Social benefits of pollutant release transfer registers prtrs
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Social Benefits of Pollutant Release Transfer Registers (PRTRs): PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Social Benefits of Pollutant Release Transfer Registers (PRTRs):. Canadian NGO perspectives and examples Santiago, Chile May 29, 2002. Pollution Probe. Respected Canadian environmental NGO with 30 year track record

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Social Benefits of Pollutant Release Transfer Registers (PRTRs):

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Social Benefits of Pollutant Release Transfer Registers (PRTRs):

Canadian NGO perspectives

and examples

Santiago, Chile

May 29, 2002

Pollution Probe

  • Respected Canadian environmental NGO with 30 year track record

  • Seeks to represent the needs of society as distinct from the needs of particular interested parties

  • Projects are built on partnerships and focus on finding practical environmental solutions

  • Supports right-to-know programs and multi-stakeholder approaches

Strategic shift in approach to environmental management

  • Recognition of limits of traditional “command and control” approaches

  • Principle of acceptance and engagement

  • Public is seen as a “critical lever” in achieving better environmental outcomes

Shift in approach (continued)

Transparent reporting programs are seen to help put public pressure on members of the regulated community, and to drive the transition of companies, industries, and economies towards continuous environmental improvement

PRTR an essential tool because:

  • Increasing emphasis on pollution prevention

  • Growing recognition of the health and environmental impacts of environmental releases

Social and environmental benefits of PRTRs

  • PRTRs are part of the foundation for building a sound environmental management system

  • An integral part of an “infrastructure for sustainability”

Canadian approach

NPRI has the potential to benefit many stakeholders and was developed accordingly through a national partnership

Benefits to the private sector

  • Help to achieve sound environmental and business management

  • Help set priorities for action

  • Help engage and build trust with the public

Benefits to government

  • Help track progress on emissions

  • Help identify priorities for action

  • Help meet international reporting requirements

    • A cost effective approach to compliance monitoring

Benefits to NGOs

  • Helps build capacity for engaging communities

  • Helps provide tools for dialogue with communities and other stakeholders

Roles of NGOs

  • NGOs can take a leadership role in developing effective national partnerships

  • NGOs can work closely with industry to make sure important information (not just release data) is made publicly available

  • NGOs can work with industry and government to make sure that communities understand this information

Benefits to the general public

  • Supports the principle of the community’s right-to-know

  • Helps the public to understand facility-specific emissions

    • Helps the public to make informed decisions on environmental issues and priorities

NGO Capacity

  • Need a healthy, positive, adequately resourced NGO community

  • NGOs need to be able to represent the needs of the general public

  • NGOs are an important part of the environmental management solution

Examples of civil society use of NPRI

1) Public awareness

2) Advocacy

3) Dialogue

4) Action

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy

Mapping Pollution Hot Spots in Canada

Next Steps in Canada

  • NPRI is a data cornerstone

  • Pollution Probe is working on a “next-generation” environment and health information project, linking data and information from:

    • Governments at all levels (in 2 countries)

    • Industry


  • want to maximize the usefulness of lots of undervalued data, build on and apply the work of others (SOE, indicators of sustainability, etc), integrate information so it becomes more contextual, use the latest technology to help us do all this (software, internet)

In Conclusion

  • The PRTR is an important component of a community’s environmental information needs

  • PRTR Data as well as complementary Data should be provided in a form that enables interpretation in a context that is relevant to individuals, where theylive

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