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Workshop -- Launch of the First Report of the Chilean PRTR Alain Chung, Environment Canada Santiago, Chile – November 28, 2007
Topics to be Covered • Brief overview of the Canadian PRTR system • The importance of data quality • Canadian experiences with data quality improvement (quality assurance and quality control) • PRTR in the Americas Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Overview of the Canadian PRTR • Canada’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) has two main components: • The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) is an annual, publicly-accessible database of information on pollutants released to the environment, or transferred for disposal or recycling, by industrial facilities in Canada. • For selected substances, Comprehensive Air Emissions Inventories are compiled, which include government estimations of emissions from both industrial and area sources (small and large industry, transportation, agriculture, etc). Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
The NPRI and Comprehensive Inventories are important tools to support the government’s clean air and water priorities…. Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Comprehensive Air Emission Inventories National Air Pollution Surveillance Network (NAPS) + • Ambient air quality measurement at ~290 monitoring stations in over 175 communities across Canada. • (Ambient air quality is affected by both domestic & international emission sources) • NPRI data for most industrial sources of key air pollutants, plus air emission estimates—based on economic, statistical and other data—for sources not reported to the NPRI (e.g. residential, transportation, forest fires, agriculture) • Air only • Annual reporting to EC by over 8,000 industrial & commercial facilities on releases, disposal and recycling of 300+ toxic, smog forming and other pollutants. • Air, water and land Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Importance of Data Quality • A PRTR must contain accurate and credible data for it to be useful to inform citizens and support decision making • Data quality should be a consideration during all PRTR activities (consultation, annual notice of reporting requirements, guidance materials and tools, reporting software, quality control checks, database management procedures) • One option is the implementation of a Quality Management System (which NPRI is in the process of doing) Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
6 Principles for Data Quality • The following are 6 Principles that guide Canada’s data quality efforts: • Completeness • Consistency • Comparability • Accuracy • Transparency • On-site Inspection • (See the background for more details on these) Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Data Quality Goals • Ensure NPRI data quality meets the needs of key users and assist decision making by: • Implementing quality assurance program to improve overall data quality and ensure continuous improvement • Increasing the confidence level of public and government in the data submitted by industry • Ensuring that the information collected meets the needs of key users • Providing information to support development of regulations • Data Quality Improvement Efforts take place both: • Before the data is submitted (Quality Assurance) • During submission of the data (Quality Assurance) • After the data is submitted (Quality Control) Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Improving Data Quality – Quality Assurance (1) • There is a role for governments to provide guidance and tools to reporting facilities, to facilitate their reporting and produce better data. • NPRI provides assistance to reporting facilities and potential reporters through: • guidance documents – both general and sector-specific; • annual workshops for reporting facilities; • tools to help estimate releases; • brochures to facilities that may meet new requirements; and • Toll-free phone number to answer questions. • Providing an electronic reporting system also helps to reduce errors: • Built-in data-quality checks; and • Reduces data entry errors. Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Improving Data Quality – Quality Assurance (2) • Detailed sector-specific or substance-specific assessments can identify areas for which work to improve data quality is needed • examine consistency of reporting for similar facilities/processes • work with government experts and industry associations to leverage their expertise • This work will help to identify areas which require improvement, to focus quality assurance activities Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Improving Data Quality – Quality Assurance (3) • For key sectors, or those with identified quality concerns, Canada’s approach is to work with industry associations and government experts to enhance sector-specific Guidance • Provide effective and focussed guidance (e.g., tools methodologies and associated guidance documents) to ensure reported data are transparent, consistent, complete and accurate • Implement facility inspections dealing with data quality (the inspection activities, based on priorities, would allow us to perform reality check (e.g., how reliable is the submitted data and the timeliness) • Perform measurements for key sources to supplement outdated information and improve emission factors Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Improving Data Quality – Quality Assurance (4) • The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Task Force on PRTRs has developed a number of useful materials/tools: • Resource Centre for Release Estimation Techniques: provides documents from many OECD countries and International Organizations, which can be useful