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You are here: Home / Media / News / Commission and EEA win award for informing the public on industrial pollution

Commission and EEA win award for informing the public on industrial pollution

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Last night the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) won an award for best new electronic information source for the publication of the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER). EPER is the first Europe-wide register of industrial emissions into air and water and was launched in February 2004. It makes detailed information on pollution from around 10,000 large industrial facilities in the EU and Norway publicly accessible on the internet for the first time. The European Information Association awarded EPER first place in its Electronic Sources Category, recognising it as the best of a large number of electronic publications, databases and websites produced at European level in 2004.

NEWS RELEASE


Copenhagen, 15 April 2005


Commission and EEA win award for informing the public on industrial pollution


Andreas Barkmann from the EEA and Bernd Mehlhorn from the Commission receiving the award
Receiving the award: From left, Bernd Mehlhorn from the Commission and Andreas Barkmann from the EEA
Last night the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) won an award for best new electronic information source for the publication of the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER). EPER is the first Europe-wide register of industrial emissions into air and water and was launched in February 2004. It makes detailed information on pollution from around 10,000 large industrial facilities in the EU and Norway publicly accessible on the internet for the first time. The European Information Association awarded EPER first place in its Electronic Sources Category, recognising it as the best of a large number of electronic publications, databases and websites produced at European level in 2004.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "EPER enables European citizens to exercise their 'right to know', allowing them, for example, to see how much pollution large industries in their neighbourhoods generate and to compare this with the situation in other parts of Europe. We are proud that our efforts to collect and disseminate this information have been rewarded by the European Information Association."

Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA, added: "EPER is a milestone in the provision of information to the European public about their immediate environment. The European Environment Agency plans to build on this by creating an extensive internet portal to regional and selected local environmental information covering the complete area of the Agency's 31 member countries by 2008."

What is EPER?

EPER 2004, the European Pollutant Emission Register, is the first Europe-wide register of emissions into air and water from large and medium-sized industrial installations, including pig and poultry factory farms. It covers 50 different pollutantsand comprises data from the 15 ‘older' EU Member States as well as Norway and Hungary, which participate on a voluntary basis. The EPER website is hosted by the EEA in Copenhagen. In close cooperation with the Commission, the EEA has managed the process of collecting the data for EPER from the countries and has been involved in the design and development of the website.

Since its launch the EPER website, http://www.eper.cec.europa.eu/ has registered 230,000 visits.

What is the European Information Association?

The European Information Association (EIA) is an international body of information specialists whose aim is to develop, co-ordinate and improve access to EU information. Registered as a charity in Britain, the Association seeks to help improve the quality of EU information through lobbying and the annual EIA Awards. More information is available at http://www.eia.org.uk.

Next steps

The Commission plans to translate the EPER website into every official language of the EU. French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek will be included in May 2005. Others will be added when emissions for 2006 are reported by all 25 Member States.

The EU also intends to ratify the UN-ECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) under the Aarhus Convention. As a result, EPER will be upgraded to a fully comprehensive European PRTR that gives the public more information, for example on what industries do with waste. The Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of the European PRTR on 7 October 2004.

Further information

An 8-minute video in broadcast quality, "EPER: industry pollution online," is available to TV journalists free of charge and copyright at http://www.tvlink.org/vnr.cfm?vidID=88.

Contacts:

European Commission:

Barbara Helfferich +32 298 2010 barbara.helfferich@cec.europa.eu
Lone Mikkelsen +32 (0) 2 296 0567 lone.mikkelsen@cec.europa.eu
European Environment Agency:
Teresa Ruch Olsen +45 3336 7169 teresa.ruch.olsen@eea.europa.eu
European Information Association:
Catherine Webb +44(0)1612283691 c.webb@libraries.manchester.gov.uk


About the EEA


The European Environment Agency is the leading public body in Europe dedicated to providing sound, independent information on the environment to policy-makers and the public. Operational in Copenhagen since 1994, the EEA is the hub of the European environment information and observation network (Eionet), a network of around 300 bodies across Europe through which it collects and disseminates environment-related data and information. An EU body, the Agency is open to all nations that share its objectives. It currently has 31 member countries: the 25 EU Member States, three EU candidate countries - Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey - and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. A membership agreement has been initialled with Switzerland. The West Balkan states - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro - have applied for membership of the Agency.



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