Welcome to PRTR.net

This website provides a global portal to Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) information and activities from countries and organisations around the world. The website aims to assist countries in the development, implementation and improvement of PRTR programmes.

It has been developed and is maintained by the Task Force on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Environment Programme / GRID-Arendal.

What is a PRTR?

A Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) is a national or regional environmental database or inventory of potentially hazardous chemical substances and/or pollutants released to air, water and soil and transferred off-site for treatment or disposal.

  • The industrial or business facilities quantify and report the amounts of substances released to each environmental medium (air, water, soil) or transferred off-site for waste management or wastewater treatment.
  • Some PRTRs also include estimates of releases from diffuse sources, such as agriculture and transport and from the end use of products. These data are normally compiled by environmental authorities.

PRTRs provide public access to data via the Internet, CD-ROMs, publications and annual reports.

  • PRTR data may be presented geographically, either in a fixed form or interactively on Internet;
  • PRTR data may be presented by industry sectors, by facility, by a chemical substance or groups of substances;
  • Additional information is often provided to help better understand the PRTR data;
  • National PRTRs may vary in terms of the hazardous chemicals and pollutants reported, industry or business categories that must report and the destination of releases.

Information available on this website

The content and links on this website are updated at regular intervals. You are invited to contribute and provide feedback on the website by sending an email to public.participation@unece.org.

The benefits of developing a PRTR

A PRTR can include information on:

  • Who is generating potentially harmful releases or transfers of waste to various environmental media;
  • What pollutants are being released or transferred;
  • How much is being released or transferred over a specific time period;
  • What is the geographic distribution of pollutant releases or transfers.

Benefits for governments

The development and implementation of a PRTR adapted to national needs assists governments to track the generation, release and fate of emissions of hazardous chemical substances and pollutants over time, to examine progress in reducing emissions and to set priorities for reducing or even eliminating the most potentially damaging releases and transfers.

A PRTR can help pollution prevention and lessen the burden of control regulations requiring monitoring and enforcement actions.

PRTR data and information can be used for assessing risks to human health and the environment as input to dispersion models to simulate emissions and any subsequent pollution.

Benefits for industry

The existence of a PRTR can serve as a major driving force for pollution reduction throughout many sectors of the economy. Dissemination of PRTR data enables similar industries to benchmark their environmental performance with other companies in the sector and to reduce releases and thereby saving money.

Accidental releases such as spills or emissions arising from an accident at an industrial facility can be reported to a PRTR. In addition, PRTR data can be used in land-use planning and in licensing decisions for new plants and facilities.

PRTRs provide information on releases of hazardous substances and pollutants that can encourage industry, business and the community to reduce releases and transfers of waste and to adopt cleaner production techniques.

Benefits for other parties

A PRTR can also stimulate interested or potentially affected parties to ask questions of and to seek improvements to human health and environmental well-being.

Non-governmental organisations can both use and disseminate PRTR data to reflect their individual purposes and goals, as well as those of their constituencies.

Researchers and academics can use PRTR data for modelling or other studies, and the financial sector for evaluating investment proposals or for considering insurance or sustainability issues.

The public can use PRTR information to learn about releases and transfers occurring in their communities and to become better informed about the environmental performance of individual facilities, economic sectors and government regulatory agencies.

©2014 UNECE. All rights reserved.

PRTR capacity building

Search UNECE's  database of capacity building activities.

National Focal Points and stakeholders  log in here to add information to UNECE's database of capacity building activities.

PRTR capacity building activities database - quick guide.pdf (348.9 KB)

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