Latest data on Ireland’s E-Pollutant Release & Transfer Register now available

Date released: Nov 21 2012

Data provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 2007-2010 E-Pollutant Release and Transfer (PRTR) reporting to the European Commission is now available on the national PRTR website.  The map-based website is a database of chemical substances and pollutants emitted to air, water and soil, and transferred off-site for treatment or disposal. A total of 360 large scale industrial facilities in Ireland are covered by E-PRTR reporting requirements.

Facilities in Ireland included in PRTR reporting come from the power generation, wastewater treatment, chemical, intensive agriculture, minerals & cement sectors. Also included are large companies in areas such food and drink and waste sites.

The information is now available to the public on the national PRTR website at http://prtr.epa.ie/. The EPA website, developed last year, is fully searchable using GIS maps.  The site can be searched by sector, facility or by chemical substance.  It provides information about the release and transfer of pollutants from industrial or business facilities which exceed certain thresholds.  It also provides reports on the amount of substances released to the environment or transferred off-site for waste management.

Commenting on the register, Gerard O’Leary, Director, EPA said:“The website enables public access to information about the environment and increases awareness about pollutants or substances released to the environment, either locally, regionally or nationally.  Overall, the data shows a continued downward trend in 2010 for key substances or pollutants to air such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and non-methane volatile organic carbons.”

The national website is linked to a global portal to Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) information and activities from countries and organisations around the world. Data is updated twice-yearly and is currently available for the years 2007-2010.  The European e-Register is available at http://prtr.ec.europa.eu.

Notes to Editor:

Key findings of the E-PRTR 2010 dataset shows:

  • Releases to air were dominated by facilities from the energy, minerals, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors
  • Nitrogen oxide and Sulphur oxide emissions decreased by 8% and 27% respectively, since 2009.
  • The total annual emission of carbon dioxide fell in 2010 by 0.04Mtonnes, with ESB Money-point being the number one major emitter of CO2 for years 2007-2010.
  • The percentage contribution of Nitrogen Oxides from the Food & Drink Sector has doubled since 2009 from 3% to 6%, indicating increased production in this sector.
  • Notable E-PRTR emissions (priority substances) to water are predominately from the large local authority urban waste water treatment plants.  The increase in emissions overall, from this sector is indicative of additional wastewater treatment facilities reporting under E-PRTR.
  • Hazardous waste transferred off-site from E-PRTR facilities originated primarily from the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors.
  • While there has been in slight reduction in the quantity of hazardous waste exported off-site, Germany, Belgium and UK remain the principal destination for E-PRTR facilities for disposal or recovery. 
  • The quantity of non- hazardous waste from all sectors decreased by 1.78% to 3.98 million tonnes in 2010.

E-PRTR Regulation

The European Communities (European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) Regulation 2007, S.I. No. 123 of 2007) signed into Irish Law on 22 March 2007 the E-PRTR Regulation, (EC) No 166/2006, concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register.The E-PRTR Regulation has a number of principal objectives, as set out in Article 1 of the Regulation:

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation establishes an integrated pollutant release and transfer register at Community level in the form of a publicly accessible electronic database and lays down rules for its functioning, in order to implement the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers and facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making, as well as contributing to the prevention and reduction of pollution of the environment.

Annex 1 of the E-PRTR Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 lists the activities which are subject to reporting under E-PRTR.

Annex 2 of the E-PRTR Regulation lists the 91 substances that are subject to reporting under E-PRTR, above specified release thresholds.