to develop and provide. • Document entitled“Considerations for Ensuring Quality PRTR Data”: provides information and best practices on all aspects of data quality – will be available soon • These are available at the OECD PRTR Website:http://webdomino1.oecd.org/COMNET/ENV/tf-prtr.nsf Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Improving Data Quality – Quality Control • NPRI relies on facilities to submit accurate data • Facilities are expected to make a reasonable effort to obtain a best estimate. • Acceptable methods to estimate releases include monitoring, mass balance calculations, emission factors and engineering estimates. • Once data received, quality control checks are done • automated process to identify questionable data (large increase or decrease from previous year, potential incorrect units, etc) • Facilities are asked confirm/correct any data identified as questionable • Also important to maintain quality of supporting facility information • facility names, sector codes, parent company, location Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
PRTR in the Americas • Canada supports the adoption of PRTRs throughout the Americas: • Conference of the Americas on PRTRs (Mexico City, April 2004) to raise awareness of PRTRs • Although monetary resources are limited, Canada will continue to provide technical and other support to the best of its abilities • Countries such as Chile, who have moved forward with PRTR implementation, are a great example to other countries in the Americas. • We commend you for your efforts!! Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Background Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
6 Principles to Guide Data Quality • Completeness Agreed methods or approaches for estimation or measurement and reporting of all NPRI emissions from the major sources at the reporting facilities • Consistency Protocols (methods) for estimating or measuring emissions should be consistent within a sector and over time 3. Comparability Across sectors, emissions from similar equipment or processes should be determined using comparable methods Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
6 Principles to Guide Data Quality (2) 4. Accuracy Reported emissions are systematically neither over nor under true emissions…uncertainties are reduced as far as practicable 5. Transparency Emissions inventories are compiled using documented, publicly-available methods and procedures. Internal documents are maintained by the reporter to provide a reliable repository and a paper trail to enable the reproduction of emissions under audit or as necessary, by qualified persons. • Facility Inspection Based on sector-specific analysis, carry out facility inspection to ensure the quality of the reported information to the NPRI meet above stated data quality attributes Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Importance of Canada’s PRTR • Information on pollution, such as that provided through a PRTR, is valuable to: • Identify priorities for action • Allow tracking of progress in reducing releases and transfers • Support targeted regulatory initiatives • Improve public understanding of pollutant sources and engage civil society in decision-making • Encourage voluntary action to reduce releases and transfers Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Development of the NPRI • Reporting requirements were established in 1992 by a multi-stakeholder advisory committee, with representatives from industry, environmental organizations and governments. • Original NPRI list of substances was derived through stakeholder consultation. In 1993, the first reporting year, 178 substances were listed. • Development of initial NPRI took into account priorities and what was achievable, and has expanded to meet needs - currently over 300 substances. • Reporting to NPRI, in accordance with the annual notification, is mandatory under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Scope of Reporting for NPRI • NPRI includes point-source information on toxic substances, smog pollutants and other substances of concern from industrial facilities (manufacturing, metal smelters, power plants, sewage treatment, etc.). • Facilities that employ 10 or more employees are subject to reporting, unless specifically exempt. • Such facilities must report for each substance manufactured, processed or used above the appropriate threshold (usually 10 tonnes, but lower for priority substances). • For each substance above threshold, facilities report the amount released (air, water, land) and transferred (disposal and recycling) and other information. Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
Comprehensive Inventories • For various substances, Comprehensive Air Emissions Inventories are compiled by Canadian governments: • include estimations of emissions from all sources (small and large industry, transportation, agriculture, home heating, forest fires, etc). • allow Canada to comply with reporting obligations of various domestic and international agreements and programs • Inventories compiled for: • air pollutants that contribute to smog and acid rain; • heavy metals (mercury and cadmium); • selected persistent organic pollutants (dioxins/furans, hexachlorobenzene) Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007
PRTR in North America • The North American Commission for Environmental Co-operation (CEC) was established in 1994: • under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico; • to address potential environmental concerns under NAFTA and promote environmental co-operation in the region. • The CEC’s involvement with PRTRs takes two forms: • “Taking Stock” analysis and reports; and • Action Plan to enhance the comparability of North American PRTRs. Chile PRTR Workshop November 28, 2007