They are around 50 000 industrial facilities operating in the EU, which can contribute to air, water and soil pollution. The EU aims to improve transparency on the amounts of industrial pollutant releases as well as off-site transfers of waste and pollutants in wastewater. The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) provides public access to key environmental data from industrial facilities in EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and the UK.
The E-PRTR is updated annually with data reported by some 35 000 industrial facilities covering 65 economic activities. This data includes 91 key pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, greenhouse gases and dioxins.
The E-PRTR is closely linked to the Industrial Emissions Directive, with reporting requirements for pollutant releases and transfers aligned with the permit conditions set out under the directive. This enables the E-PRTR to:
- provide reliable and comparable data on pollutant emissions by the EU industry
- support efforts of the industry to monitor and reduce their environmental impact
- contribute to transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making
Τhe E-PRTR Regulation sets the framework for the legal reporting requirements of industrial facilities in the EU.
In 2019, the E-PRTR reporting requirements were updated by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1741. Amongst other changes, this advanced the Member States reporting deadline to the end of November each year. Later, in 2022, the Commission adopted the Implementing Decision specifying units and metrics to be used by Member States when reporting ‘production volume’ under the E-PRTR.
In 2022, the Commission proposed to reise the E-PRTR Regulation to create the Industrial Emissions Portal. More information on the proposals can be found in this factsheet and the Questions & Answers.
The new rules aim to
- improve data transparency and public access to environmental information through the Industrial Emissions Portal
- re-align the sectoral scope and granularity of reporting in order to better support IED implementation
- improve the ability to respond to new reporting demands on pollutants and activities
- provide information on the industrial use of energy, water and raw materials
In 2017, the Commission concluded a structured evaluation of the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added-value of the E-PRTR Regulation. A Commission Staff Working Document and its Executive Summary provide the main findings of that evaluation.
This evaluation informed the Commission’s second report to the European Parliament and the Council on progress in implementing the E-PRTR Regulation (COM(2017) 810). In early 2020, a review of E-PRTR implementation was completed, looking in detail at the industrial activities and pollutants within the scope of the E-PRTR Regulation.
The Commission undertook an impact assessment to examine the need for EU action to address E-PRTR implementation shortcomings and to analyse the possible impacts of available solutions. This provided evidence to inform the Commission in its decision-making for proposing revisions to the E-PRTR Regulation. The main consultant report supporting the Impact Assessment is available here.
In 2019, Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1741 updated the E-PRTR’s reporting requirements.
In early 2020, the Commission completed a review of E-PRTR implementation, looking in detail at the industrial activities and pollutants within the scope of the E-PRTR.
The Commission and the European Environment Agency worked with reporting countries to implement a new system that better integrates reporting under the E-PRTR and the closely related Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Under the resulting EU Registry on Industrial Sites, E-PRTR data will be reported in combination with data on the IED and Large Combustion Plants (LCP).
The EU Registry on Industrial Sites implements the INSPIRE Directive’s requirements on making spatial and geographical information more accessible and interoperable. The Registry provides a clear link between data provided by industrial facilities subject to the E-PRTR and those by industrial installations regulated under the IED. Commission Implementing Decisions (EU) 2019/1741 and 2018/1135 together provide the legal basis for the EU Registry on Industrial Sites.
For questions about EU environmental policy, please contact Europe Direct.