The European Commission has adopted a Decision on the setting up of a European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER). The Register will cover emissions of 50 pollutants from about 20,000 individual industrial facilities across the European Union and it will be of great importance as a public instrument to provide accessible and comparable information on the emissions of pollutants from industry. Both the public and industry can use the EPER data to compare the environmental performance of individual facilities or industrial sectors in different countries. Governments can use the registered data to monitor the achievements in meeting environmental targets in national and international agreements and protocols.
The Register represents a key element of Council Directive 96/61/EC concerning Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC). It is also linked to the UNECE / Aarhus Convention (1999) on "Access to information and public participation in environmental matters", which includes the disclosure of site-specific information of relevant polluting sources.
After introduction in 2003, EPER will be a further step to improve public awareness and to meet the needs for the public "right-to-know" about industrial pollution. Information on emissions of 50 pollutants from about 20,000 individual industrial facilities, covered by the IPPC Directive, will be collected in the EPER.
The European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER) has the following objectives:
Public right-to-know: EPER will provide publicly accessible data on chemical specific pollutants released by individual industrial facilities.
Public awareness: EPER will encourage the public to compare the achievements of industrial facilities and sectors, but also of different countries.
Name and shame: EPER information will encourage public to ask questions about the environmental performance of industry.
Pollutant Register: EPER will identify chemicals and provide quantitative data on their (industrial) releases to the environment.
Policy Monitoring: EPER data will enable government to monitor (industrial) emissions and to demonstrate improvement of the environment.
Every three years Member States are obliged to report to the Commission, and the first reports should be sent in June 2003, providing data on emissions in 2001 (optionally 2000 or 2002). The Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, will make the data in the EPER register / database publicly accessible by dissemination of the reported data on the Internet, including disclosure of site-specific information of individual industrial facilities.