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Understanding the Data used on PollutionWatch

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Table of Contents

  1. About the Data on PollutionWatch
  2. Who reports to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)?

  3. Who reports to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program
  4. What are the limitations of the data?
  5. Changes to NPRI Reporting:
  6. How is the data presented on PollutionWatch?
  7. Special reporting requirements for some pollutants:
  8. How are the health effects lists on PollutionWatch developed?
  9. How are time trends analyzed on PollutionWatch?

  10. What can PollutionWatch tell me about my health and safety?
  11. What will the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) data look like in the future?

  12.  What will the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) data look like in the future?

  13. Disclaimer

1. About the data on PollutionWatch

National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Data

This web site uses data from the federal government's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) because it is a publicly available, annual source of information on a wide range of pollutants released and transferred from individual facilities across Canada. The site uses 2006 NPRI data (as posted in February 2008 by Environment Canada ) . Time trends on PollutionWatch use NPRI data from 1995- 2006 .

In 2006, more than 9,000 facilities reported their releases and transfers of pollutants to the air, water, land and injected underground and transferred off-site to disposal, treatment, sewage, energy recovery and recycling.

Facilities were required to report on 322 pollutants in 2006.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Data

PollutionWatch also uses data from the federal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program . The federal government's greenhouse gas database is the only publicly available data on emissions of greenhouse gases from facilities across Canada . The database covers large facilities that emit the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes (100 kt) or more of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) per year. For the 2006 reporting year, the third year that greenhouse gases were reported under the program, 343 facilities reported on 6 greenhouse gases.

Some of the greenhouses gases can be searched either as a group of chemicals, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs), or by the individual chemical within the group. The greenhouse gas data posted on the PollutionWatch web site is current as of August 1, 2007.

PollutionWatch data can be used for a variety of purposes:

  • to help citizens identify pollutant releases and transfers and greenhouse gas emissions from neighbouring facilities;
  • to track trends in pollutant releases and transfers over time; and,
  • to help governments and industries assess progress in preventing and reducing pollutant releases and transfers and greenhouse gas emissions.

Tell us how you are using PollutionWatch.

For more information on NPRI, visit Environment Canada's NPRI web site.

For more information on the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program visit Environment Canada's web site.

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2. Who reports to the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)?

Facilities that meet certain thresholds are required to report to Environment Canada's NPRI office their best estimate of the amount of pollutants they release into the air, water and land, inject underground and transfer off-site each year.

Facilities that report to NPRI include companies manufacturing, chemical products, primary metals, transportation equipment, rubber products, metal products, pulp and paper, food products, wood products, textiles, mineral products, and electrical equipment.

Companies involved in air transportation, printing, waste management and treatment, power generation, oil and gas extraction and refining, mining, public utilities and many other manufacturing and service industries also report to NPRI.

Other sectors such as incinerators, wood preservation, terminal operations (storage tanks), waste water treatment plants, base metal smelters, secondary lead and aluminum smelters, magnesium production, Portland cement manufacturing, pulp and paper boilers, stationary combustion equipment and a number of other sectors have specific reporting requirements under NPRI.

Some types of facilities are exempted from reporting to NPRI.  

The owner or operator of any facility that meets the NPRI reporting requirements must submit a report to Environment Canada by June each year for the previous year's releases and transfers. For example, releases and transfers during the 2006 calendar year were reported on June 1, 2007.

The original reporting requirements are:

  • The total number of hours worked by all employees is 20,000 hours or greater (generally corresponds to 10 employees) and
  • The facility manufactured, processed or otherwise used 10 tonnes or more of an NPRI listed substance in the calendar year, and
  • The NPRI substance was manufactured, processed or otherwise used at a concentration greater than or equal to 1% by weight, with the exception of NPRI substances considered to be by-products. The total weight of by-products must also be included in the calculation of the 10 tonne threshold for each NPRI substance.

These original requirements apply to the majority of the pollutants listed on NPRI. As new pollutants have been added to NPRI, or information on the potential environmental and health impacts of existing pollutants has increased, a number of different reporting requirements have been applied.

Starting with the 2000 reporting year, there are special reporting requirements for the following pollutants:

  • dioxins/furans;
  • hexachlorobenzene;
  • mercury; and,
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

These substances are often considered persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic.

The reporting thresholds for lead, arsenic and cadmium and their compounds were lowered in 2001 and 2002. Criteria air contaminants (CACs) had special reporting requirements starting in 2002. For 2003, several pollutants were added to the list of substances for reporting including approximately 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbonyl sulphide and total phosphorus.

Reporting changes for the 2003 NPRI data also included reporting for specific groups of substances such as "nonylphenol and its ethoxylates" and "octylphenol and its ethoxylates”. Oil and gas wells were also required to report their 2003 releases and transfers to NPRI. Read more about the required reporting changes on the NPRI web site. In general, for more specific information on reporting requirements for different pollutants, please see the special reporting requirements section below, or the annual NPRI Guidance Manual .

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3. Who reports to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program?

Beginning in 2004, facilities that meet specific threshold requirements must report their releases of 6 greenhouse gases to the federal government's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program. Large facilities that emit the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes (100 kt) or more of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) per year are required to report. The industrial sectors covered under this program include:

  • electricity generation
  • oil and gas
  • chemical manufacturing
  • waste treatment and disposal
  • steel

For a complete list of industries reporting greenhouse gas emissions, visit “Search Your Community”.

For additional information on greenhouse gases and global climate change, please see Frequently Asked Questions .

4. What are the limitations of the data?

National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)

The NPRI data used on the PollutionWatch site are submitted from facilities and annually collected by Environment Canada. These NPRI data have limitations. NPRI data:

  • do not cover all potential harmful pollutants - more than 300 pollutants are included on the 2006 NPRI list; by comparison, there are 23,000 substances on Environment Canada's Domestic Substances List, which lists substances currently in use in Canada.
  • do not cover pollutants that have pesticide applications only ;
  • do not cover greenhouse gases;
  • generally do not include releases that fall below the reporting threshold of 10 tonnes manufactured, processed or otherwise used;
  • do not include mobile sources such as cars, trucks and construction equipment;
  • do not include natural sources such as forest fires and erosion;
  • do not include sources such as dry cleaners and gas stations;
  • do not include facilities that are exempted such as schools, research facilities, forestry, fishing, agriculture or mining (processing of mined materials is included in NPRI);
  • generally do not include small facilities with fewer than 10 employees;
  • do not include information on risks of pollutants released or transferred;
  • do not include information on exposures to people or the environment; and,
  • do not include information on the amount of pollutants allowed to be released and transferred under permits, regulations or agreements

 

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Data

The greenhouse gas data also have limitations The data do not include emissions from:

  •  Some energy sources such as residential, commercial and institutional heating;
  • Transportation such as cars, trucks and airplanes;
  • Solvents and other products;
  • Agricultural sources such as fermentation; or
  • Land use changes and forestry.

For more information on emissions from these sources, please see Canada 's greenhouse gas inventory.

There are many different sources of information about releases and transfers of pollution in your community. Other sources of information that are not presented in PollutionWatch include:

  • Monitoring data - actual measurements of the concentration of contaminants in our air, water and soil,
  • Inventories - based on one pollutant or a group of pollutants like hazardous waste or greenhouse gas inventories,
  • Modeling estimates - use of assumptions to predict the concentration, movement and transportation of contaminants,
  • Body burdens - actual measurements of concentrations of contaminants in plants, fish and people.

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5. Changes to NPRI Reporting

More facilities reporting

The number of facilities reporting to NPRI and included on PollutionWatch increased significantly over the years- to more than 9,000 facilities in 200 6 from 4,652 facilities in 2002.

Environment Canada notes that the number of facilities reporting increased due to changes in reporting requirements (including the addition of criteria air contaminants and new reporting requirements for oil and gas wells) and increased compliance promotion activities. This increase in the number of facilities from may be a factor in some increases in pollution outlined in the Pollution Timelines section of PollutionWatch.

Time trends for CACs are available for the years between 2002 and 2006. The timelines for CACs will reflect the addition of facilities in the oil and gas sector reporting for the first time in 2003.

Over time, facilities may start or stop reporting to NPRI for a number of reasons - changes in reporting requirements, changes in a facility's estimation methods, changes in processes or raw materials used at the facility, or becoming aware of the requirement to report. It is not possible, based on NPRI data, to know the reasons why a facility may have started or stopped reporting between 1995 and 2006 . PollutionWatch therefore includes all the facilities in the analyses of time trends on the web site.

Time trends for criteria air contaminants (CACs) (smog, acid rain)

A major change to NPRI for the 2002 reporting year was the addition of the seven criteria air contaminants (CACs) including:

  • carbon monoxide,
  • oxides of nitrogen,
  • sulphur dioxide,
  • total particulate matter less than 100 microns,
  • particulate matter less than or equal to 10 microns (PM 10),
  • particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) and
  • volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The addition of these pollutants is important as they interact to create smog and acid rain and have been associated with respiratory problems (see table below).

Pollutant

Smog

Acid Deposit-ion/Rain

Odour

Visibility/Soiling

CEPA

Toxic

Suspected

Respiratory toxin

Reproductive/

Developmental

Sulphur dioxide

Y

Y

X

Y

Y

Y

X

Carbon monoxide

Y

X

X

X

X

Y

Y

Nitrogen oxides

Y

Y

X

Y

Y

Y

X

Particulates

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

X

VOCs

Y

X

Y

X

Y

X

X

Adapted from MOE, Air Quality in Ontario , 2002, Scorecard and NPRI Overview, SO 2 and NO x considered ozone precursors, and are CEPA “toxic”

Note: Only PM 10 and PM 2.5 , not total particulate matter are CEPA “toxic” and respiratory toxin.

Some members of the VOC family, such as benzene and formaldehyde, are considered suspected respiratory toxins.

In 2003, about 100 VOCs were added on the list of NPRI substances for reporting. These VOCs contribute to smog formation.

Visitors can now develop time trends for CACs for data between 2002 and 2006.

Several significant changes to NPRI reporting have been made over the years, including:

(1) Improved picture of persistent toxic metals

Some metals can have significant environmental and health effects at relatively low levels. Because of this, in the 2002 reporting year, NPRI lowered the reporting threshold for many persistent, toxic metals including:

  • cadmium and its compounds from 10 tonnes to 5 kg with 0.1% concentration threshold
  • arsenic and its compounds from 10 tonnes to 50 kg with 0.1% concentration threshold
  • tetraethyl lead from 10 tonnes to 50 kg with 0.1% concentration threshold
  • lead and its compounds from 10 tonnes to 50 kg with 0.1% concentration threshold
  • hexavalent chromium is now reported separately at 50 kg and 0.1% concentration threshold

In 2002, facilities were required to report separately on hexavalent chromium which is a carcinogen and CEPA toxic substance. Previously, hexavalent chromium had been included in the group called chromium and its compounds.

The reporting threshold for another toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative metal, mercury and its compounds, was lowered to 5 kilograms with no concentration threshold for the 2000 reporting year.

(2) Improved picture from incinerators

Incinerators are an important source of many toxic pollutants. For the first time in 2002, incinerators burning less waste were required to report to NPRI. The NPRI reporting threshold for waste burned (throughput) for non-hazardous solid waste incineration, biomedical and hospital waste incineration was reduced from 100 tonnes to 26 tonnes per year.

(3) New reporting from three industries

In 2002, two industries were required to report for the first time:1) terminal operations and 2) painting or stripping transportation vehicles and their components and the building and re-manufacturing of vehicle components.

Terminal operations are storage tanks used to store or transfer oil, gasoline or fuel products into or out of a pipeline. This does not include gas stations. Terminal operations are sources of some air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs ) associated with smog.

Many solvents and other pollutants can be used in the painting and stripping of vehicles such as cars, trucks, locomotives, ships and aircraft. Pollutants used in these activities are now required to be reported.

The third new industry required to report is the upstream oil and gas sector. Since the 2003 reporting year, oil and gas wells and pumping stations have been required to report to NPRI, resulting in large increases in criteria air contaminant releases and the total number of facilities reporting. Exploration and drilling remains exempted from reporting to NPRI.

(4) Improved picture from waste water treatment plants

Waste water treatment plants can be an important source of some pollutants. Waste from industrial, commercial and residential buildings is sent through the sewers or ditches to a waste water treatment plant. These plants are also known as sewage treatment plants, collection systems or publicly owned treatment works in the US .

