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2015 Summary Report: Reviewed Facility-Reported Data

9. Technical Notes

The following are the specific assumptions and considerations taken into account by Environment and Climate Change Canada for analysis purposes in this report:

  • This NPRI summary report is based on data reported by facilities as of September 29, 2016. In some cases, facilities submitted or updated their data after this date, and these reports and updates will not be reflected in the analysis for this report. Environment and Climate Change Canada has conducted a number of data quality control checks on the data submitted by facilities, to examine completeness, data integrity, and compliance with mandatory reporting requirements. This process is ongoing, and additional reported information may be flagged for follow-up with reporting facilities. It should be noted that the data provided in this report are for information purposes only. Any interpretation of the data must consider the possible presence of estimation, calculation, or input errors made by facilities.
  • Some of the totals reflected in the text, charts and tables may not add due to rounding.
  • In total, 7,284 facilities reported one or more substances to the NPRI for 2015.  This number does not include facilities that reported only that they closed or did not meet the NPRI requirements. Facilities that reported manufacturing, processing or using one or more substances for the previous year are required to notify Environment and Climate Change Canada if they no longer meet the reporting requirementsthe following year. Changes in ownership or the closure of a facility must also be reported to the NPRI.  These types of reports are not included in this Summary report; however, they are available to the public through the NPRI online data search and downloadable databases.
  • Total reduced sulphur (TRS) was added to the NPRI substance list for the 2007 reporting year due to concerns about its impact on air quality. Total reduced sulphur consists of six individual substances, three of which (hydrogen sulphide [H2S], carbon disulphide [CS2] and carbonyl sulphide [COS]) are also listed individually in the NPRI substance list. Therefore, there is a potential for “double counting” if data on total reduced sulphur and the individual substances are combined. To avoid double counting, the three individual substances were excluded for the analysis of releases to air, whereas total reduced sulphur was excluded for the analysis of releases to other media and of quantities disposed of or transferred. In 2014, changes were made to the reporting criteria for TRS: only releases to air of this substance are now reportable to the NPRI. However, the possibility of double counting still exists: the individual substances comprising the above-mentioned TRS are excluded from the analysis of releases to air.
  • Information on the geographic location of facilities includes adjustments for facilities that reported mailing addresses and/or latitude and longitude coordinates that differ from their actual physical location.
  • The following five air pollutants are included in the analysis for Criteria Air Contaminants (CACs): total particulate matter (TPM), carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (expressed as NO2), sulphur dioxide and volatile organic compounds. These CACs are listed under Part 4 of the NPRI substance list and were added starting with the 2002 reporting year. Ammonia released to air can also be considered a CAC, but it is included under the category of “Direct Releases to Air, Water and Land (Excluding CACs)”, given that it is also released to water in large quantities.
  • When calculating total direct air releases for particulate matter, road dust emissions were included. To avoid double or triple counting of particulate matter, only the largest reported value between TPM, PM10, and PM2.5 for each facility was used. PM10 and PM2.5 have lower reporting thresholds (0.5 tonnes for PM10 and 0.3 tonnes for PM2.5) compared to the 20 tonne threshold for TPM: in certain cases, a facility may have reported only PM10 and/or PM2.5 and not have met the reporting criteria for TPM.
  • Facilities reporting releases of less than one tonne of a Part 1A substance are not required to report the specific media of the release (i.e. to air, water or land). In these cases, they have the option to report only a value for total releases: they are described in this report as “releases to non-specified media.” For a given Part 1A substance, therefore, total releases reported to the NPRI may be larger than the sum of reported releases to air, water and land.
  • In this report, industrial sectors are based on Statistics Canada’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). They are broken down in Table 9-1.
  • Table 9-1 NAICS codes used extensively in this report
    SectorNAICS codeNAICS description
    Electricity2211Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
    Manufacturing31, 32 and 33Manufacturing
    Mining and quarrying212Mining and quarrying (except oil and gas)
    Oil and gas extraction211Oil and gas extraction
    Other sectorsAll other codes not discussed aboveNot applicable

    Sectors at the 4-digit or the 6-digit NAICS code level may be used to provide additional context.

  • Facilities may report negative values for substances contained in waste rock or tailings. Reporting of a negative value for waste rock or tailings indicates that the quantity of a substance removed from the management area exceeded the quantity of the substance deposited in that area for a given year. Total amounts for disposals may vary depending on whether the negative values are considered.
  • For more detailed information on the potential for double counting, negative values for tailings and other points concerning data analysis, please consult the Guide for Using and Interpreting National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Data web page.
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