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PRTR-Protocol UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers

The Republic of Austria signed the UNECE Pollutant Release and Transfer Register on 21 May 2003 and ratified it on 23 March 2010. So far (as of:  9 September 2011) 26 States and the European Community have signed the Protocol. The Protocol entered into force on 8 October 2009, for Austria on 21 June 2010 (Article 27, para. 1 and 3 of the PRTR Protocol).

Mountain landscape in evening mood
Mountain landscape with evening atmosphere, photo: BMLRT / Alexander Haiden

The first meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Protocol took place in Geneva, April 20-22, 2010  (more informationen on the UNECE website).

The Austrian Environmental Information Act  (Umweltinformationsgesetz UIG) was amended by the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) amendment to the Environmental Information Act Federal Law Gazette I No 128/2009 in order to create the prerequisites for a national Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (national PRTR) (cf. prtr.at). Moreover the Austrian data are fed into the European PRTR (cf. prtr.ec.europa.eu).

Before, a comparable national register was only kept in connection with the implementation of the European Pollution Emission Register (EPER). The national Pollution Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) constitutes a further development of EPER, as it contains information on nine additional operational activities, on 41 additional pollutants, on releases into the soil, on the release of pollutants from diffuse sources with an appropriately detailed indication of the space concerned, as well as on the shipment outside the site of waste and pollutants into wastewater. The data are updated annually.

By means of the national Pollution and Transfer Register (PRTR) the public access to data on pollution emissions and waste shipments from certain operational facilities shall be improved. Thus no additional costs arise for the enterprise, as the data are already collected for the European Pollution Release and Transfer Register according to Regulation (EC) No 166/2006. The national PRTR means an easier accessibility for Austrian citizens as the Austrian data are also available via prtr.at.