Using and interpreting data from the National Pollutant Release Inventory


Preliminary NPRI Data is now available for 2023. Preliminary data is available through the NPRI Dashboard and NPRI data search. Reviewed data for previous years is available on our Explore Data page

For technical support to access the data, please email us at


Every year, businesses, institutions and other facilities across Canada must report their releases and disposals of pollutants to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). This information helps the government set environmental priorities and monitor environmental performance. It also allows you to learn about the pollution in your neighbourhood.

The data is published annually and can be accessed through these products:

This guide gives a brief overview of the NPRI and provides information about how to use and interpret its data.

About us

Established in 1993, the NPRI currently collects information on the release, disposal and transfer of more than 320 substances.

Releases are direct discharges of pollutants into the environment (air, water, land).

Disposals manage substances and limit their release. Disposals include landfill, land application and underground injection and can be done at the facility (on-site) or elsewhere (off-site).

Transfers send substances elsewhere for recycling, energy recovery or for treatment before final disposal.

Figure 1 provides more information about the types of releases, disposals and transfers we track.

Figure 1. Categories reportable to the NPRI
Long description

The NPRI tracks four main categories of releases, disposals and transfers.

  1. On-site releases includes:
    1. Air
      • stack or point releases
      • storage or handling releases
      • fugitive releases
      • spills
      • road dust
      • other non-point source releases
    2. Surface waters
      • direct discharges
      • spills
      • leaks
    3. Land
      • spills
      • leaks
      • other releases to land that are not disposals
  2. On-site disposals include:
    1. landfill
    2. land application
    3. underground injection
    4. tailings and waste rock
  3. Off-site transfers for treatment and disposal include:
    1. Treatment prior to final disposal
      • physical
      • chemical
      • biological
      • incineration or thermal where energy is not recovered
      • in a municipal sewage treatment plant
    2. Off-site disposals
      • landfill
      • land application
      • underground injection
      • storage off-site prior to final disposal
      • tailings and waste rock
  4. Off-site transfers for recycling include:
    1. energy recovery
    2. solvents recovery
    3. organic substances (i.e., not solvents) recovery
    4. metals and metal compounds recovery
    5. inorganic materials (i.e., not metals) recovery
    6. acids or bases recovery
    7. catalysts recovery
    8. pollution abatement residues recovery
    9. refining or reuse of used oil
    10. other recovery, reuse or recycling activities

Over 7,000 facilities across Canada report to the NPRI, including:

  • industrial sectors, such as mines, sawmills, and oil and gas facilities
  • treatment plants, such as waste incinerators and large municipal sewage treatment plants
  • service facilities, such as airports and power plants

The NPRI targets facilities employing over 10 employees and facilities carrying out certain specified activities, such as wood preservation and hazardous waste incineration. If they manufacture, process, use or release substances over a certain threshold, they must report their pollution data.

The NPRI does not collect information on the following pollution sources:

  • natural sources, such as forest fires
  • diffuse sources, such as agriculture
  • mobile sources, such as vehicles and aircraft
  • transboundary pollution, such as from neighbouring countries

The NPRI does not collect information on the following substances:

  • substances prohibited or unavailable in Canada
  • substances tracked by other inventories (such as greenhouse gases)
  • substances that do not qualify for addition to the NPRI list

Refer to the reporting guide for the NPRI for details about reporting requirements and substance thresholds.

Evolution of the NPRI

Since creating the NPRI in 1993, we have added and removed substances, reduced reporting thresholds, and removed certain exemptions. These changes help collect more complete and relevant information on pollutants.

Figure 2 shows how changes to the NPRI have changed the number of facilities required to report. For example, adding 7 criteria air contaminants in 2002, and oil and gas facilities in 2003, tripled the number of facilities required to report to the NPRI.

