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Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof(Law concerning Pollutant Release and Transfer Register / PRTR)



Ⅰ. Outline PRTR Law
1. Objective

To promote voluntary improvement of management of chemical substances by business operators and to prevent any impediments to the preservation of the environment through the establishment of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) system, which confirms release amounts, etc. of specific chemical substances in the environment, and the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) system, which provides information concerning the properties and the handling of specific chemical substances.

 

2. The PRTR System

(1) Outline

This system requires specific business operators to submit notifications regarding specified chemical substances that may be harmful to human health and ecosystems to their regional or municipal governmental authorities. The notifications, which are aimed at raising awareness among business operators of the amounts of substances released from their premises to the outside environment, must provide details of the amount of emissions released into the natural environment (including the atmosphere, rivers and other waterways, and soil). The regional or municipal governmental authority, in turn, submits the notifications to the relevant Minister having jurisdiction over the business.


The relevant government ministry then collates the notified data and calculates the total of reported emissions. It then estimates the amount of non-notified emissions, and makes all this information publicly available. Information regarding the data submitted by each business operator is also available on the Internet.


(2) Specified Chemical Substances
Specified chemical substances are those which are deemed harmful to humans and ecosystems, and those which disperse widely in the natural environment and may be exposed. These chemical substances are specified in the government ordinance “Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances,” in which 462 such substances are specified. Fifteen chemical substances have been identified from among the 462 as containing carcinogenic properties, etc. and have been specially designated.

Such products as chemicals, dyestuffs, paints and solvents, which contain 1% or more of the amount of the chemical substances specified in the “Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances” ― or 0.1% or more of the amount of the specific class / Designated Chemical Substances― are also included.

However, products with low contents of specified chemical substances, solid substances, products for general consumer purposes and sealed products, which, due to the handling processes of the individual business operators, are all considered to have low emission levels, are not included.

Example Substances
Volatile hydrocarbons ― benzene, toluene, xylene, etc.

Organochlorine Pesticide Compounds ― dioxins, trichlorethylene, etc.

Agrichemicals ― methyl bromide, fenitrothion, chlorpyrifos, etc.

Metallic compounds ― lead (or lead compounds), organic tin compounds, etc.

Ozone layer depleting substances ― CFCs, HCFs

Others ― asbestos

(3) Targeted Business Operators
Targeted business operators are those who produce or use chemical substances specified in the “Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances” or products that contain these substances, and are deemed to release these substances into the natural environment during their business operations. More specifically, targeted business operators are those included in the following categories:

-Business operators whose operations fall under the 24 types of business operations specified in the government ordinance.

-Business operators who employ over 21 employees during their regular business operations.

-Business operators who annually handle one tonne or more of any chemical substance specified in the “Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances” (or 0.5 tonnes or more of the Specific Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances). Business operators who have set up facilities specified in other relevant government ordinances (specially designated facilities) are also deemed as targeted business operators. 

 

(4) Penalties

Required business operators who fail to submit notifications or who submit false information in their notifications will be liable for the payment of a fine of up to 200,000 yen.


For more information about PRTR System

3. The SDS System

(1) Outline
This system requires that business operators to provide information on the properties and the handling of specified chemical substances in advance, on the occasion that the business operator transfers such chemical substances or products containing such substances to another business operator.

(2) Specified Chemical Substances
Specified chemical substances are the total of 562 substances that have been identified in the either the “Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances” (462 substances), or the “Class 2 Designated Chemical Substances” (100 substances).

These are substances that are specified as being harmful to humans and ecosystems (including properties which deplete the ozone layer), and are deemed to disperse widely into the environment or are highly likely to disperse widely into the environment at a future time.

Such products as chemicals, dyestuffs, paints and solvents, which contain 1% or more of the amount of the chemical substances specified in the “Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances” or the “Class 2 Designated Chemical Substances” ― or 0.1% or more of the amount of the Specified Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances― are also included. 

However, products with low contents of specified chemical substances, solid substances, products for general consumer purposes and sealed products, which, due to the handling processes of the individual business operators, are all considered to have low emission levels, are not included.

(3) Targeted Business Operators

Targeted business operators are those who transfer specified chemical substances or products containing such substances to another business operator.


For more information about SDS System
GHS Classification Guidance for the Japanese Government 2013 Revised Edition
GHS Classification Guidance for Enterprises 2013 Revised Edition
The GHS Mixture Classification System

4. Promoting the Self Management of Chemical Substances

(1) Responsibilities of Business Operators
Business operators who handle chemical substances identified in the “Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances” or the “Class 2 Designated Chemical Substances” are required to pay close attention to the Guidelines for the Management of Chemical Substances, and manage the on-site handling of specified chemical substances in accordance with the methods detailed therein. Business operators are also required to exert all possible efforts to deepen the public understanding of management practices.


(2) Outline of the Guidelines for the Management of Chemical Substances
The Guidelines for the Management of Chemical Substances provides expert scientific analyses on the physical and chemical properties of chemical substances, consideration of technological trends regarding the manufacture, use and handling of chemical substances, and provides operators with advice on which aspects the operator should make clear to all concerned persons regarding the management of chemical substances.

-Enhancement of facilities and other management methods for specified chemical substances.

-Appropriate use of specified chemical substances.

-Management methods, appropriate use and increasing public understanding with regard to the release of specified chemical substances.

-Use of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to provide data on the properties and the appropriate handling of specified chemical substances.

 

Ⅱ. Laws

Act

Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof 

Order

Order for Enforcement of the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof 

Ministrial Ordinance

Order for Enforcement of the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof 

Ministerial Ordinance Specifying the Method of Provision of Information on the Properties and Handling of Designated Chemical Substances, etc.  

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