Ireland's Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

image of large scale industry ireland

This is an emissions register resembling the register that exists in several countries in Europe. The purpose of the register is to fulfill the requirements of the Aarhus Convention, as a simple means of affording access to information about environmental emissions and transfers.

The register provides a publicly accessible and searchable database which members of the public can use to search for Irish installations which are releasing PRTR pollutants in excess of specific thresholds or making off-site transfers of waste above specified thresholds for non-hazardous and hazardous wastes. 

A facility has to report data under E-PRTR if it fulfils the following criteria:

  • the facility falls under at least one of the 65 E-PRTR economic activities. The activities are also reported using a statistical classification of economic activities (NACE rev 2)
  • the facility has a capacity exceeding at least one of the E-PRTR capacity thresholds (Annex I)
  • the facility releases pollutants or transfers waste off-site which exceed specific thresholds set out in Article 5 of the E-PRTR Regulation. These thresholds for releases of pollutants are specified for each media - air, water and land - in Annex II of the E-PRTR Regulation.

If a facility has emissions or waste transfers above the relevant thresholds, information is provided to Europe concerning the amount of pollutant releases to air, water and waste water as well as off-site transfers of waste.

Only information reported to Europe (E-PRTR) is displayed on this register. Information that is not reportable to Europe is displayed as “below reporting threshold” (BRT) in the facility details.

Ireland produced a national report European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Report for Ireland for 2013 which summarises the information and data validated by the EPA and reported to Europe under the E-PRTR Regulations for the year 2013.

The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) supersedes the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER). EPER was the first European-wide register of industrial emissions into air and water, which was established by a Commission Decision of 17 July 2000 (EPER Decision). Under EPER, Member States reported data for the years 2001 and 2004. E-PRTR builds on the same principles as EPER but goes beyond it, by including reporting on more pollutants from more activities, and includes releases to land, releases from diffuse sources and off-site transfers of wastes and effluents.

The E-PRTR covers the 28 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland.The register contains annual data reported by some 28,000 industrial facilities covering 65 economic activities within the following 9 industrial sectors:

  • Energy
  • Production and processing of metals
  • Mineral industry (includes quarries)
  • Chemical industry
  • Waste and waste water management (includes UWWTP, landfills and waste recovery and transfer stations)
  • Paper and wood production and processing
  • Intensive livestock production and aquaculture
  • Animal and vegetable products from the food and beverage sector, and
  • Other activities