EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR)

European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR)

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 on the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • The regulation establishes the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR).
  • This is a publicly accessible electronic database of key environmental data from industrial facilities in Europe.
  • In 2019, Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 was amended by Regulation (EU) No 1010/2019 to align and streamline the reporting requirements in EU environmental legislation. Among other things, the amending regulation conferred powers on the European Commission to adopt implementing acts specifying the type, format and frequency of information to be reported under Regulation (EC) No 166/2006.
  • Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1741 introduced changes specific to the E-PRTR further to Regulation (EU) No 1010/2019.

KEY POINTS

The E-PRTR is available to the public free of charge on the internet. The information it contains can be searched using various criteria (type of pollutant, geographical location, affected environment, source facility, etc.).

Content of the E-PRTR

  • The register contains information on releases of pollutants to air, water and land, as well as off-site transfers of pollutants present in waste-water and waste. The register covers 91 pollutants as listed in Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 166/2006, including greenhouse gases, heavy metals, pesticides, and chlorinated organic substances.
  • Releases are required to be reported when they exceed a certain threshold and originate from one of the 65 activities listed in Annex I of Regulation (EC) No 166/2006. The majority of these activities are also regulated under Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions (see summary) and comprise, in particular, the facilities covered by the following sectors:
    • energy production,
    • production and processing of metals,
    • mineral industry,
    • chemical industry,
    • waste and wastewater management,
    • paper and wood production and processing,
    • intensive livestock production and aquaculture,
    • animal and vegetable products from the food and beverage sector, and
    • other activities e.g. producing textiles, leather tanning.
  • Where available, the register also provides information on releases from diffuse sources of air and diffuse sources of water.

How the E-PRTR works

  • Amending Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 requires:
    • operators of each industrial facility to send their competent national authority information on their pollutant releases and transfers every year. This information covers pollutants to air, water and land, as well as off-site transfers of pollutants present in waste-water and waste;
    • EU countries at national level to collate and check this information;
    • national authorities to send this information by electronic transfer to the Commission within 11 months of the end of the reporting year;
    • the Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, to incorporate the information reported by the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland into the E-PRTR within 1 month.
  • Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1741:
    • specifies the electronic format to be developed by EU countries for this reporting process, as well as the information to be supplied by EU countries;
    • unless otherwise specified in the Annex to the decision, the information was to be first submitted for the reporting year 2019;
    • information in Sections 1 to 4 of the Annex must reach the Commission, at the latest, by 30 September of the following reporting year;
    • information in Sections 5 to 10 of the Annex must reach the Commission at the latest, by 30 November of the following reporting year;
    • is to be reviewed by 31 December 2024 to assess the feasibility of progressing towards the objective of earlier public availability of E-PRTR data.
  • These amendments reduce from 16 months to 12 months the incorporation of the information reported by EU countries into the European PRTR, thus allowing the public more rapid access to this information.

Public participation

The regulation is a key instrument in delivering the requirements of the Aarhus convention as it provides the public with the opportunity to be involved in environmental decision making.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 24 February 2006.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 January 2006 concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register and amending Council Directives 91/689/EEC and 96/61/EC (OJ L 33, 4.2.2006, pp. 1-17)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1741 of 23 September 2019 establishing the format and frequency of data to be made available by the Member States for the purposes of reporting under Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register and amending Council Directives 91/689/EEC and 96/61/EC (OJ L 267, 21.10.2019, pp. 3-8)

Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the alignment of reporting obligations in the field of legislation related to the environment, and amending Regulations (EC) No 166/2006 and (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directives 2002/49/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2007/2/EC, 2009/147/EC and 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 338/97 and (EC) No 2173/2005, and Council Directive 86/278/EEC (OJ L 170, 25.6.2019, pp. 115-127)

Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (OJ L 32, 4.2.2006, pp. 56-79)

Council Decision 2006/61/EC of 2 December 2005 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the UN-ECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (OJ L 32, 4.2.2006, pp. 54-55)

last update 08.05.2020

Top