Review confirms the need to reduce pollution from industrial installations

Emissions of certain industrial pollutants in the European Union are still increasing, according to a review published earlier this week by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency.

This second report marks the first comprehensive report of emissions data for industrial pollutants in 25 EU Member States and Norway.

The review reveals that about two-thirds of the 50 air and water industrial pollutants have been decreasing. These include nitrogen pollutants released into water bodies (-14.5%), the various types of phosphorus (-12%), and the emissions of dioxins/furans (-22.5%) into the atmosphere.

An upward trend can be observed in emissions of certain pollutants, such as carbon dioxide which increased by 5.7% between 2001 and 2004.

EPER is a register of the emissions produced by large and medium-sized industrial facilities, covering 50 air and water pollutants with data from facilities in all EU Member States. The register groups information by information including pollutant, sector, or by country.

Professor Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EEA, said: “EPER allows us to analyse and present point source information on pollution across the EU and make this information available to the citizens of Europe.

“We see EPER as a stepping stone for the future European Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, an important information source for all within the Shared Environmental Information System for Europe.”

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that by Member States reporting their emissions on time, the EPER is a valuable tool in showing how industrial pollution data serves as an important policy-making tool in the field of pollution prevention and control.

Dimas added: “However, this report shows that Member States need to do more to combat industrial pollution.”

Moving forward, the EPER will be replaced by the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (European PRTR), and will be published in 2009 based on 2007 data.

The PRTR will cover more than 91 substances from industrial installations in 65 different fields of economic activity in addition to releases from diffuse sources such as road traffic, domestic heating and agriculture.

The European Pollutant Emission Register can be viewed at

Dana Gornitzki

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