Ecologic Institute acts as a consultant to the German Federal Ministry of the Environment concerning the negotiations on the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers under the Aarhus Convention, the preparation of the first Meeting of the Parties, and the legal and administrative implementation of the Protocol in the EU and Germany. The Protocol requires Parties to establish pollutant release and transfer registers. The registers contain information on facility-specific emissions and waste transports. The information will be available to the public on the internet.
In this project, Ecologic Institute participates in the international negotiations on the PRTR Protocol under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and participates in the PRTR Working Group meetings for the preparation of the first Meeting of the Parties. In order to implement the Protocol in the EU, the Ecologic Institute participates in the negotiations on the EU-Regulation concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) and its implementation. At national level, Ecologic Institute assists the German federal environmental ministry in drafting and implementing the legal and administrative prerequisites for the implementation of the Protocol and the EU-Regulation in Germany.
After nearly two years of negotiations more than 30 countries agreed on the PRTR-Protocolm which was adopted at the occasion of the fifth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” in Kiev in May 2003. Under the Protocol, facilities will be required to disclose information on their emissions and waste transports. They will be required to report annually on their releases into air, water and soil as well as on waste transfers to destinations outside the facility. Each Party to the Protocol will be required to establish a publicly accessible and user-friendly PRTR based on mandatory reporting.
The register will allow the public to search facilities according to the nature of their activity, their geographical location, the name of the owner and operator and the nature of their emissions. The registers will contain information on 86 pollutants considered to pose significant threats to the environment or public health, including greenhouse gases, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals such as dioxins. It is expected that the register will contribute to the reduction of industrial emissions and waste transfers by inducing the operators to reconsider their emissions, an by providing the public with information that enables it to put pressure on operators to reduce emissions. On the European level the new E-PRTR replaces the European Pollutant and Emissions Register (EPER).