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The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR)

Legislation

factoryWhat is E-PRTR?

The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) provides easily accessible key environmental data from industrial facilities in European Union Member States. The E-PRTR also covers Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and the UK.

Starting with 2007 data, the register has been updated every year with annual data reported by some 34,000 industrial facilities covering 65 economic activities across Europe.

Subject to reporting thresholds, each industrial facility provides information to their national authority on the quantities of pollutants released to air, water and land. This data covers 91 key pollutants including heavy metals, pesticides, greenhouse gases and dioxins.

There is also data on off-site transfers of waste and waste water and information on releases from diffuse sources.

The E-PRTR is an important contribution to transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making.

E-PRTR Regulation

The legal reporting requirements are defined in the E-PRTR Regulation.

For the European Union, the E-PRTR also implements the UNECE’s (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Kyiv Protocol. This legal instrument is attached to the wider-reaching Aarhus Convention on ‘Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters’.

In 2019, the E-PRTR reporting requirements were updated by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1741. Amongst other changes, this advanced the Member States reporting deadline to the end of November each year.

International aspects of PRTRs

An increasing number of countries around the world are implementing PRTRs, either through accession to the Kyiv Protocol or through unilateral / multilateral action. The PRTR Global Map shows the current uptake.

The prtr.net website provides a variety of resources to assist countries in establishing and implementing PRTRs.