The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register - A Case Study of Bosnia-Herzegovina
European Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 21-49, 2008
Posted: 23 Apr 2008
The 2000 European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER) of the European Union (EU) has been expanded into a wider European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR). Recommended under Agenda 21 of the 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development, pollutant release and transfer registers are in operation throughout the globe, though they are a relatively new policy measure in many countries. The EU's PRTR Regulation entered into force on 24 February 2006. Such expansion of the EPER database, the EU's forerunner to the E-PRTR, is on account of full ratification by the EU of the UNECE Kiev Protocol on pollutant release and transfer registers. Such registers facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making and contribute to the prevention and reduction of pollution of the environment. Availability of data can advance not only environmental protection objectives but engender improved human health, lead to industrial innovation, advance technological progress and cleaner production, and may over time, result in cost savings to industry and government. Mandatory reporting to PRTRs has been recognised as providing the impetus to reduce industrial emissions in the USA and Canada. As a signatory to the Kiev Protocol and potential EU candidate country, transposition of the E-PRTR Regulation provides an opportunity for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to commence some preliminary steps towards EU approximation. This paper explores the merits, largely environmental but also political, of implementation of the E-PRTR Regulation in BiH and critiques some initial steps that need to be taken for development and implementation of said Rulebook. This paper comments on legal and policy capacity building that would be required to implement a pollutant release and transfer register in BiH. This includes: a description of the main elements of the founding European Commission Decision on the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER) and the key EPER requirements including a brief outline of how the 'database system' was originally designed; a summary of the changes that the E-PRTR introduced and which build upon the EPER foundations; a detailed summary of the key 'stages' of EPER and the additional ones imposed by the E-PRTR that the BiH Competent Authorities would be advised to follow. Analysis of the respective Framework Laws on Environmental Protection in the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska is undertaken to a limited extent to determine which data/reporting obligations exist and to identify the legal bases for the implementation of E-PRTR through the development of national register(s). This paper further attempts to provide an outline of potential practical considerations in terms of how a national PRTR might be structured and its scope. Moreover, this paper offers justification for providing a harmonised approach to the creation of a Rulebook on Installations and Pollution Register in each of the BiH Entities: an approach that might bring the Entities closer together.
Keywords: European Pollutant Release &Transfer Register,Agenda 21, Rio Conference on Environment & Development, UNECE Kiev Protocol, emissions, Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control,European Community, Accession, European Commission,Bosnia-Herzegovina, environmental law, databases
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