The Yield Class or Anticipated Yield Class of all compartments of Coillte’s forest estate

AIE Request 20220618

The yield class of timber is a measurement of increment (the amount of solid stem wood added to an area of woodland) in cubic meters per hectare per year (m3/ha/yr).

AIE Request: The Yield Class or Anticipated Yield Class of all compartments of Coillte’s forest estate.

I wish to receive the information in GIS format (ERSI Shapefiles with attribute data including the Yield Class or Anticipated Yield Class, Forest Code, Forest Name and Property Name.”

Appeal to OCEI

Monthly inspections by DAFM of active Coillte sites (Oct 2022)

AIE 22/2529

Note: especially CK04-FL0124, details below

AIE Request in relation to access issues and current status of Open Data Directive in Ireland

AIE P006 2022


1. Under the Open Data Directive which public bodies have sought exemptions to environmental open data, and for which environmental datasets

No exemptions have been sought from the ODU.

2. Under the Open Data Directive which public bodies have conducted data audits to identify environmental datasets under the Directive

The Open Data Unit holds no environmental data audits.

3. Directive 2019/1024/EU introduces the concept of high value datasets (HVDs). Please list the identified environmental HVDs by public authority

The Open Data unit has not been notified of any list of environmental HVDs by public authority.

4. Under Regulation 4 of SI 376/2021 all Departments/Offices and relevant bodies under their aegis are obliged to supply to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform with information as requested from time to time, such as open data progress reports. Provide copies of the progress reports received in 2022

This is not environmental information as defined by SI 133/2007; “environmental information” means any
information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on— 1 OJ No. L 41, 14.02.2003,
p.26. Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in “Iris Oifigiuil” of 3rd April, 2007. 4
[133] (a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land,
landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its
components, including genetically modified organisms and the interaction among these elements, (b)
factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions,
discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the
environment, (c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans,
programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors
referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements,
(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation, (e) cost-benefit and other economic
analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in
paragraph (c), and (f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain,
where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are, or may be,
affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph (a) or, through those
elements, by any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c);2


5. All Departments/Offices and relevant bodies under their aegis must assign responsibility to an officer for matters arising under these Regulations in line with the national Open Data Strategy. Provide copy of list of Open Data officers


This is not environmental information as defined by SI 133/2007; “environmental information” means any
information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on— 1 OJ No. L 41, 14.02.2003,
p.26. Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in “Iris Oifigiuil” of 3rd April, 2007. 4
[133] (a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land,
landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its
components, including genetically modified organisms and the interaction among these elements, (b)
factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions,
discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the
environment, (c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans,
programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors
referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements,
(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation, (e) cost-benefit and other economic
analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in
paragraph (c), and (f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain,
where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are, or may be,
affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph (a) or, through those
elements, by any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c);


6. In line with the Regulation 13 of SI 376/2021, the details of any new exclusive arrangements being entered into must be published online at least two months before they come into force. Provide list of exclusive arrangements agreed to date in relation to environmental data


The Open Data Unit has not been notified of any exclusive arrangements.

7. Public Bodies must draft an Open Data Publication Plan. Provide list of completed plans to date in relation to environmental data


Public Bodies are not required to submit a publication plan of environmental information to the Open Data Unit and none has been submitted.

8. All public bodies need to publish details of what data is available for re-use and the licencing conditions that apply (CC BY 4.0 Attribution advised). Provide list of same for environmental data (where this differs from data audit list, see above)


Public bodies have published 3,542 datasets under the Environmental theme on the open data portal (https://data.gov.ie/dataset?theme=Environment). This is the only list of environmental data available for reuse to which the Open Data Unit has access.

In addition to this, I would like to emphasise that the Open Data Unit has no power to compel public bodies to release their data, nor does it have visibility of their data holdings, other than what is published on the open data portal.

AIE: HydroSED

AIE Request

OCEI reference: OCE-130455-H2J9M1
UCD reference: AIE12_1_1015

“All environmental records relating to the ongoing HydroSED project to include, but not restricted to
• Methodology
• Interim Reports
• Preliminary findings
• Correspondence
• GIS data (in GIS format).”

Basis for refusal:

Methodologies outlined in the HydroSED Research Grant Proposal report and referred to in the Dr O’Sullivan’s correspondence file are being withheld in accordance with Article 9 (1)(d) of the AIE Regulations.

The premature release of this information at this time would seriously disadvantage the projects in question, UCD as Research Performing Organisation leading the research, and the funding provider, in financial, competitive and potentially commercial terms.