Figure 2. Selected changes in the National Pollutant Release Inventory, 1993–2017
Long description

Graph description:

  • x-axis: reporting year, from 1990 to 2020
  • left Y-axis: number of substances listed in the NPRI, ranging between 0 and 400. The trend is shown as a solid red line
  • right Y-axis: number of facilities reporting to the NPRI, ranging between 0 and 10,000. The trend is shown as a blue dotted line

The graph shows an overall increase in both reporting facilities and NPRI substances:

  • in 1993, the NPRI listed 178 substances. 1,388 facilities reported the first year
  • in 1999, 73 substances were added to the list
  • adding 7 criteria air contaminants in 2002 and oil and gas facilities in 2003 tripled the number of facilities required to report.
  • in 2020, the NPRI listed 305 substances. 8,411 facilities reported that year.

You need to keep these changes to NPRI requirements in mind when you analyze the data, as they can have an impact on annual trends and comparisons between years. Learn more about changes to the program and the substance list over time.

The following new requirements will affect 2020 data:

  • substances have been added to the NPRI list
  • substances have been deleted from the NPRI list
  • new requirements apply to the reporting of Propylene glycol methyl ether acetate (PGMEA)
  • new requirements apply to the reporting of dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene for facilities producing iron ore pellets using an induration furnace
  • update of the toxicity equivalency factors for some dioxin and furan congeners

Other data sources

If the NPRI does not have information on the substance or pollution source you are interested in, it may be available from another government program. Other inventories include:

Using our data  

There is a wealth of data available from the NPRI. This section outlines our data products, as well as things to keep in mind when you analyze the data.

You can access NPRI data in a variety of formats:

  • NPRI data search tool is a quick and easy way to find information about a particular facility
  • NPRI dashboard is an interactive way to visualize the data
  • maps let you explore the data in an intuitive and visual way
  • explore NPRI data are all the files you need for the most advanced analysis

Different ways to analyze the data

You can analyze NPRI data using a number of different variables:

  • time (yearly, monthly or quarterly distribution)
  • substance (Chemicals Abstract Service (CAS) Registry Number or name)
  • industry (NAICS codes)
  • geographic location (latitude and longitude, city, province)
  • type of release, disposal or transfer
  • environmental compartment (air, water, land)

You can also enhance your data analysis by incorporating supporting information, including:

  • company and facility information
  • estimation methods
  • activities that occur at the facility
  • sources categories (for example, fugitive emissions, spills and leaks)
  • reasons for change in reported quantities
  • comments (for example, changes to concentrations, changes to estimation methods)
  • information about stacks at facilities
  • destinations of either releases to water or transfers
  • pollution prevention plans and activities
  • breakdown of volatile organic compounds
  • concentration of substances released to water or contained in tailings and waste rock
  • unit-level information for facilities generating electricity

How to avoid common data analysis mistakes

Use reviewed data

Use reviewed NPRI data. In addition, use reviewed latitude and longitude coordinates, as these may differ from the reported coordinates.

Between June and December, the NPRI data search publishes preliminary unreviewed data to allow facility operators to revisit their pollution reports. Analysis performed during these months using unreviewed data may be affected by reporting errors. These errors become less prevalent once the NPRI team completes its quality control activities in September, and publishes the reviewed data in December.

Data for previous years may change since facilities can correct previously reported data if they find errors or improve their calculation methods. Some facilities may also report late and miss the publication deadline. These updated and late reports will be available publicly the following year.

Understand what zero and no data mean

There are several reasons why facilities can report zeros for quantities:

  •  the reporting criteria were met, but the substance was not released, disposed and transferred
  •  the measured or estimated value of the substance quantity equals to zero
  •  the substance is an acid and was neutralized (pH of 6.0 or greater) before exiting the facility

There are two reasons why facilities can report no data for dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene:

  1.  if the reporting criteria were met, but facilities have no data and cannot find emission factors, they must report “No information available (NI)” in their estimation methods
  2.  if the measured quantity is lower than the level of quantification set by Environment and Climate Change Canada, reporting quantities is optional

The level of quantification (LoQ) is defined in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 as “the lowest concentration that can be accurately measured using sensitive but routine sampling and analytical methods”.

