On 15 January, the Court of Justice of the EU handed down a ruling on access to information under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (“IPPC”) directive. The case came before the Court when a group of residents in Slovakia challenged the construction of a landfill site in their town. Slovakia originally authorised the project without publishing a decision on the location of the site, claiming that it contained confidential commercial and industrial information. The EU Court found that commercial confidentiality is not a valid reason to deny access to urban planning decisions and that the public has a right to access planning decisions from the beginning of the authorisation procedure.
The full Judgment C-416/10 is available here: