EU emissions inventory readied for expansion
Environment Daily 1743, 08/10/04
The EU's industrial pollution inventory Eper is to be substantially expanded from 2009 under proposals for a European pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR). Tabled by the European Commission on Friday, the plan will bring EU practice into line with a pan-European PRTR protocol agreed in 2003. When it was launched in February, Eper was greeted as a landmark in public provision of environmental information in the EU. On Friday, the European Commission said the database had been a "huge success", with over 100,000 visitors in its first three months. It issued a report reviewing in detail how well Eper has worked in its first phase.
Under the Commission's PRTR proposals the number of substances and pollutants to be reported will increase from 50 now to over 90. Notable additions include the ozone depleters CFCs, HCFCs and halons. Pesticides added to the list include aldrin, atrazine, chlordane, chlorpyrifos, DDT, dieldrin, endosulphan and lindane.
For the first time, persistent PCBs will have to be reported, as will vinyl chloride and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP/NPE) and related substances. Ethyl benzene, ethylene oxide and toluene are being added to the list. So are tributyltin, triphenyltin and asbestos.
Meanwhile, the range of industry sectors required to report will increase from 56 to 65, the Commission says. Among added sectors in an extensively restructured list are larger urban wastewater treatment plants and intensive aquaculture plants. All size thresholds for plant reporting appear to have been left untouched.
A third key difference with the PRTR will be required reporting on transfers of over 2 tonnes of hazardous or 2,000 tonnes of non-hazardous solid waste per year. Eper is currently limited to emissions to air plus discharges to either the water environment or to wastewater treatment plants.
Fourthly, the Commission said, in addition to industrial point sources, the PRTR will include reporting on diffuse air and water pollution from transport and agriculture.
Under the Commission's plan, Europe's first PRTR will go live in 2009, based on data from 2007. Before then there will be one more reporting cycle for Eper in its current form. The database is to be republished in 2006, based on 2004 data. All the EU's ten new member states will be included at this stage.
European Commission Eper home page http://www.eper.cec.eu.int/eper/default.asp,