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Chapter 10.1 - Point Sources
Germany, alongside with the European Union (EU) and EU Member States, has signed the UN-ECE PRTR Protocol, whereby Germany commits to establish and operate a national Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) for public information. The E-PRTR Regulation (European Regulation (EC) No 166/2006) and the German PRTR Act (SchadRegProtAG) provide the legal basis for this fact. If pollutant threshold values or waste quantities specified in the E-PRTR Ordinance are exceeded, releases of pollutants to air, water and soil, shipments with wastewater, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes from certain industrial activities have to be reported annually for the PRTR. 1)
Since December 31, 2016, the new NEC Directive (2016/2284/EU) on the reduction of the national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants came into force, replacing the Directive (2001/81/EC) on National Emission Ceilings. The new NEC Directive (2016/2284/EU) requires EU Member States to achieve new reduction targets from 2030, which in addition to the previously regulated air pollutants SO2, NOx, NMVOC and NH3, also include reduction targets for particulate matter (PM2.5) for the first time. This means that the new directive imposes significantly extended reporting obligations on the EU Member States. For the first time, EU Member States are required to create emission inventories for particulate matter, heavy metals and POPs. The inventories must also include emission projections. Furthermore, emissions from large point sources must be reported and emission data must be spatially itemized.
For the first time in 2017 and then every four years, EU Member States must report spatially distributed emissions (raster data) with a resolution of 0.1° x 0.1° (longitude-latitude). Large point sources (LPS) must be reported every 4 years, starting in 2017. Reporting is mandatory for agro-industrial and industrial activities whose annual emissions exceed certain thresholds, which correspond to those for emissions reporting under the E-PRTR Regulation (European Regulation (EC) No 166/2006). 2)
Annex IV of the Directive indicates, that the Member States shall prepare emission inventories “in accordance with the methodologies recognized by the Parties to the LRTAP Convention (EMEP reporting guidelines)” and “shall base their reporting on the Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory (EMEP/EUA Guidelines) referred to in the Convention.” The reporting guidelines (UNECE 2015) define large point sources as follows:
“Large point sources (LPS) are defined as facilities whose combined emissions, within the limited identifiable area of the site premises, exceed the pollutant emission thresholds identified in table 1 below.”3)
The associated Table 1 identifies thresholds, consistent with those identified in the E-PRTR Regulation (2016), for the following pollutants:
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOC)
- Ammonia (NH3)
- Particulate Matter ≤2.5µm (PM2.5)
- Particulate Matter ≤10µm (PM10)
- Lead and compounds (Pb)
- Cadmium and compounds (Cd)
- Mercury and compounds (Hg)
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- PCDD & PCDF (Polychlorinated Dibenzo-Dioxins and -Furans)(as Teq)
- Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Germany provided its point source data under the LRTAP convention for the first time in 2017. In principle, the German LPS data submission is mainly a copy of the ePRTR data available on both the national and European websites. However, as some additional information is missing in the ePRTR dataset, such as stack heights, which are not available at the federal level, some gap filling is needed and explained below.
Please note that the most recent provision of large point source data, submitted in 2021, is based on the 2018 dataset, as ePRTR data for 2019 are not yet available.
Source of data: https://cdr.eionet.europa.eu/de/un/clrtap/lps/envyikmeq
Various quality checks of the data were carried out before submission. The data from the ePRTR database was cleaned, processed and missing data was added. Then, the data was transferred into a suitable format (Excel template under LRTAP convention). Before the data could be transformed into the appropriate format for submission, several data preconditions were determined. Furthermore, data quality checks were performed. Below is a list of the quality checks that have been performed.
- Calculation of the sum of LPS emissions and comparison with the NFR tables
- Unit mistakes checks
- Outlier checks
- Verification of missing information in the data (such as ID’s, stack heights, GNFR, coordinates, etc.)
- Checking whether the coordinates are within Germany
- Checking whether there are duplicates in the coordinates
For example, all point sources identified as outliers in the box plots below were checked individually to be correct:
GNFR codes and stack heights
The ePRTR dataset includes most of the information needed for LPS reporting. However, both GNFR sectors and stack heights are not included. These point source meta data are instead derived from the PRTR activities given and by researching some important point sources individually. In general, GNFR membership and stack height class have been added according to Table 1 below (mainly based on the Environmental Research Plan of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety) 4).