Publication - FOI/EIR release

Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project: EIR release

Published: 24 Apr 2020

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Published:
24 Apr 2020
Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000019074
Date received: 4 Mar 2020
Date responded: 16 Apr 2020
Information requested

Copies of the following documents / pieces of information dated from 10 October 2019 to the date of this request:
• any updates, amendments, applications and/or variations to the existing Marine Licence – Construction Ref: 05965;
• any applications and/or consents to the Marine Licence – Construction Ref: 07161;
• a copy of Annex 1 to the Marine Licence Variation - Construction Ref: 05965
• any supplemental and/or additional Marine Licence(s) which have been granted in relation to the Marine Licence – Construction Ref: 05965;
• any correspondence and/or meeting minutes relating to the Marine Licences – Construction Ref: 05965 and Ref: 07161, and any updates, amendments, applications and variations.
In particular, we would like to ask your attention to the following. The last minutes of the AHEP fortnightly activity update meeting we have obtained are # 22 from 6 November 2019. Can you please provide the AHEP fortnightly activity update meeting minutes from # 23 onwards.

Response

1. I am providing copies of some of the information you have requested. Due to the large number of documents I will separately email you an invitation to a shared Workspace in an online storage facility called “Objective Connect.” This online storage facility is now the Scottish Government preferred way to share large and/or numerous files. To access the documents via Objective Connect you will need to click on the link provided in my accompanying email. In order to access the shared Workspace files you will need to enter your email address and a password of your choice. You will then be able to enter the Workspace and click on a zipped folder to download all the documents released.

2. Some of the information you have requested (please refer to the links provided below in point 3 of this letter) is available from the Marine Scotland Information website. Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format.

3. There are 195 documents we have released in response to your request. These are numbered 1-195. Please refer to the following notes in response to each of your specific requests:
• any updates, amendments, applications and/or variations to the existing Marine Licence – Construction Ref: 05965;
- A licence extension was applied for on 24 February 2020 and this is available publicly on the Marine Scotland Information website: http://marine.gov.scot/data/marine-licence-variation-construction-nigg-bay-aberdeen-05965
- For supporting documents (that have not been published), please refer to PDF documents 1 & 2.
- 05965 is the current licence that has been extended for 4 months: Marine Licence Variation - Construction - Nigg Bay, Aberdeen.

• any applications and/or consents to the Marine Licence – Construction Ref: 07161;
- There is no licence/consent yet as the application is still in process. The application document is available publicly on the Marine Scotland Information website: http://marine.gov.scot/ml/marine-licence-construction-new-harbour-and-use-explosive-substances-nigg-bay-aberdeen-07161
• a copy of Annex 1 to the Marine Licence Variation - Construction Ref: 05965
- Annex 1 is now available publicly on the Marine Scotland Information website:
http://marine.gov.scot/data/marine-licence-variation-construction-nigg-bay-aberdeen-05965
• any supplemental and/or additional Marine Licence(s) which have been granted in relation to the Marine Licence – Construction Ref: 05965;
- Point has been covered already by the link given in answer to your first query above.
• any correspondence and/or meeting minutes relating to the Marine Licences – Construction Ref: 05965 and Ref: 07161, and any updates, amendments, applications and variations.
- As outlined above, Marine Scotland have consulted on a new licence and variation in the date period of your request. For copies of all the correspondence and meeting minutes you have requested please refer to PDF documents 3 – 195.
• please provide the AHEP fortnightly activity update meeting minutes from # 23 onwards.
- For the date period covered by your request, the AHEP fortnightly activity update meeting minutes have been finalised for two further meetings #23 & #24. Please refer to PDF documents 143 & 190.

4. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exceptions under regulation 10(4)(d) (Material in
course of completion) and regulation 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

5. Some of the information we have provided was considered under regulation 10(4)(e) (Internal communications) of the EIRs. However, internal communications cannot be withheld under regulation 10(4)(e) unless there is a greater public interest in withholding the information than in disclosing it (regulation 10(1)(b)). Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of disclosing the information, and so no information has been withheld under this exception.

6. The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most documents supplied by the Scottish Government will have been produced by government officials and will be Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright material on the National Archives website at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/
Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organization, from which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission before reproducing any third party (non Crown Copyright information).

ANNEX
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

Exceptions applied:
(i) An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) (Material in course of completion) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested because it is material which is unfinished or incomplete.
There are a small number of draft documents (still in the course of completion) which have been withheld.

This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government‘s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.

As a Scottish public authority relying on this exception we must (under regulation 13(d)) tell the requestor when we think the information will be finished or completed:
- Two of these documents are pertaining to new licences which are currently pending determination.  These will be made publicly available on the Marine Scotland Information website in due course once the Scottish Ministers have issued the licences.
- There are four documents of draft correspondence and meeting minutes pertaining to AHEP fortnightly activity update meetings #25 & #26 that have been withheld. The meeting minutes for both meetings have both now been finalised but in the time period outside of the scope of this request.
These meeting minutes come under the scope of another information request in progress under Case Reference: 202000020066. This information will be released and publicly available on or before the 8 May 2020 deadline for this request.
- The Environmental Advisory Group (EAG) draft meeting minutes for meeting 12 have been withheld as these are likely to be approved during the next EAG meeting 13 due before the month end. You may make a new request for a copy of the meeting minutes once they have been finalised.
(ii) Regulation 11(2) – To the extent that environmental information requested includes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject and in relation to which either the first or second condition set out in paragraphs (3) and (4) is satisfied, a Scottish public authority shall not make the personal data available.
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EISRs (personal information of a third party) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.
This exception is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above.
If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide. 


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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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Edinburgh
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