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PRTRs and emission estimation models

Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) are instruments for compiling and publishing data about pollutant releases and transfers to the environment, aiming to encourage pollution prevention and reduction efforts. They are designed for broad public audiences.

In 1994, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) began work on a guidance manual assisting governments in establishing national PRTRs. In a parallel effort, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) assists interested developing and industrializing countries in designing PRTR systems through a process involving all interested parties at the country level. The World Health Organization has developed rapid assessment methods to estimate polluting emissions and transfers from industrial and other sources. The United Nations Environment Programme acts as the international clearinghouse for PRTRs.

Additional information on PRTR and related activities of various agencies can be found on the web address http://www.oecd.org/ehs/prtr/about.htm.

The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) is also encouraging the development of PRTRs as a mechanism for achieving sustainable development and reducing chemical risks.

The PRTR concept has thus received considerable support from international organizations, NGOs and governments, and a number of government have already established detailed PRTRs at regional and national levels.

The hereafter document   reviews available models for estimating emissions when it is not possible or affordable to measure them, or to develop preliminary estimates of emissions.

The support provided by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America for the production of this guide was particularly appreciated.

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