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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
31 January 2003
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today congratulated South Australian industry for its record response to reporting emission data to the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI).
"In 2001-2002, the NPI's fourth reporting year, 261 South Australian facilities reported their emissions, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year," Dr Kemp said.
"It is pleasing to see so many more facilities reporting as it will give South Australian residents a more complete picture of pollution emissions in their State."
The NPI is an Internet database that provides information on the type and amount of pollution emitted to the air, land and water across Australia. It is a cooperative program between Federal, State and Territory governments.
Facilities are required to report to the NPI if they have an NPI industry handbook and exceed NPI reporting thresholds which relate to use of particular NPI substances, the amount of fuel they burn or - for total nitrogen and total phosphorus - the emission levels.
Dr Kemp said in 2001-2002, a record 2,948 facilities nationally reported to the NPI, jumping from 2,374 the previous year. For the first time, facilities also reported on the full list of 90 substances, up from only 36 substances in previous years.
"Despite a significant increase in the number of facilities reporting to the NPI in 2001-2002, it has been encouraging to see that there has been no change in the levels of reported emissions of some substances. For example, estimated benzene emissions into the atmosphere did not change compared to the previous year," Dr Kemp said.
"I am pleased to see that in 2001-2002, the oil and gas extraction sector decreased emissions of at least five NPI substances, including benzene, oxides of nitrogen, toluene, total nitrogen and total phosphorus.
"These results show some of our major industries are taking pollution more seriously and are embracing cleaner production techniques to minimise emissions and protect the environment for the good of the whole community."
Dr Kemp said the NPI database had become a very valuable tool for industry, government and the community, and was assisting industries around Australia to move towards more sustainable practices.
"Not only can the data help people to find out the major sources and levels of emissions in their local area, but it is helping industry to benchmark and improve environmental performance," Dr Kemp said.
"This year we've also improved the NPI website to ensure faster and easier access to information."
The NPI results follow findings from the State Of The Environment Report 2001, which confirmed that the air quality in Australia's cities is improving. The Commonwealth has been leading the national effort on air quality through a range of projects including the NPI, which was the first air quality National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM), setting ambient air quality standards for six air pollutants across Australia.
The Commonwealth has also introduced new national fuel quality standards to reduce pollution through cleaner diesel and petrol as well as through the use of new automotive technology, and it has established many Eco-Efficiency Agreements with industry to help reduce their impact on the environment.
For more information about the NPI, visit the web site www.npi.gov.au
For more information about other Commonwealth projects to improve air quality visit www.ea.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality
Catherine Job Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Naomi Dwyer Environment Australia Public Affairs (02) 6274 1015
Dr Chris Mill Environment Australia, NPI Unit (02) 6274 1831