Report of Seminar on
Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs)
September 13-14, 2004 – Gatineau, Quebec
From September 13-14 officials from Chile and Canada met in Ottawa to discuss the potential implementation of some features and technical aspects of Canada’s PRTR, the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). To this end, Ms. Cecilia Soto and Mr. Gonzalo Asencio, officials of the Chilean CONAMA, visited Canada. These meetings are part of the cooperative activities under the theme “Enforcement and Compliance in Environmental Legislation” section of the 4th work programme of the Canada-Chile Commission on Environmental Cooperation.
Beth Rohr, Senior Policy Advisor at the Americas Branch of Environment Canada, welcomed the Chilean guests to Ottawa and initiated a round of introductions. She explained that this discussion builds on a workshop held in Santiago in May of 2002 and the work Chile is undertaking with the US and UNITAR.
Mr. François Lavallée, Chief of Canada’s NPRI, gave an overview of the establishment, implementation, enabling legislation and current drivers of Canada’s NPRI. Mr. Lavallée also provided a presentation on the criteria used to determine which chemicals are selected to be subject to reporting. Furthermore, Mr. Lavallée explained Canadian activities on sector specific guidance and compliance promotion. Finally, Mr. Lavallée described the methods used to increase the confidence of public and government in the data submitted, and methodologies used to prepare NPRI data for various audiences.
Gonzalo Asencio, member of the Chilean Environmental National Commission (CONAMA), provided a progress report of Chile’s Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes (RETC).
Debbie Joanisse, Chief of Information Systems within the Pollution Data Branch of Environment Canada, provided an introduction to the systems used for reporting of NPRI data. The first day of meetings came to an end with a presentation made by Mr. Jaziel Sotomayor regarding the NPRI’s initiatives to undertake public outreach and disseminate the NPRI data.
On the second day, Justyna Laurie-Lean, representative of the Mining Association of Canada, provided a presentation on her association’s perspectives regarding the reporting of pollutant release and transfer information, and the NPRI in particular. Following Ms. Laurie-Lean’s presentation, Mr. Rick Findlay, from Pollution Probe (a Canadian environmental NGO) offered a presentation on a pilot project that provides integrated information, on air and water pollution and related environmental issues, through a single website interface.
Mr. Bruce Caswell, representative of the Canadian Chemical Producer’s Association, provided an overview of concepts such as “Responsible Care” (providing the public with information regarding the risks of operations and products) and other strategies regarding the management of information on pollutants. Finally, Ms. Jolanta Rasteniene, of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, detailed her organization’s activities to disseminate information from the NPRI and their role in the NPRI Advisory Group.
- Date Modified: