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Letter to Ministers concerning Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

Over the last fifteen years, national environmental standards have contributed to consistent monitoring and management of air quality and soil contamination across New Zealand. However, there are no standardised methods to estimate and track hazardous substances and waste released to the environment.

Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) have been developed by most OECD countries to collect and facilitate public access to information on hazardous substances reaching the environment via land, air or water.

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton has written a letter to the Ministers for the Environment suggesting the ministry examine the merits of establishing a PRTR in New Zealand. Six hazardous substances have been used as examples to illustrate the type of data collected and the information gaps identified in our current monitoring system.