Previously, waste water treatment plants only reported to NPRI if they had more than 10 employees, which was rare for many plants. Beginning in 2002, NPRI set the threshold for reporting based on the amount of discharge from the system (annual discharges of 10,000 cubic metres or more per day into surface water), and not based on the number of employees. This new reporting requirement led to additional reporting from sewage treatment plants in 2002, providing an improved picture of the amount of pollutants released into the air, water and land or transferred from waste water treatment plants.

(5) Improved picture of pollution prevention activities

Pollution prevention is defined as “ the processes, practices, materials, products, pollutants or energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and waste, and reduce the overall risk to the environment or human health.” (CEPA 1999) Pollution prevention seeks to eliminate the causes of pollution rather than manage it after pollution has been created. Pollution prevention does not include pollution control, recycling, disposal, waste treatment or transfers. Pollution prevention is the priority for the protection of the environment and human health.

In 2002, the reporting of pollution prevention under NPRI was changed from 7 categories in a checklist to a more detailed checklist. Facilities can also provide comments if they are preparing a pollution prevention plan.

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6. How are the data presented on PollutionWatch?

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Data

The greenhouse gas data are presented as releases to the air. The greenhouse gas data may be searched by total of all gases or by individual pollutant (24 individual greenhouse gas pollutants were reported in 2005). The results can be expressed either as tonnes or as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 equivalent).

Each greenhouse gas has a different potential to contribute to warming. Scientists assign each gas a number, called a global warming potential, based on the gas' ability to contribute to climate change. Carbon dioxide is set as the baseline with a global warming potential of 1.

Carbon dioxide equivalent is a unit of measurement that is used to allow the addition of or comparison between different gases that have global warming potential (GWP). Since the global warming potential of various greenhouse gases differs, the emissions are added in a common unit expressed as “CO2 equivalent”. To determine the CO2 equivalency of greenhouse gases the quantity of an individual greenhouse gas is multiplied by its global warming potential.

A list of the global warming potential (GWP) rates for each reported greenhouse gas is available on the federal government's Greenhouse Gas reporting web site .

NPRI Data: Presentation of Releases and Transfers:

A facility was required to report releases and transfers of 322 pollutants to NPRI in 2006. PollutionWatch uses the following classification to present data. Please note that this method of presentation differs from Environment Canada 's NPRI presentation. These varying methods of presentation will yield different perspectives on the data. In general, Environment Canada only considers a “release” to include emissions to air, water as well as spills, leaks and other to land. This is a narrower definition of “releases” than used on PollutionWatch. For more information on Environment Canada's data presentation, visit the NPRI web site.

A release is a discharge of a pollutant. Releases can be divided into:

On -site releases: A release at the site of the facility, within the boundaries of the facility.

Air release: A release of pollutants into the air at the facility site. Included in this category are releases through the stack, from storage or handling, from fugitive sources such as leaks from valves, seals and connections, spills and other non-point air releases. Air releases can be presented as criteria air contaminants alone, toxic pollutants alone or a combination of criteria air contaminants and toxic pollutants.

Water release: A release of pollutants into the water, usually a stream, lake or ocean. Included in this category are direct discharges, spills and leaks.

Land release: A release of pollutants onto the land at the facility site. Included in this category are landfills, land treatment (a pollutant is applied onto or incorporated into soil), spills, leaks and other land releases.

Underground Injection: A release of pollutants injected into the ground at the facility site.

Off-Site releases: A release of a pollutant , generally transferred from the facility to another location for disposal using one of the following methods:

Containment: either landfill or other storage at an off-site location

Land Treatment: either land application or land farming at an off-site location

Underground Injection: pollutants injected underground at an off-site location

Total Releases: The sum of on and off-site releases. Total releases can be presented as criteria air contaminants alone, toxic pollutants alone or a combination of criteria air contaminants and toxic pollutants.

Transfers for further management: pollutants transferred off the facility site to another facility for:

Treatment:

Physical Treatment: Includes methods such as drying, evaporation, encapsulation and vitrification

Chemical Treatment: Includes methods such as precipitation, stabilization or neutralization

Biological Treatment: Includes methods such as bio-oxidation or composting

Incineration: pollutants transferred to an incinerator. This differs from energy recovery as the substance or the material containing the substance does not have sufficient fuel value to contribute toward energy recovery.

Sewage : pollutants discharged to a sewer system or a waste water treatment system.

Energy recovery : The substance or the material containing the substance has sufficient energy content to be used as a fuel for energy recovery.

Transfers for recycling: pollutants sent off-site for recycling. Recycling is subdivided into nine categories which are reported separately:

Recovery of solvents, recovery of organic pollutants (not solvents), recovery of metals and metal compounds, recovery of inorganic materials (not metals), recovery of acids and bases, recovery of catalysts, recovery of pollution abatement residues, refining or reuse of used oil and other recycling.

Reporting for recycling and energy recovery was made mandatory starting with the 1998 reporting year. Therefore, the amounts of pollutants sent for recycling and energy recovery before 1998 cannot be compared with quantities from 1998- 2006. PollutionWatch presents recycling data separately from other release and transfer data. Both recycling and energy recovery data are not included in the time trends on PollutionWatch (time trends cover 1995- 2006 ). On the PollutionWatch web site, data for transfers for recycling can be obtained by searching under Search Your Community and Pollution Ranking s.

Total Reported Transfers: The sum of all transfers to treatment, sewage, energy recovery and underground injection. PollutionWatch does not include data for transfers for recycling in total reported transfers.

Total Reported Releases and Transfers: The sum of total releases (on and off-site) and total transfers. PollutionWatch does not include data for transfers for recycling in total reported releases and transfers. Total releases can be presented as criteria air contaminants (CACs) alone, toxic pollutants alone or a total of criteria air contaminants (CACs) and toxic pollutants.

To view figures for total reported releases and transfers for individual substances reported under NPRI between 1995 to 2006, please see the Pollutant Summary.

View Releases and Transfers Diagram.