Pay attention to units of measurement

You may find quantities reported in different units of measurement, even for similar substances (like metals) or for the same substance over time. The NPRI uses the following units:

  • tonnes
  • kilograms (kg)
  • grams (g)
  • grams of toxic equivalent (g TEQ)

For data in g TEQ, facilities first submit data in grams (g). We then apply a toxic equivalency factor (a weighting factor that expresses how toxic each dioxin and furan is compared to the most toxic congener) and convert the reported amount to grams of toxic equivalent (g TEQ). We currently use the International Toxicity Equivalency Factors (I-TEF) scheme, created by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization/Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society Working Group on Dioxins and Related Compounds.

Avoid double or triple counting

Some substances are subsets of others. Adding them together may lead to double or triple counting. This section covers the various double-counting issues you may encounter when using NPRI data.

Total reduced sulphur

Total reduced sulphur (TRS) is a gaseous mixture of sulphur compounds that produces a bad odour. The NPRI only tracks releases to air of total reduced sulphur.

The NPRI also tracks other individual sulphur compounds that are subsets of total reduced sulphur:

  • Carbonyl sulphide (COS)
  • Carbon disulphide (CS2)
  • Hydrogen sulphide (H2S)

Figure 3 shows how adding total reduced sulphur and its components together leads to double counting. Depending on the intent of your analysis, you may:

  •  use only TRS values for releases to air
  •  use other individual sulphur compounds for other environmental media
  •  focus on a specific sulphur compound
Figure 3. Example of potential for double counting using total reduced sulphur data
Long description

Figure 3 shows two spreadsheets demonstrating correct and incorrect ways to calculate TRS releases to air:

  • the sheet on the left shows the correct value, a total of 15,523 tonnes. This is the sum of
    • 5,159 tonnes of carbonyl sulphide
    • 4,458 tonnes of carbon disulphide
    • 2,707 tonnes of hydrogen sulphide
    • 3,199 tonnes of other TRS substances
  • the sheet on the right shows an incorrect (double-counted) value, a total of 27,847 tonnes. This is the double-counted sum of
    • 15,523 tonnes of TRS
    • 5,159 tonnes of carbonyl sulphide
    • 4,458 tonnes of carbonyl disulphide
    • 2,707 tonnes of hydrogen sulphide
Particulate matter

Particulate matter consists of microscopic solid and liquid particles, of various origins, that remain suspended in the air for any length of time. The size of those particles largely determines the extent of environmental and health damage caused.

As shown in Figure 4, total particulate matter (TPM) is comprised of any particulate matter with a diameter less than 100 micrometres, including those smaller than 10 and 2.5 micrometres.

Figure 4. Relationship between particulate matter size fractions
Long description

This Euler diagram describes the relationship between the three particulate matter fractions. The total particulate matter or TPM fraction (diameter smaller than 100 micrometres) includes the PM10 fraction (diameter smaller or equal to 10 micrometres). The PM10 fraction includes the PM2.5 fraction (diameter smaller or equal to 2.5 micrometres).

Release thresholds for particulate matter
Particulate matter Reporting thresholds (tonnes)
Total particulate matter (TPM) 20
Particulate matter smaller or equal to 10 micrometres (PM10) 0.5
Particulate matter smaller or equal to 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) 0.3

With this in mind, and depending on the intent of your analysis, you may:

  •  focus on a specific fraction of particulate matter
  •  look only at TPM values
  •  look at all three fractions for each facility and use the largest reported value for a more comprehensive approach, as is done in NPRI reports
Volatile organic compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are precursors to the formation of ground level ozone and ambient particulate matter – the main constituents of smog. Smog is known to have adverse effects on human health and the environment.

The NPRI has over 100 volatile organic compounds listed under different reporting criteria. Facilities may have to report them as:

  • a total of all volatile organic compounds, under Part 4
  • individual compounds (under Parts 1 and 2, and speciated compounds under Part 5)
Figure 5. Relationship between volatile organic compounds fractions
Long description

This Euler diagram describes the relationship between the four groups of volatile organic compounds reported to the NPRI.

Volatile organic compounds (Part 4) include:

  • speciated volatile organic compounds (Part 5)
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Part 2)
  • other volatile organic compounds (Part 1)

The fractions for speciated compounds under Part 5 and the other compounds under Part 1A overlap each other. The overlap represents VOCs in both parts 1 and 5, such as aniline, benzene and chlorobenzene.

The sum of the individual compounds may not equal the total of all volatile organic compounds under Part 4, because:

  • NPRI does not list all existing individual volatile organic compounds
  • facilities do not need to report individual compounds that are below reporting threshold
  • methods used to estimate individual and total compounds vary

Depending on the intent of your analysis, you may:

  • only use Part 4 compounds for a general overview, as is done in NPRI reports
  • use speciated compounds under parts 1, 2 and 5 for a scientific analysis (for example, air quality modelling)
Dioxins and furans

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (dioxins) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (furans) are toxic compounds released primarily as by-products of industrial and combustion processes; they are also found as contaminants in certain pesticides or chlorinated solvents.

The NPRI tracks 17 dioxins and furans. When facilities do not have information on these individual substances, they can report an estimate for the substance group under “Total dioxins and furans”.

Total dioxins and furans may therefore either represent:

  • the sum of all 17 individual substances listed on the NPRI
  • the estimate for the substance group if they don’t have information on the individual substances

Depending on the intent of your analysis, you may either:

  • only use total dioxins and furans for a general overview
  • use individual substance data for a scientific analysis
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic compounds known or suspected of causing cancer. They are by-products of residential wood heating and aluminum smelters. Other sources of PAHs include creosote-treated products, petroleum products spills, coal tars refining and metallurgical and coking plants.

The NPRI tracks over 30 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in parts 1A and 2. When facilities do not have information on these individual hydrocarbons, they can report them under the category “PAHs, total unspeciated”.

If your analysis requires it, you may add all individual PAHs together from all parts (1A, 2 and “PAHs, total unspeciated”), as they represent different substances.

Off-site disposals and transfers for treatment

The NPRI tracks off-site disposals and transfers for treatment prior to disposal. Combining releases, disposals and transfers creates a risk of double counting since the same quantities may be included in more than one report. The follow examples illustrate when this double counting may occur.

  • combining on-site and off-site disposals
    • a chemical manufacturer reported sending 0.012 tonne of nitric acid to a waste management facility for off-site landfill
    • the waste management facility reported 3 tonnes of nitric acid landfilled on-site

In this case, the on-site disposal reported by the waste management facility (3 tonnes) may include the off-site disposal reported by the chemical manufacturer (0.012 tonne).

  • combining releases and transfers
    • a food manufacturer reported sending 17 tonnes of ammonia to a municipal sewage treatment plant (MSTP)
    • that MSTP reported direct releases of 304 tonnes of ammonia to a river

In this case, the releases to water reported by the MSTP (304 tonnes) may include the off-site transfer for treatment (17 tonnes) reported by the food manufacturer.

Interpreting our data

This section contains information on things to keep in mind when you are interpreting NPRI data, including when you are making comparisons between substances and between facilities. It also contains possible rationales for changes that you might observe in the data over time.

Comparing apples to apples

It is important to compare elements similar to one another and to understand their nuances. The NPRI collects information on various substances, including toxic substances and other substances of concern. The environmental impacts vary between substances and affected environments. Reported quantities may also vary between estimation methods, facilities and jurisdictions.

Comparing substances

Different substances pose different hazards

Compare substances with caution and avoid adding them together. Those tracked by the NPRI have distinct physical and chemical properties and they vary in toxicity. A small release of a highly toxic substance like mercury may be a bigger concern than a larger release of a less toxic one.

Toxic substances

The NPRI tracks certain substances listed on the Toxic Substances List of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Regulations, guidelines, codes of practice and other instruments are used to manage risks and impacts to the environment.

Condensable and filterable particulate matter

While the NPRI only requires information on filterable particulate matter (PM), you may also find data on condensable PM because:

  • some estimation methods may include both types
  • the facility used an estimation method for condensable PM instead of the filterable type

Volatile organic compounds

Facilities must report volatile organic compounds (VOC) based on the total mass emitted for a given year. However, as emission factors for some sources may only estimate the carbon portion of the release, facilities may have to report VOCs on “as-carbon” basis. In this case, facilities will report smaller quantities and must include a comment to this effect in their report.

Comparing environmental compartments

Environmental compartments refer to air, water and land. Releases, disposals and transfers affect these environmental compartments in different ways. For example, pollutants released in the air will move through the environment differently and have different effects from those released to water or soil. As well, substances transferred for disposal or recycling to an off-site facility may have a stronger impact on the destination facility and along the route taken to reach it than at the facility of origin.

As such, you should analyze releases separately from disposals and transfers. Physical and chemical properties also influence compartments differently.

On-site releases

Facilities must report releases to air, water and land separately. However, they can report releases of Part 1A substances that are smaller than one tonne as “releases to unspecified media”.

Releases to land and on-site disposals

Releases to land and on-site disposals are different categories. There are pollution mitigation measures for on-site disposals, but not for releases to land.

Examples of releases to land include:

  • spills of solvents on factory floors
  • use of a de-icing agent containing ethylene glycol on aircrafts
  • accumulation of metal casings at shooting ranges

On-site disposals include:

  • landfill (burying waste on permitted landfills designed under strict guidelines)
  • land application (application of wastes such as biosolids, biogas residues, wood ash, cement dust to agricultural lands and other soils)
  • underground injection (injecting waste into known geological formations)
  • tailings and waste rock

Tailings and waste rock

Tailings and waste rock are by-products of mining activities. NPRI started tracking the disposal of substances in tailings and waste rock for the 2006 reporting year.

Figure 6. Disposals reported to the National Pollutant Release Inventory, 2002–2017
Long description

Graph description:

  • x-axis: reporting year ranging between 2002 and 2017
  • y-axis: reported quantities in tonnes, ranging between 0 and 1,500,000, shown as bars
    • bottom bars represent disposals, except tailings and waste rock
    • top bars represent tailings and waste rock

The graph shows an overall increase in reported quantities:

  • between 2002 and 2005, the NPRI tracked disposals other than tailings and waste rock
  • since 2006, the NPRI started tracking tailings and waste rock
  • between 2006 and 2017, the quantities of substances in tailings and waste rock increased and other disposals quantities decreased

To help you understand tailings and waste rock, you should keep the following in mind:

  • concentration data is available
    • facilities must report the concentration of the NPRI-listed substances in tailings and waste rock that they dispose of
    • this information is searchable by facility and substance using the NPRI data search
  • facilities may report negative values
    • the disposal of mined materials in a waste rock or tailings management area may not be final
    • if market prices rise, it may become profitable to “mine” or reprocess previously discarded materials that contain NPRI substances
  • differences in geology and in mine types can explain variations:
    • ore from one mine may have high concentrations of arsenic and low concentrations of lead. A similar mine at another location might have little arsenic and more lead

We do not collect disposal data on substances contained in inert materials, as they are not released in the environment. They include:

  • overburden (unconsolidated materials overlying the ore deposit or bitumen, including, but not limited to, soil, glacial deposits, sand and sediment)
  • inert components in tailings
  • inert waste rock
  • products

Find more information on these exclusions in the guidance for reporting tailings and waste rock. Learn more on how government and industry manage environmental concerns from tailings and waste rock.

Comparing estimation methods

Facilities can use anyof the methods below to calculate substance quantities:

  • continuous emission monitoring systems or CEMS (M1) record emissions over an extended and uninterrupted period
  • predictive emission monitoring (M2) correlates substance emission rates with process parameters
  • source testing (M3) involves calculating concentrations with samples collected
  • mass balance (C) calculates releases based on the accounting of all input and output materials in a process
  • site-specific emission factors (E1) relate activities with releases (these are developed by individual facilities)
  • published emission factors (E2) relate activities with releases (these are developed by government entities or industry associations)
  • engineering estimates (O) use engineering principles, chemical and physical processes and laws, as well as the design features of the source

Accuracy may vary between methods and will depend on many factors:

  • whether the method or information been validated?
  • whether the facility considered all operating conditions in the estimates?
  • the emission factor’s data quality ranking?

In general, continuous emission monitoring systems that are properly calibrated are the most accurate, while engineering estimates based solely on judgement are the least accurate.Footnote 1  

Also, keep in mind that calculation methods can differ when you are comparing the following:

  • reports from different years
  • facilities of the same industry type
  • substances within the same report
  • categories of releases, disposals and transfers within the same report

Comparing facilities

The processes or raw materials used to complete the same activity can vary between facilities.

For example, power plants use different fuels and sources of energy to generate electricity. Different processes release different pollutants to the environment. As such, coal-powered generating plants release mostly sulphur dioxide, while diesel-powered plants release mostly nitrogen oxides.

Comparing with other pollutant registers

Other countries have inventories similar to the NPRI. NPRI and data may not be directly comparable between them because reporting requirements (thresholds, exclusions and substance lists) differ. For example, the NPRI covers more sectors than the United States Toxics Release Inventory.

To explore the pollutant inventories of Canada, Mexico and the United States, visit Taking Stock. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) hosts this platform, which continues to work on improving their comparability.

To explore other countries’ pollutant inventories, visit the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) website.

Understanding changes

Drivers of change in pollutant trends can be internal (at the facility) or external (regulations and other requirements). We collect information on concentrations and estimation methods to help understand those changes.

Events or changes at facilities

Events or changes at facilities can alter facility data values. Some examples of changes that may affect reported quantities include:

  • changes in production levels
  • upgrades to operating practices
  • plant expansions
  • change of ownership
  • temporary or permanent closures
  • pollution prevention measures
  • accidental releases

Regulations and other requirements

Refer to the section Evolution of the NPRI to understand how NPRI requirements have changed over time. In addition, other federal, provincial and municipal governments may also have an effect when they:

  • prescribe the methodology used to estimate pollutant releases
  • create pollution mitigation tools to reduce emissions
  • identify potential new facilities that could be subject to NPRI requirements

Concentrations and method detection limit

The concentration describes the proportion of a substance in either a volume of effluent or a mass of materials. This helps to inform whether large quantities of pollutants come from high concentrations of pollutants or large volumes of effluents or large masses of materials (for example., mineral ore).

You can find concentrations data for the following categories:

  • direct discharges to water
  • tailings
  • waste rock

If measured concentrations of a substance are below the method detection limit (MDL), its smallest detectable concentration, the substance may still be present despite being undetected. In this case, facilities estimate quantities using a concentration of one-half of the MDL.

Evaluating risks

NPRI data is not enough to assess the risks and impacts posed by pollution to the environment and human health. You can combine it with information from other sources and consider factors such as:

  • inherent toxicity
  • physical and chemical properties (such as, persistence, bioaccumulation)
  • the medium (air, land or water) affected by the substance released
  • transport and transformation (movement, breakdown) pathways
  • amount, timing, nature and level of exposure

The Canadian government assesses broader health and environmental risks through initiatives like the Chemicals Management Plan.

Our method

We use the following assumptions and considerations to guide our analyses and public reports.

Use of reviewed data

We use reviewed data for public reports and indicates at which date we obtained the data from the reporting system. Reviewed latitude and longitude coordinates are used for the maps.

Significant figures and rounding

Values, as reported by the facilities, are published on the Open Data Portal and are not rounded.

The NPRI data search tool and data highlights display values using the following rules:

  • over 10: no decimal
  • between 1 and 10: one decimal
  • less than 1: three decimals

Keep in mind that totals in texts, charts and tables may not add up due to rounding.

Negative values

In this guide, we discussed how facilities report the removal of tailings and waste rock as negative values. For our analyses and reports, we use the net value for disposals.

Number of facilities

The total number of reporting facilities in data highlights, sector overviews and other information products excludes (unless stated otherwise):

  • facilities only reporting their closure
  • facilities that reported they did not meet the NPRI requirements

Substance considerations

Analyses on criteria air contaminants (CACs) include the following 5 air pollutants:

  • particulate matter
  • carbon monoxide
  • nitrogen oxides
  • sulphur dioxide
  • volatile organic compounds

While ammonia is a CAC, the NPRI excludes it from its CAC analyses. Its substance listing is different from the other air pollutants mentioned above and therefore, the data elements collected are different.

In this guide, we discussed various strategies on how to avoid double counting using the NPRI. These are the following methods we use in our analyses and public reports:

  • total reduced sulphur we use total reduced sulphur for releases to air, and use carbonyl sulphur, carbon disulphide and hydrogen sulphide for other categories of releases, disposals and transfers
  • particulate matter we use the largest reported value between total particulate matter, PM10 and PM2.5 for each facility. Direct air releases of particulate matter include road dust emissions
  • volatile organic compounds we use Part 4 VOCs for a general overview
  • dioxins and furans we use total dioxins and furans for a general overview

Industry classification

The NPRI uses the most recent NAICS codes available to define industry sectors. The classification may vary from one report to another.

Table 2. Industry classification used in Data Highlights
Sector NAICS
Electricity 2211
Manufacturing 31,32 and 33
Mining and quarrying 212
Oil and gas extraction 211
Other sectors All other codes not discussed above


Table 3. Industry classification generally used in other analyses and data products
Sector NAICS
Aluminum 3313
Cement, lime and other non-metallic minerals 327
Chemicals 325
Electricity 2211
Iron and steel 331514 and 331511
Metals (except aluminum, and iron and steel) 3314, 331529 and 331523
Mining and quarrying 212
Oil and gas extraction (excluding oil sands) 211110 (2017) 211113 (2012)
Oil and gas pipelines and storage 221210, 412 and 486
Oil sands 211142 and 211141 (2017) 211114 (2012)
Petroleum and coal product refining and manufacturing 324
Plastics and rubber 326
Pulp and paper 322, except 322230
Transportation equipment manufacturing 336 and 415190
Waste treatment and disposal 562
Water and wastewater systems 221320 and 221310
Wood products 321
Other manufacturing All other 31, 32 and 33 codes not discussed above
Other (except manufacturing) All other codes not discussed above
Contact us

Contact the NPRI if you think there are data errors, you need help for your projects or you have any other questions. We strive to improve the quality of our data and ask facilities to verify or update reports when potential errors are detected. These errors can include the following:

  • incorrect reporting units (for example, reporting in kilograms instead of tonnes)
  • decimal errors
  • omitting a substance or the source of a release
  • incorrect reference data or assumptions for calculations (for example, reporting quantities manufactured, processed or used instead of quantities released)
  • inaccurate geographical coordinates
  • inaccurate industry codes

National Pollutant Release Inventory
Environment and Climate Change Canada
5th Floor, Place Vincent Massey
351 St-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau, Québec K1A 0H3

Telephone: 1-877-877-8375
Fax: 819-938-5236

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