PRTRs and Access to Information


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  • -Improved database -Coordinated, consistent data acquisition -Trend analyses -Environmental policy monitoring -Meeting international commitments -Identification of priority concern areas and hot-spots -Reduce adverse effects of pollutants in environment and human health
  • -Public access to information -Transparency -Raising environmental consciousness -Public participation in decision-making -Empowerment -Better understanding of chemical emergencies Free information User-friendly Provide for limited confidentiality
  • -Enhanced eco-efficiency -Improves competitiveness -Cost savings -Incentive to use best available technology -Risk assessments -Catalyst for better communication between industry and communities
  • In addition it can be mandatory and annual.
  • Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 calls on: Improvement of databases, inventories and informations systems on toxic chemicals Adopt community right-to-know programmes The World Sumit on Sustainable Development encourages integrated information on chemicals UNECE Aarhus Convention (adopted in 1998) requires each party to: Establish porgressively a nationwide system of pollution inventories, publicly accesible Ellaborate appropriate instruments concerning pollutant release and transfer registers As of April 2013, the Convention has 47 parties Kiev Protocol on PRTRs (adopted in 2003) has the objective of enhancing public access to information through nationwide PRTRs In 2009, the Protocol entered into force with 16 Parties As of April 2013, the Protocol has 31 parties Protocol is open to accession since January 2004 – “Open” global protocol Interest in other regions
  • Around 30 countries already have PRTRs and around 14 countries are designing a PRTR
  • Currently 47 countries have ratified the Aarhus Convention
  • Detailed company report
  • Map to select facility
  • Examples of applicability – PM10 Concentrations
  • Arsenic in all countries
  • Examples of use of information in Mexico and Chile.
  • PRTRs and Access to Information

    1. 1. Pollutant Release andTransfer Registers (PRTR) astools to accessenvironmental informationMay 2013
    2. 2. What is a PRTR? 2Central databaseStorage+management+validationof dataDatadissemination
    3. 3. Benefits of a PRTR 3GOVERNMENTIncreasesefficiency andcapacities
    4. 4. 4
    5. 5. Benefits of a PRTR 5GOVERNMENTIncreasesefficiency andcapacitiesCIVILSOCIETYEmpowers
    6. 6. 6
    7. 7. Benefits of a PRTR 7GOVERNMENTIncreasesefficiency andcapacitiesCIVILSOCIETYEmpowersINDUSTRYInvolves
    8. 8. 8
    9. 9. Benefits of a PRTRReporting by priority productive activities such as:Energy sectorProduction and processing of metalsMineral industryChemical industryWaste and waste-water managementPaper and timber production and processingIntensive livestock production and aquacultureAnimal and vegetable products from the food andbeverage sector9
    10. 10. PRTR international context1992200120022006* OECD Task Force on PRTRs (2002)* PRTR International Coordinating Group (2005)2009
    11. 11. 11
    12. 12. 12PRTR Capacity-building - UNITARASIA LATINAMERICAEASTERNEUROPECambodiaEcuadorPanamaCentralAmericaGeorgiaKazakhstanUkrainePeruAzerbaijanMongolia
    13. 13. Establishment ofPRTRs under FOI13
    14. 14. At international level:Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, PublicParticipation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice inEnvironmental MattersArticle 5 obliges Governments to provide for:Immediate dissemination of information in cases ofimminent threat to health and environmentState of environment reportsPollutants releases and transfers (“to establishprogressively a coherent national system of pollutioninventories or registers on a computerized and publiclyaccesible database”)PRTR Protocol14Legal basis for a PRTR and FOI
    15. 15. “This Regulation establishes anintegrated pollutant release andtransfer register at Community levelin the form of a publicly accessibleelectronic database and lays downrules for its functioning, in order toimplement the UNECE Protocol onPollutant Release and TransferRegisters and facilitate publicparticipation in environmentaldecision-making, as well ascontributing to the prevention andreduction of pollution of theenvironment”.“Access to information provided bythe European PRTR should beunrestricted and exceptions from thisrule should only be possible whereexplicitly granted by existingCommunity Legislation”.15Some examples - legal basis for a PRTREuropean Union
    16. 16. “The Swiss Federal Council, based onArticle 46 paragraph2 of the FederalAct of 7 October 1983 on theProtection of the Environment (EPA),ordains:…This Ordinance is intended toguarantee public access toinformation on pollutant release andthe transfer of waste and ofpollutants in waste water by meansof a register.”“Access, in particular via theinternet, to information contained inthe PRTR shall be guaranteed for aminimum of then years from thedate of its electronic publication, inparticular on the internet.”16SwitzerlandSome examples - legal basis for a PRTR
    17. 17. “A database to be known as theNational Pollutant Inventory will beestablished to:(a)Provide information to enhance andfacilitate policy formulation anddecision making for environmentalplanning and management;(b)Provide publicly accesible andavailable information, on ageographic basis, about specifiedemissions to the environment,including those of a hazardousnature or involving significantimpact; and(c)Promote and assist with thefacilitation of waste minimisation andcleaner production programmes forindustry, government and thecommunity.”17AustraliaSome examples - legal basis for a PRTR
    18. 18. “The Minister shall:…publish, arrange for the publicationof or distribute through an informationclearinghouse:(i) information respecting pollutionprevention,(i) pertinent information in respect ofall aspects of environmental quality,and(ii) a periodic report on the state ofthe Canadian environment.”18CanadaSome examples - legal basis for a PRTR
    19. 19. Presenting data19
    20. 20. Database with “search” option 20*Source: CEC Taking Stock,
    21. 21. Database with “search” option 21Selectionby yearSelection byfacilitySelection bylocationSelection byactivity*Source: Swiss PRTR,
    22. 22. Database with “search” option 22*Source: Swiss PRTR,
    23. 23. Geographic Information System (GIS) 23*Source: Swiss PRTR,
    24. 24. Geographic Information System (GIS) 24*Source: Swiss PRTR,
    25. 25. Geographic Information System (GIS) 25*Source: CEC Taking Stock,
    26. 26. Trend graphs 26*Source: Norweigan PRTR,
    27. 27. Trend graphs 27*Source: Spanish PRTR,
    28. 28. Ranking 28*Source: CEC Taking Stock,
    29. 29. 29UNITAR PRTR design/implementation packageUpdated guidancedocumentNew guidance on legalconsdierationsOnline reporting modelPRTR:LearnENGLISH, RUSSIAN, SPANISH2013
    30. 30. Thank you for your attention!vera.barrantes@unitar.orgMore information and links toexistent PRTRs in different countriescan be found in