National Pollutant Release Inventory for Canada: final report, chapter 4


The Committee has agreed on the following statement of purpose for the NPRI:

Substances released into the environment have the potential to adversely affect human health and the environment. The purpose of the National Pollutant Release Inventory should be to provide comprehensive, national data on releases of specified substances to air, water and land.

To be nationally significant, the NPRI should include the major releases from all Canadian sectors--industrial, transportation, government, commercial and others--and be harmonized to meet local, regional, provincial and federal government needs. Data collection and management should be done in a cost-effective manner. Release data should be easily accessible to the public.

The inventory should support a wide number of environmental initiatives, including pollution prevention and abatement. It should help to:

  1. Identify priorities for action. Knowledge of the substances released into the environment is necessary to identify priorities for action.

  2. Encourage voluntary action to reduce releases. The availability of data will encourage emitters to be proactive in reducing releases.

  3. Allow tracking of progress in reducing releases. To monitor progress effectively, industry, society and governments require a readily available inventory that is regularly updated.

  4. Improve public understanding. The public should have the right to information on substances released to the environment.

  5. Support targeted regulatory initiatives. The availability of data should help governments to target their programs in the most effective manner.
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