Process for proposing and considering changes to National Pollutant Release Inventory: chapter 1

1. Introduction

The NPRI is Canada's legislated, publicly-accessible inventory of pollutant releases (to air, water and land), disposals and transfers for recycling. It supports a wide number of environmental initiatives, including pollution prevention and abatement.  More details on the purpose of the NPRI are described on the NPRI website.

The NPRI is one of a number of information gathering tools available to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Keeping in mind the scope of the NPRI, as well as evolving progress and knowledge about pollutants in Canada, there are a variety of potential drivers for changes to the NPRI, including (but not limited to):

  • Ensuring that the NPRI substance list and reporting thresholds are appropriate for gathering data on pollutant releases in Canada;
  • Ensuring that the NPRI substance list and reporting thresholds, and information collected, meet proponent (and other users) needs. For example:
    • supporting the risk management of substances,
    • supporting the development of other pollutant inventories (such as the Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory), and related international reporting commitments,
    • supporting international initiatives such as the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Action Plan to Enhance the Comparability of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) in North America, which aims to enhance the comparability of the NPRI with other PRTRs such as the U.S. Toxics Release Inventory, where such alignment would also be in the Canadian interest and appropriate, and
    • adapting to input received from the community of NPRI stakeholders, reporters and data users and other parties;
  • Strategic alignment opportunities between the NPRI and other ECCC programs such as the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) where appropriate; and
  • Consideration of substances on the List of Toxic Substances [Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), Schedule 1] that are released by facilities.

This document presents:

  • Guidance on how to propose changes to the NPRI program;
  • A summary of the considerations to determine if NPRI is the right information gathering tool for the data needs and to determine whether a proposed change to the NPRI is warranted; and
  • A description of the consultation process used by ECCC when considering changes to the NPRI (including communications with the change proponent).

The process for proposing and considering changes to  the NPRI has been developed with the assistance of members of the NPRI multi-stakeholder work group and is intended to support the Guidelines for the use of information gathering authorities under Section 46 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). This document is based on, and replaces Modifying the NPRI: A guide to the procedures to follow when submitting proposals and a description of the stakeholder consultation process (2001) and the draft Framework for listing/delisting of substances at an alternate threshold in the NPRI (2008).

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