Registering industrial emissions

Requiring public registration of industry pollution
Creating national pollution inventory

An air pollution emissions inventory is a schedule of the sources of an air pollutant or pollutants within a particular geographical area. An inventory usually includes information on the amount of the pollutant released from major industrial sources, average figures for the emissions from smaller sources, and from transport throughout the area. Emission inventories are an essential tool in the management of local air quality.


Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) is a generic name for an inventory of potentially toxic substances that companies and other facilities (municipal waste sites, power stations, etc.) release to the environment or transfer off site. This information must be provided to the government, which is then obligated to make the information accessible to the public. Examples of existing PRTRs are the Toxic Release Inventory in the USA, or the Emissions Inventory in the Netherlands. PRTR is one of the most cost-effective instruments of environmental policy and, with adequate provisions for public access to information, it is a powerful tool for mobilizing public support for changing consumption and production patterns.

UK local authorities were given responsibilities to regulate air pollution from some 13,000 factories under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. All such factories must be authorised. Authorisations must contain conditions aimed at minimising air pollution using the Best Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEEC). This is the so-called Local Air Pollution Control (LAPC) regime.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions