The history of the creation of a PRTR
For many residents of our country, the term PRTR is not familiar. What does it mean and what is the use of its creation? What information should industrial enterprises provide for PRTRs? Who oversees his work?
We have prepared for you a series of information blocks that will tell you about the history of the term, the world practice and the steps taken by Kazakhstan to create the Register.
The idea of creating a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register first appeared in the United States after a tragic accident in India
This is the largest catastrophe for the entire development of the chemical industry. Thirty years ago, on the night of December 2, 1984, a terrible technogenic catastrophe occurred at the pesticide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal. The cause of the disaster to date has not been formally established. As a result of the reaction with 42 tons of isocyanic acid methyl ester, the temperature and pressure rose so much that a large amount of gas began to escape into the air with the content of methyl ether, phosgene, hydrogen cyanide and other chemicals.
A light wind with a speed of 5 km / h carried steam escaping from the reservoir. Because of the cool weather, a cloud of vapor spread over the ground. As a result, a lethal cloud up to 5 meters thick covered the urban areas of 40 square km. meters.
Local residents woke up with a feeling of heat in the throat and eyes. As a result, only in the first hours and days, about 4000 people died.
As a result of this disaster, not only people were affected. Irreversible damage was caused to the surrounding nature. Fields and roads were strewn with dead animals, even the buffalo giants could not stand it. Toxic gas completely destroyed the crop within a radius of 167 km. For a long time, the affected land remained barren.
Shortly thereafter, the United States Congress approved the Law on Emergency Planning and Public Information Law, which provides for the establishment of a register called the Toxic Emission Inventory (TOC), which allows the monitoring of emissions of more than 600 types of chemicals into the atmosphere, water, land and transport beyond Sites. Other countries, including Australia and Canada, followed suit and developed national PRTR systems.
Thanks to the toxic emissions inventory, the public has access to previously unreported information on pollutant emissions. At the same time, its creation was a powerful incentive for reporting entities to take voluntary measures to reduce pollutant emissions.
PRTR does not provide for direct regulation of emissions, putting pressure on companies seeking to avoid the reputation of large polluters. PRTRs encourage companies to invest in production to reduce emissions.
One of the main characteristics of a PRTR is public access to information that has a real impact on the prevention and reduction of environmental pollution.
In 1993, OECD member States and the United Nations provided the Secretary-General of the OECD with the mandate to prepare a manual for national governments interested in developing a pollutant release and transfer register. This manual was published in 1996.
Within the OECD, a task force was established to address the most complex aspects of the development of PRTR systems.
The OECD carried out this work in accordance with the recommendation of UNCED, in the framework of the Inter-Organization Program for the Sound Management of Chemicals.
The development and establishment of a national PRTR system allows governments to monitor the formation and release of pollutants, as well as the subsequent evolution of various pollutants over time. Following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, national PRTR systems have also been established in other countries.