Public access to information on emissions from European industries

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A comprehensive new European pollutant release and transfer register named E-PRTR was launched by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). Data from 91 substances had been collected to show the quantity and location of pollution of air, water and land by about 24.000 industrial facilities throughout Europe. Additional information have been presented like the amount and types of waste which is being transferred from one country to another. All data and information concerning the year 2007 and are available via Internet. For example it covers 76 % of total sulfur oxides emissions to air in the 27 EU members states and Norway. E-PRTR shows that five large combustion plants were collectively responsible for more than 20 % of all sulfur oxide emissions to air.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "Transparency is a vital tool for improving our environment. I welcome the opening of this register. It demonstrates a genuine commitment by the public authorities and industry to share information with citizens and increase openness. I thank them for their cooperation."

Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, said: "To achieve the public participation objective set by the Aarhus Convention, people first need to know what is happening to their environment and what is at stake. With this new register, we take an important step in placing more environmental information at their fingertips. Anyone can now see how much pollution is being released to air and water from facilities in their neighbourhood or region."