TRI Around the World
In 1986, with the enactment of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the TRI was established as the first national Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) in the world. Since then, environmental agencies in other countries have implemented their own PRTR programs modeled after the TRI Program. Currently, at least 50 countries have fully established PRTRs or have implemented pilot programs, as shown in the map below. More countries are expected to develop PRTRs in the future, particularly in Asia, South America, and Africa.
As global PRTR implementation continues to grow, the TRI Program will continue to work with international organizations to:
- Assist in the development of new PRTR programs,
- Promote data standards and core data elements to improve PRTR comparability and harmonization and allow global scale analyses, and
- Showcase the utility of PRTR data for assessing progress towards sustainability.
International Project Spotlight: Using PRTR Data to Assess Progress toward the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
Watch a short video on the recently published report on
Background. The TRI Program collaborates with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on PRTR projects, including a project to use global PRTR data to assess progress toward the United Nations’ (U.N.) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are designed to “shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path” by setting targets that encompass the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainability. As stakeholders act toward achieving the SDGs, the U.N. will measure progress toward the Goals using existing data where possible. One such existing data source for some of the SDGs may be found in countries’ PRTR data.
Project Focus. The U.N. SDG Target 12.4 was identified as the target most directly relevant to PRTR data and focuses on reducing chemical releases to the environment.
Project Status. OECD recently published the project report based on aggregated data for multiple chemicals from multiple countries to provide insight into progress toward achieving SDG Target 12.4. The figure below from the report shows a comparison of 2008 and 2017 air and water releases of 14 pollutants from manufacturing facilities as reported to the 7 PRTRs analyzed in the project.
Next steps. EPA is working with OECD to define the next steps for building on the work completed to date. The findings may be included in a future update of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Report.
Change in releases of 14 pollutants, 2008 to 2017 (kg)
PRTRs included in the analyses: Australia – National Pollutant Inventory (NPI), Canada – National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), Chile – Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes (RETC), European Union – European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR), Japan Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), Mexico – Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes (RETC), United States – Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Chemicals included in the analyses: 1,2-Dichloroethane, Benzene, Cadmium, Chromium, Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Dichloromethane, Ethylbenzene, Mercury, Nickel, Particulate matter, Styrene, Sulfur oxides, Tetrachloroethylene, Trichloroethylene.
This page was published in March 2022 and uses the 2020 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2021.