environment. Public consultation may be dispensed with to the extent that:

A)
other forms of participation measures are considered more suited to safeguard the public's right to participation in decision-making,

B)
hearing will not be practicable

C)
hearing may complicate the implementation of that proceeding or impair its effectiveness, or

D)
hearing must be considered obviously unnecessary.

(3) Draft reports and propositions to Parliament may be excluded from public consultation.

(4) The decision of the matter to be published. Of the rationale for the decision shall show how the requirements of this provision is safeguarded and how submissions and other input has been considered.

(5) The provisions of this section do not restrict the right to participate in decisions issued pursuant to other legislation.

Chapter 6. Commencement and amendments to other laws

§ 21. Commencement This Act applies when the King bestemmer.1

§ 22. Amendments to other Acts From the time the law comes into force, the following amendments to other Acts - - -