While the project is ongoing, it is important that this information is protected from release as there are real concerns that release of such comprehensive elements contained within the proposal into the public domain leave the project, including the location sites, timeframes, risks and proposed changes and anticipated deliverables at risk of being compromised.

Our funders hold the view that this information should only be released when the project has been completed and final report published.

Release of our project proposal could affect our ability to attain funding in the future.

Similarly the 6-month interim report and Year 1 Scientific Progress report, as per attached schedule, provide detailed updates on the project to our funder, DAFM and are withheld in accordance with Articles 9 (1)(d) and 9 (2) of the AIE Regulations.

These reports contain detailed updates to DAFM about the live and ongoing research being carried out and unfinished scientific data.

This scientific data also forms part of our PhD student’s degree, who is conducting research with the data. Early release of this information into the public domain, may lead to other parties deciding to use the data for their own benefit, which would seriously compromise our student’s thesis and PhD

Premature release of this data, which is subject to change over the course of the project, would have no significant meaning without the final findings and would be open to incorrect interpretation by other individuals which could negatively impact the project itself. For this reason, project data and project files contained within Dr O’Sullivan’s correspondence file have also been withheld/redacted.

Disclosure would adversely affect intellectual property rights. Release of records under the AIE regulations are considered as being released to the world at large and in doing so we must assume that release of information contained within the proposal and interim reports that are subject to intellectual property could be commercially exploited or used in a way that would constitute an unauthorised infringement of the intellectual property rights. In accordance with the terms of the project, any IP emanating from the project will be owned by the research performing organisations and access to industry parties will be via licensing which shall be on fair commercial terms, subject to overall State Aid, technology transfer and other legal or government policy considerations.

In line with DAFM’s commitment to ensuring that the research outputs are made available to all potential end users, it is expected that once the project is finished, expected completion date 31 August 2024, and the final report is published, then the results would be shared, contingent on the coordinator’s consent to publish.

In applying these exemptions, I have also considered Articles 10(3) and 10(4) of the AIE Regulations.

Factors in favour of releasing the information include,
• right of the public to have access information,
• the need for an open, transparent and accountable public service and
• the need for scrutiny of decisions.

Factors opposing release of the records into the public domain include,
• protecting the integrity of university processes,
• maintaining confidentiality of IP rights,
• protection of unfinished research and material in the course of completion and,
• protection of the university’s ability to secure future funding for similar projects.

Having weighed up all factors, I have determined that the public interest would be best served by not disclosing the information.

AIE: EPA inspections of 50Ha+ unlicenced peat extraction at Bord na Mona site known as Rochfortbridge

OEE AIE 2022 40 Decision

Under the AIE Regs to request details of any site inspections and/or enforcement actions in relation to unlicenced peat extraction at Bord na Mona site known as Rochfortbridge


Rochfortbridge operation is above 50Ha and is extracting and stockpiling peat as a part of the quarrying process. Site is owned by BnM and leased to CRH as principal operators. Peat is currently excavated to access sand and gravel sub-layers. Excavated peat is currently being stockpiled onsite. Rochfortbridge is divided into two sub-sites, both above the licenseable 50Ha: Derryarkin 165-hectares and Drumman 71-hectares”

AIE Request: GIS information for the location of research sites for the following research publication: Contrasting Impacts of Conifer Forests on Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon in Headwater Streams in Ireland

Contrasting Impacts of Conifer Forests on Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon in Headwater Streams in Ireland


(Author(s): Simon S.C. Harrison, Steven Hutton, Jan-Robert Baars, Robert Cruikshanks, James Johnson, Guillaume Juhel, Tadeuz Kirakowski, Ronan Matson, John O’Halloran, Paul Phelan, and Mary Kelly-Quinn)

https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3318/bioe.2014.20

AIE Request: Coillte sites managed for nature conservation / biodiversity

Under the AIE Regs to request the following area identified, mapped and managed by Coillte in GIS format

“For the past 20 years Coillte have identified, mapped and managed over 20% of its forests and lands for nature conservation and biodiversity; making it one of Ireland’s largest natural biodiversity resources”

Please include any records that outline the methodology for flagging forestry as managed for nature/biodiversity

Sent for Internal Review, 2/12/22

https://www.ocei.ie/decisions/?section=Art.9&subsection=Art.9%282%29%28c%29

Coillte’s grounds for refusal to release the site mapping is based on their view that “the information being sought is currently being actively reviewed and updated with plans in place to have it ready for public dissemination via our online and publicly accessible Mapviewer by the end of Quarter 2, 2023. It is for this reason that the information sought is being refused”