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Presentation of Criteria Air Contaminants (CACs) Data

PollutionWatch presents a range of options for users to view release and transfer data - they can see :

  • Total air releases: includes both CACs and other toxic pollutants,
  • air releases for toxic pollutants alone; or
  • air releases for CACs alone.
  • Total releases : includes both CACs and other toxic pollutants,
  • Total releases with toxic pollutants alone; or
  • Total releases with CACs alone.
  • Total releases and transfers: includes both CACs and other toxic pollutants,
  • Total releases and transfers with air releases for toxic pollutants alone; or
  • Total releases and transfers with air releases for CACs alone.

When total air releases, total releases and total releases and transfers (including both CACs and other toxic pollutants) are selected, VOCs are not included. This is because many of the VOCs that are reported together as a group in CACs are also reported as individual pollutants in the toxic pollutants category. For example, benzene and toluene are VOCs that are included in the group of VOCs reported as CACs; but, they are also reported individually as toxic pollutants to NPRI. To prevent counting some of these VOCs twice, the total group of VOCs, as reported under CACs, are subtracted from total air releases. This may result in an underestimate of air releases from a facility, but avoids an overestimate based on counting some VOCs twice. A user can still select VOCs and get rankings of sectors, facilities and jurisdictions based on this measure alone.

Total air releases, total releases and total releases and transfers also only use total particulate matter. PollutionWatch does not add the amount reported as particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM 10) or the amount reported as particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) as total particulate matter already includes these smaller particulate (PM 10 and PM 2.5).

CACs are not included in the Pollution Timelines data between 1995 and 2006 as CACs are only reported for 2002 to 2006, and not for previous years. Under the Pollution Timelines section on PollutionWatch, however, visitors to the site can get time trends for CACs only, covering the years 2002 to 2006.

Because CACs tend to be reported in large amounts they can dwarf the smaller amounts reported as toxic pollutants. It is important to note, however, that some toxic pollutants – such as mercury, dioxins and furans – can have significant environmental and health impacts even when released in small amounts.

Adjusting for double counting of pollutants

PollutionWatch accounts for double counting of pollutants. This double counting occurs when one facility transfers pollutants to another facility which then reports the same pollutant released into the air, water, land or injected underground on-site. For example, a steel mill may transfer metals to a hazardous waste facility that disposes of the metals in a landfill on-site. Both the steel mill and the hazardous waste facility would report the release or transfer of the metals.

Double counting can be compared to lending a book to a friend. Two people have read the book, but it is the same book. Two facilities have reported the pollutant to NPRI, but it is the same pollutant. Because the PollutionWatch site adds together on and off-site releases, it was important to account for double counting. PollutionWatch reviewed the NPRI data and matched those off-site releases of pollutants that are also reported as on-site releases by a second facility. Matching is based on pollutant, names and addresses of transfer sites. The off-site releases are then subtracted from the total releases and the on-site releases remain unchanged. In this way, a pollutant is only counted once. Double counting was calculated for the years 1998-2006. Double counting could not be calculated before 1998 because the amounts sent to individual transfer stations were not reported.

Not all pollutants released off-site may be reported as an on-site release by a second facility for a number of reasons: the transfer site may not have met thresholds or other reporting requirements; the transfer site may not have reported when it should have; the facility may have reported an incorrect transfer site; the facility may have reported the name or address of the transfer site incorrectly; or, the transfer site may have sent the pollutant to disposal in the following year.

The data is presented on PollutionWatch showing the amount reported and the amount adjusted for double counting. Double counting is presented with national, provincial and sector total releases. Double counting is not presented with facility total releases or total releases and transfers.

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7. Special reporting requirements for some pollutants

Greenhouse Gases

Criteria Air Contaminants

Mercury and its Compounds

Dioxins and Furans and Hexachlorobenzene

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Greenhouse Gases

Large facilities that emit the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes (100 kt) or more of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) per year must report to the federal government's Greenhouse Gas Emissions R eporting Program. For the 2006 reporting year, the third year that greenhouse gases were reported under the program, 343 facilities reported on 6 greenhouse gases:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH 4 )
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF 6 )
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

Criteria Air Contaminants (CACs)

Reporting for CACs differs in some respects to other pollutants reported to NPRI: only releases to the air are reported (rather than releases to air, water, land, underground injection and transfers off-site as for other pollutants) and the reporting threshold is based on releases (rather than on manufactured, processed or otherwise used for many pollutants).

The reporting threshold for oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and total particulate matter is 20 tonnes emitted to air, 10 tonnes for VOCs, 0.5 tonnes for particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM 10), and 0.3 tonnes for particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5).

NPRI also requires additional information on CACs from stacks greater than or equal to 50 metres above grade. For more specific information on reporting CACs, see Supplementary Guide for Reporting of Criteria Air Contaminants (CACs) to the National Pollutant Release Inventory.

Ranking by health effects lists (such as respiratory toxics) on PollutionWatch includes both CACs and other pollutants. Many CACs have health and environmental effects and are considered toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

Special reporting requirements for mercury and its compounds

The threshold for reporting of mercury and its compounds was lowered starting with the 2000 reporting year from 10 tonnes to 5 kilograms and the 1% concentration threshold was removed. This lower threshold reflects mercury's potential for significant environmental and health effects at relatively low levels. This lowered threshold means that a facility would be more likely to report mercury and its compounds.

The reporting change also means that releases and transfers of mercury and its compounds from 1995-1999 cannot be compared from 2000-2006. Mercury and its compounds are therefore not part of the common core pollutant group on the PollutionWatch web site. Mercury and its compounds are reported in kilograms not tonnes.

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Special Reporting Requirements for Dioxins and Furans and Hexachlorobenzene

Dioxins and furans and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were added to the NPRI list starting with the 2000 reporting year. Dioxins and furans are a large family of pollutants, and only the most toxic 17 members are required to be reported. Because of the persistence and bioaccumulative nature of dioxins and furans and HCB, there are special reporting requirements for these pollutants:

  • Not all facilities that report to NPRI are required to report on dioxins/furans and HCB. Only facilities with specified types of activities (see below) are required to report these pollutants.
  • There is no threshold amount of dioxins/furans and HCB that triggers reporting. Any amount of dioxins/furans and HCB above the limits of quantification (which is the lowest concentration of a substance that can be accurately measured using sensitive but routinely available measurement technology) must be reported by these specified facilities. This approach was thought to provide detailed information from facilities likely to be releasing or transferring dioxins/furans and HCB, while minimizing the reporting burden for other facilities.
  • Dioxins and furans are also reported in different units than many of the other NPRI pollutants. Because dioxins and furans are a family of pollutants each with differing toxicity, scientists have established toxicity equivalent factors to reflect their relative toxicity. A facility would estimate the quantity of dioxins/furans in grams of each member, multiply this by the appropriate toxicity equivalency factor and then sum the products. The final result is one number, expressed as grams of dioxins/furans toxicity equivalent (TEQ).

Facilities with the following activities are required to report dioxins/furans and HCB:

  • Non-hazardous solid waste incineration of 26 tonnes or more of waste per year
  • Biomedical or hospital waste incineration of 26 tonnes of waste per year
  • Hazardous waste incineration
  • Sewage sludge incineration
  • Wood preservation using pentachlorophenol
  • Terminal operations
  • Waste water treatment plans that annually discharge 10,000 cubic metres or more per day into surface water
  • Base metals smelting (copper, lead, nickel and zinc)
  • Smelting of secondary lead
  • Smelting of secondary aluminum
  • Manufacturing of iron using a sintering process
  • Operation of an electric arc furnace in steel manufacturing
  • Operation of an electric arc furnace in steel foundries
  • Production of magnesium
  • Manufacturing of Portland cement
  • Production of chlorinated organic solvents of chlorinated monomers
  • Combustion of fossil fuels in a boiler unit for the purposes of producing steam for the production of electricity with a generating capacity of 25 megawatts or greater of electricity
  • Combustion of hog fuel originating from logs that were transported or stored in salt water in the pulp and paper sector
  • Combustion of fuel in kraft liquor boilers used in the pulp and paper sector

For the first seven activities listed above, the employee thresholds do not apply. In other words, facilities used for one of these seven activities have to report dioxins/furans and HCB regardless of the number of employees.

You can see whether a specific facility engages in any of these activities by visiting a facility's information page within the PollutionWatch web site.

Because reporting started in 2000, dioxins/furans and HCB are therefore not part of the common core pollutant group on Pollution Timelines on the PollutionWatch web site.

HCB amounts are reported in grams, not kg or tonnes. (1 gram= 1000 kg, 1000kg =1 tonne).

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Special reporting requirements for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a large group of pollutants, often incidentally manufactured, or released from natural sources. Some members of this group are considered carcinogenic, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Seventeen PAHs have special reporting requirements. These 17 PAHs are required to be reported to NPRI based on the quantities of substances incidentally manufactured and released or transferred, not the usual threshold of manufactured, processed or otherwise used. All 17 PAHs must be considered together to determine if the facility meets the reporting threshold of 50 kilograms.

In addition, for wood preserving facilities using creosote (which is often up to 90% PAHs), more stringent reporting criteria are applied. All PAHs must be reported regardless of the 50 kilogram threshold or the employee threshold. PAHs are reported in kilograms. Because these 17 PAHs were added in 2000, they are not part of the common core pollutant group used to determine P ollution Timelines on the PollutionWatch web site.

PAHs amounts are reported in grams, not kg or tonnes (1 gram = 1000 kg, 1000kg = 1 tonne).

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Definitions of Reporting Methods - NPRI data

A facility can use six different methods to determine the release and transfer data for NPRI reporting. Some of these methods of estimating releases and transfers were revised in 2003. When reporting its releases and transfers to NPRI, a facility can use:

  • Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems: directly measures emissions on a continuous basis for an extended or uninterrupted time- often the most accurate estimation method.
  • Predictive Emission Monitoring Systems: uses a correlation between releases and process conditions.
  • Source Testing: analyzes the concentration of contaminants in a collected sample.
  • Mass Balance : counting the quantity of a substance going in and out of an entire facility, process or piece of equipment. Releases can be the difference between input of the pollutant and output.
  • Emission Factors : an emission factor is a number or formula derived from average measured emissions from several similar processes. Often emission factors are expressed as a release per unit of production, throughput or process.

For 2003 reporting and beyond, a facility has to specify either using site specific emission factors or published emission factors.

  • Engineering estimates : based on physical or pollutant properties of a substance and mathematical laws or relationships.

A facility uses code letters and numbers to indicate which method it has used for each pollutant release or transfer.

Often as a facility learns more about its processes and releases, it may change the way it estimates releases and transfers. These changes in estimation methods can change the results, either increasing or decreasing the amount reported to NPRI. It is often difficult to interpret increases or decreases over time - or the reporting of new pollutants - from a facility that changes estimation methods. There are two important possible explanations:

  • the
  • facility has always been releasing pollutants at this higher amount, and is now reporting more accurately (known as “under reporting” to NPRI). This is of concern because it means that industry and government have been underestimating the actual amount of pollutants r eleased to the air, water or land, potentially for years. Industry and government may also have been missing sources and underestimating amounts of newly reported pollutants.

  • the facility changing its estimation methods can report reduced amounts, or fewer pollutants, and has been “over reporting” to NPRI. This could mean that the amount of releases and transfers is less than previously thought.

In general, facilities may report increases or decreases in releases and transfers over time due to changes in their estimation methods. For example, the Forest Products Association invested in improving its guidance for NPRI reporting to its members; in some cases, this has increased the amount of pollutants reported to NPRI.

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Definition of Facility versus Company

A facility (or contiguous facility) includes buildings, equipment, structures and other stationary items that are located on a single site or on contiguous or adjacent sites that are owned or operated by the same person or function as a single integrated site. It also includes wastewater collection systems . Beginning in the 2002 reporting year, a facility also included a pipeline installation - a collection of equipment at a single site used in the operation of a natural gas transmission or distribution pipeline. These are not pipelines, but the compressor and storage stations approximately 100 kilometres apart along pipelines. These pipeline installations only need to report criteria air contaminants and certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and not other NPRI pollutants . In 2003, the facility definition was expanded to include offshore installations such as oil and gas wells.

A parent company or company is the highest level company or group of companies that directly control a facility.

You can use PollutionWatch to find out the total releases and transfers of pollutants from a facility or its controlling company. For instance, if five facilities that report to the NPRI in 2005 are owned by the same Company X, then Company X's emissions are the sum of the five facilities' emissions.

