European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR)
Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 on the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?
It establishes the European pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR).
This European Union (EU) electronic database is available to the public and should contribute towards reducing pollution.
This regulation sets up a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) in the form of a publicly accessible electronic database. This database meets the requirements of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, signed by the EU in May 2003.
This register 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 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 listed in Annex II, including greenhouse gases, other gases, heavy metals, pesticides, chlorinated organic substances and other inorganic substances.
Releases are reported when the level of emissions exceeds a certain threshold and originates from one of the 65 activities listed in Annex I. The majority of these activities are also regulated under the Directive on industrial emissions and comprises, in particular, the establishments covered by the following sectors: energy production, mineral industry, chemical industry, waste and wastewater management, and paper and wood production and processing.
Where available, the register also provides some information on pollution from diffuse sources.
How the PRTR works
Information gathered at national level by EU countries and reported to the European Commission is fed into the database on a regular basis. First of all, this information is submitted annually to the competent national authority by the operators of the establishments concerned.
EU countries must also gather information on releases from diffuse sources using internationally approved methods.
EU countries must then report the information they have collected to the Commission by the stipulated deadline (within 15 months of the end of each reporting year). EU countries are permitted to keep certain information confidential; if they do, they must notify the Commission of the type of the information that is being withheld and the grounds for withholding it.
The Commission, with the cooperation of the European Environment Agency, provides the public with access to the information contained in the database by ensuring it is available on the internet by the stipulated deadline (within 16 months of the end of each reporting year).
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 further developing the register and preparing amendments.
FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?
It has applied since 24 February 2006.
For more information, see:
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.
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on progress in implementing Regulation (EC) 166/2006 concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) (COM(2013) 111 final, 5.3.2013)
Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (EN)
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 01.03.2017