UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Releases Set to Enter into Force

© UNECE17 July 2009: The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (or Aarhus Convention), is set to enter into force on 8 October 2009, following France's ratification, which was deposited with the UN Secretary-General on 10 July 2009.

Pollutant release and transfer registers are inventories of pollutants from industrial sites, but also smaller, widespread sources such as traffic, agriculture and small and medium-sized enterprises. Under the Protocol, facilities will be required to report annually on the amounts of certain pollutants they release to the environment or transfer to other facilities. The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers will help identify the biggest polluters in communities across Europe. The Protocol also covers facilities releasing large quantities of greenhouse gases known to contribute to global warming.

The EU's 27 member States are expected to release their first annual reports on the release and transfer of the Protocol's list of pollutants on 30 September 2009. [UNECE Press Release]