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8. How are the health effects lists on PollutionWatch developed?

In 2006 , more than 300 pollutants were required to be reported to NPRI . These pollutants have different levels of toxicity and potential health and environmental effects. Six different lists of pollutants are presented below to allow PollutionWatch visitors to analyze NPRI data using different potential health and environmental effects.

Carcinogens

This list of substances, identified as having known cancer-causing properties, was compiled by the State of California. California 's Proposition 65, a law enacted by public referendum, requires the state to maintain a list of substances that are known to cause cancer. Substances are placed on the list if:

  • an independent science advisory board has concluded they possess sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals or humans, or
  • if an authoritative organization such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer or the National Toxicology Program have reached a similar conclusion, or
  • if a federal ( US ) regulatory agency requires a cancer warning label.

The current Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens (downloaded in June 17, 2008 ) can be obtained from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. To view the list of pollutants reported to NPRI that are also on the Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens, see the Health Effects Summary.

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CEPA Toxic Substances

This list contains pollutants considered toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), 1999 that are reported to NPRI. The CEPA list is derived from NPRI summary reports and the CEPA Registry web site. A substance can be defined as toxic under CEPA section 64 if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentrations or under conditions that:

a) have or may have an immediate or long term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity

b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which human life depends, or

c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human health or life

Substances are continuously being assessed for toxicity under CEPA. The list found on PollutionWatch is based on the substances assessed as toxic under CEPA's Schedule 1 Toxic Substances List ( dated as of August 8, 2008 ), a list of toxic substances under NPRI, and a list of Priority Substances that were found to be toxic under CEPA but have yet to be added to the CEPA Schedule 1.

If a pollutant has been proposed to be CEPA toxic (through risk assessment reports for Priority Substances List I and II) then PollutionWatch considers it CEPA toxic. For some pollutants, there is often not a good match between the description of the pollutant found to be CEPA toxic and the listing of the pollutant on NPRI.

Beginning in the 2002 reporting year, the NPRI data included criteria air contaminants, and many of these are considered CEPA toxic. Because some CACs are released in large quantities to air, these CACs will tend to dominate the analysis of CEPA toxics. Particulates less than 10 microns (PM 10 and PM 2.5) and the precursors of ozone (including oxides of nitrogen and VOCs) are considered toxic under CEPA on PollutionWatch.

The 2002 NPRI reporting year required the separate reporting requirement for the most toxic form of chromium, hexavalent chromium (Cr+6), from the group of chromium and its compounds. Only hexavalent chromium is CEPA toxic. For the 2002-2006 data, PollutionWatch considers only hexavalent chromium to be CEPA toxic. The group of chromium and its compounds is not considered CEPA toxic. This is a change from the presentation of 2001data on PollutionWatch when the web site treated the group of chromium and its compounds as CEPA toxic. Previously, it was not possible using NPRI data to distinguish between the most toxic form, hexavalent chromium, and other less toxic forms of chromium.

For a list of NPRI pollutants considered CEPA toxic, see the Health Effects Summary.

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Suspected Endocrine Disrupters

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has defined an "endocrine disrupter" and a "potential endocrine disrupter" as follows:

  • an "endocrine disrupter" is an exogenous substance that causes adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, consequent to changes in endocrine function;
  • a "potential endocrine disrupter" is an exogenous substance that possesses properties that might be expected to lead to endocrine disruption in an intact organism.

The human endocrine system is a complex system of glands (also called ductless glands) located throughout the body. The main endocrine glands are the pituitary, thyroid and parathyroid, thymus, adrenals, ovaries, pancreas and testes. The hormones released by these glands provide a basis for communication between cells. The functions of the endocrine system include regulation of reproduction, growth, development and the immune system, maintenance of the internal environment (e.g. salt and water balance), and production, utilization and storage of energy.

Disruption of this system can have exponential adverse effects. Studies suggest that trends in human health - like increased incidences of testicular, prostate and breast cancer and developmental abnormalities in reproductive organs - are being caused by endocrine disrupters.

Endocrine systems are present in all vertebrate animals (including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) and many invertebrates (including insects, spiders, crustaceans and mollusks).

The list of suspected endocrine disrupters used on the PollutionWatch web site was obtained from Scorecard.org on June 14, 2008. There is currently on-going discussion about the pollutants that are considered endocrine disrupters. Therefore the list presented on PollutionWatch draws on a list of suspected endocrine disrupters. Visit Scorecard for more information about how the list was derived. For a list of pollutants reported to NPRI that are on the list of suspected endocrine disrupters, see the Health Effects Summary on PollutionWatch.

The list of known and suspected endocrine disrupters includes phthalates, therefore, all phthalate compounds on the NPRI list were identified as endocrine disrupters for the purposes of PollutionWatch.

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Suspected Respiratory Toxicants

Respiratory toxicants cause adverse effects to the structure or functioning of the respiratory system (nasal passages, pharynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs), and produce a variety of acute and chronic pulmonary conditions, including local irritation, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, emphysema, and cancer.

Respiratory toxicants include categories of substances like toxic gases, vapors from solvents, aerosols, and particulate matter. Ozone and fine particles are known to pose a significant threat to respiratory health. Ground-level ozone, the main component in smog, causes breathing problems, aggravates asthma, and increases the severity and incidence of respiratory infections.

Please note that many respiratory toxicants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter were reported for the first time to NPRI for 2002 along with other criteria air contaminants (CACs). The addition of these pollutants considerably increases the number of pollutant s and the amount of air releases considered to be respiratory toxins starting with the 2002 data. .

The list of substances that are suspected respiratory toxicants was obtained from Scorecard.org on August 7, 2008. There is uncertainty regarding which pollutants are considered respiratory toxins. For the references used by Scorecard to compile this list, please read ‘about the pollutants'. For a list of pollutants reported to NPRI that are on the list of suspected respiratory toxicants, please see the Health Effects Summary.

