2008 data available on UK pollution inventory

The government has updated the UK pollutant release and transfer register with data from 2008

The government has updated the UK pollutant release and transfer register (UK PRTR) with data from 2008.1

The website hosts data on industrial emissions of 91 substances to air, water and land, and also covers waste transfers. All must pass beyond certain thresholds to be reportable. The website was launched a year ago, carrying data for 2007 alone (ENDS Report 418, p 43).

Google Earth can now be used to view the data. The government hopes this will encourage its use.2 The website also offers a map of sites that have reported data.

The updated information will also be available on the European PRTR by the end of June.3 This covers emissions and waste transfers in European Economic Area nations and was launched last November. Switzerland decided to join last month.

A review of the European and UK registers by ENDS in the spring found invalid data (ENDS Report 421, pp 25-26). An Italian landfill site had vastly overstated emissions of methane, while a County Durham car chassis plant falsely reported impossibly big emissions of dioxins.

The 2008 UK data appear to be more reliable, perhaps due to improved guidance given to council data providers earlier this year.