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Reproductive/Developmental Toxicants

California 's Proposition 65, a law enacted by public referendum, requires the state to maintain a list of substances that are known to cause reproductive and/or developmental toxicity. Reproductive toxicants can affect sexual behaviour, onset of puberty, sperm count, fertility, gestation time, pregnancy outcome, lactation and premature menopause. Developmental toxicants, a sub-group of Reproductive toxicants, can cause adverse effects for the developing child, such as birth defects. Substances are placed on the list if:

  • an independent science advisory board has concluded they possess sufficient evidence of such toxicity in animals or humans, or
  • an authoritative organization such as the National Toxicology Program has reached a similar conclusion, or
  • a federal ( US ) regulatory agency requires a reproductive toxicity warning label. The Proposition 65 list identifies whether a pollutant is a reproductive and/or developmental toxicant.

The current California Proposition 65 List ( downloaded July 17, 2008 ) can be obtained from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. For a list of pollutants reported to NPRI that are on the California Proposition 65 list for reproductive and developmental toxicity, see the Health Effects Summary.

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Ozone Depleting pollutants

Reductions in ozone levels in the upper atmosphere will lead to higher levels of UVB reaching the Earth's surface. UVB is a kind of ultraviolet light from the sun (and sun lamps) that has several ha r mful effects particularly effective at damaging DNA. Laboratory and epidemiological studies demonstrate that UVB causes nonmelanoma skin cancer and plays a major role in malignant melanoma development. In addition, UVB has been linked to cataracts.

Solar UVB radiation has been found to cause damage to early developmental stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and other animals. The most severe effects are decreased reproductive capacity and impaired larval development.

The list of Ozone Depleting Substances presented in PollutionWatch was downloaded in May 2005 from the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 located on Environment Canada's Green Lane web site. For a list of pollutants reported to NPRI that are on the list of Ozone Depleting Pollutants , please view the Health Effects Summary. The NPRI reporting requirements for 2002 data do not include reporting for the following ozone depleters: methyl bromide and methyl chloroform (also called 1,1,1, trichloroethane.)

For more information on ozone depletion see www.ec.gc.ca/ozone .

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9. How are time trends on the PollutionWatch web site analyzed?

Over the years, the NPRI pollutant lists and reporting requirements have changed. Pollutants have been added, removed or reporting definitions modified. New sectors have been added such as the oil and gas sector. To get a picture of changes in releases and transfers over time it is necessary to use a "common" set of pollutants that have been consistently reported to NPRI.

PollutionWatch uses the pollutants reported in 2006 that were also reported in 1995 as the basis of its common core pollutant list. This means that pollutants that have been removed, such as acetone and phosphoric acid, pollutants that have been added, such as dioxins and furans, and pollutants that have changed thresholds, such as mercury, during this time period are not included in the common core pollutant list. Xylene, cresol and nonylphenol ethoxylates, which have been amalgamated in recent years, are also not included in the core pollutants list.

PollutionWatch uses a common core set of 158 toxic pollutants that have been consistently reported over the time period 1995- 2006 . For a list of core pollutants see the Pollutant Summary. The site also uses a common core set of toxic and CAC pollutants that have been reported consistently between 2002 and 2006. These common core pollutants appear red on the graph of the Pollution Timelines section of PollutionWatch. Changes in releases and transfers of these core pollutants can be compared over time.

In 2002, many reporting thresholds were lowered for metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium and their compounds and hexavalent chromium. The lowering of thresholds means that facilities will meet the threshold earlier and so the total reported amounts of some of these metals has increased. Since the reporting requirements have changed, this means that metals (i.e., lead, arsenic, cadmium and chromium) that are reported in large quantities are no longer part of the common core set of pollutants used for time trend analysis on PollutionWatch. The only metal that remains on the common core set of pollutants is zinc and its compounds.

The change in the core pollutant list in 2002 will also mean that the time trends for health effects will be based on a smaller number of pollutants than previous versions of the PollutionWatch web site. These reporting changes mean that metals reported in large quantities such as lead, arsenic, chromium and cadmium are no longer part of the core pollutant list. Many of these metals are considered carcinogens or CEPA toxic. As a result of these changes, the time trends for carcinogens, CEPA pollutants and other health lists will be significantly different.

Chromium and its compounds were listed as a group under the NPRI from 1995-2001. Starting in 2002, hexavalent chromium, the most toxic form of chromium, was listed separately and at a lower threshold. It is not possible to add together hexavalent chromium with chromium and its compounds because of the lower reporting threshold of hexavalent chromium. Therefore, chromium and its compounds and hexavalent chromium are no longer part of the common core of pollutants.

On PollutionWatch, xylene and cresol are not included in the list of core pollutants because of changes in reporting requirements over the past several years. Prior to1999, reporting for individual isomers of xylene (o-xylene, p-xylene and m-xylene) and xylenes was required under NPRI. Beginning in 1999, xylene and its mixed isomers were reported to the NPRI as a group. Similarly, cresol and its isomers (o-cresol, p-cresol and m-cresol) were reported separately until 2001, and then amalgamated starting with 2001 reporting. Also not included in the core pollutant list because of reporting changes are vanadium and its compounds, and nonylphenol and its ethoxylates and octylphenol and its ethoxylates.

Criteria air contaminants (CACs) are also not included in the core pollutant list as they have only been reported since the 2002 reporting year.

In addition to creating time trends for the period between1995-2006, PollutionWatch has also included the ability to conduct time trends for different time period for NPRI pollutants as well as time trends for CACs for the period between 2002 and 2006 and Greenhouse Gases for the period between 2004 and 2006.

Supplementary pollutants

PollutionWatch also provides information on supplementary pollutants. Supplementary pollutants are pollutants that are not part of the common core list, and that have either: been added over time, been deleted over time or changed reporting requirements. Supplementary pollutants appear in yellow on the graphs in the Pollution Timelines section of the PollutionWatch web site. For a list of supplementary pollutants, see the Pollutants Summary.

PLEASE NOTE that it is not accurate to compare the total releases and transfers from a facility or province using supplementary pollutants (appear in yellow on the graphs in the Pollution Timelines section of the PollutionWatch web site). Only the core set of pollutants that appear in red can be used for time trends analysis.

Criteria air contaminants are not included in the supplementary pollutants as they are only reported in 2002, and they are reported in large quantities which would tend to distort the NPRI reporting for previous years.

Summary of year to year changes

1995: 176 pollutants were reported

1996: 176 pollutants were reported

1997: 176 pollutants were reported

1998: 176 pollutants were reported, transfers to recycling data made mandatory

1999: 245 pollutants were reported, 73 new pollutants added, acetone removed, xylene amalgamated

2000: 268 pollutants were reported, 23 new pollutants added including dioxin and furans, hexchlorobenzene, 20 with new reporting thresholds/ criteria, including mercury

2001: 266 pollutants were reported, phosphoric acid removed, cresol amalgamated, vanadium qualifier changed, N,N-dimethylformamide added

2002: 274 pollutants were reported, addition of seven criteria air contaminants, lowering of threshold for metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and hexavalent chromium, lowering of throughput from incinerators from 100 tones to 26 tonnes, requiring reporting from terminal operations, wastewater treatment plants with an annual discharge of 10,000 cubic metres or more per day into surface waters, expansion of pollution prevention reporting, removal of exemption for painting and stripping of vehicles and their components and the rebuilding and remanufacturing of vehicle components

2003: 323 pollutants reported; addition of upstream oil and gas and offshore (not exploration or drilling); addition of two new pollutants (carbonyl sulphide and phosphorus); nonphenyl and its ethoxylates and octaphenol and its ethoxylates each reported as a group, rather than as individual substances; more volatile organic compounds (VOCs) reported individually (total of 60 VOCs are now reported separately) .

2004 and 2005: more than 300 pollutants reported; no changes in reporting requirements.

2006: 322 pollutants reported; three new Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were added to the NPRI substance list; 15 new speciated Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were added. In addition, reporting exemptions were removed for certain mining activities (such as primary crushing and ore extraction). Beginning for the 2006 reporting year, all mining activities must now be considered when reporting to the NPRI except ‘mining related to pits and quarries'. The definition of ‘facility' was expanded for the 2006 reporting year to include portable facilities. Portable facilities are those that can change location; beginning in 2006, reporting was required for specific types of facilities that meet reporting thresholds: portable PCB destruction equipment, portable asphalt plants, and portable concrete batching plants.

For the 1999 reporting year, many facilities in the paper and allied products sector (SIC code 27) used a revised handbook to estimate releases and transfers. This resulted in increased releases and transfers from some, but not all, facilities. Some of these increases may be a result of improved reporting rather than an increase of pollutants released into the air, water or land.

For data from 1995, 1996 and 1997, transfers to recycling and energy recovery were reported on a voluntary basis and should not be compared with recycling and energy recovery data from 1998 onwards, when reporting this data became mandatory.

For the purposes of PollutionWatch, if a pollutant was considered a carcinogen or CEPA toxic in 2006 , then it is considered a carcinogen or CEPA toxic in the time periods 1995- 2006 .

In addition to changes in the pollutant lists, the number of facilities reporting to the NPRI can change over time. Facilities can start reporting for a number of reasons including: a facility has started a new business, process or used a new pollutant, has met thresholds for the first time, or become aware of the NPRI requirements, or may use new reporting guidance. Facilities can also stop reporting for a variety of reasons: they may go out of business, they may have changed processes, products, or pollutants, or they may no longer meet threshold requirements, or may use new reporting guidance. In general, the number of facilities reporting to the NPRI is increasing over time.

Take a look at the Pollutant Summary , which lists all NPRI-reported pollutants with their Pollutant Abstract Number (CAS) and the amount released and transferred in Canada by year from 1995- 2005.

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10. What can PollutionWatch tell me about my health and safety?

PollutionWatch data can provide a good starting point to understanding releases and transfers from facilities. These data are not measures of exposure or risk to these pollutants. To calculate exposure, a number of factors need to be considered including the amount of release, the location of release, the weather and environmental conditions and the distance between source and person. To calculate risk, a number of other factors need to be considered including the toxicity of the substance, the extent of the exposure and the sensitivity of the person (i.e., age, mitigating health factors, immune efficiency).

For a person suffering from a particular health effect, it is often very difficult to tell whether environmental pollution was the cause or one of the causes.

PollutionWatch's information should not be considered as medical advice and it is not a substitute for care by a licensed health professional.

For more information about the health effects of pollutants, please click on specific pollutant names throughout this site, or visit the section titled, " About PollutionWatch" page on PollutionWatch.

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Pollution Rankings:

PollutionWatch can rank geographic areas, facilities or companies using various measures. These rankings are relative - they tell you how an area or facility compares to other areas or facilities. The rankings do not tell you whether the amount of releases and transfers in your area is safe or unsafe.

PollutionWatch recognizes that pollutants on the NPRI list differ in their toxicity, persistence, bioaccumulation and health and environmental effects. A number of different lists of pollutants with specific health or environmental effects are provided to allow the user to analyze pollutant releases and transfers for a specific effect. NPRI data are estimates of releases and transfers of pollutants, not measures of exposures or risks from these pollutants. Pollutant lists and their potential human and environmental risks are found on the Health Effects Summary.

Naming a facility does not mean that the facility is not complying with environmental permits, regulations or legislation. For information about a facility's permits or applicable regulations, see the facility contact, the federal, provincial or regional environmental office. For more detailed information regarding provincial, federal or international regulations about pollution, please visit our Environmental Laws page.

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11. What will National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) data look like in the future?

For information on the ongoing consultations on NPRI and proposed changes, visit the NPRI web site.

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12. What will the Greenhouse Gas data look like in the future?

For more information on the Greenhouse Gas reporting program, and proposed changes, visit the GHG web site.

13. Disclaimer

The data used on the PollutionWatch web site are based on the federal National Pollutant Release Inventory and the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program, two publicly available databases administered by Environment Canada.

The material on the PollutionWatch web site and is developed by the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Environmental Defence and their consultants on an "as is" basis. PollutionWatch makes no warranties or representation of any kind with respect to its contents and disclaims all such representations and warranties. It is hereby acknowledged that the use of the material is done at the viewer's own discretion and risk. PollutionWatch will not be liable for damages arising out of or in connection with its use. This is a comprehensive limitation of liability that applies to all damages of any kind including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect or consequential damages, loss of data, income, or profit, loss of or damage to property and claims of third parties. Neither PollutionWatch or any other person acting on its behalf makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal responsibility for the accuracy of any information or accepts liability from the use or damages from the use.

The views and recommendations presented in this report are those of the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Environmental Defence and not those of their funders.

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