March 5, 2019
Under the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof (hereinafter referred to as the “Chemical Substances Management Act”), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) have jointly estimated and totaled the released and transferred amounts of chemical substances in FY2017 based on the notifications submitted by business operators, and subsequently compiled the data.
According to the submitted notifications, 152,000 tons in total of the chemical substances were released or transferred, up by 0.24% from the previous fiscal year. Looking at the breakdown, there were 235,000 tons of released amounts, up by 4.4% from the previous fiscal year, while there were 387,000 tons of transferred amounts, up by 2.7% from the previous fiscal year.
The compiled data by business operator will be available on the METI and MOE websites from March 5, 2019.
1. BackgroundIn April 2001, the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) system was introduced under the Chemical Substances Management Act, which was promulgated in July 1999.
Under the PRTR system, every business operator that handles any of the Class I Designated Chemical Substances is required to notify the government of the amount of such chemical substances that they have released into the environment or have transferred to certain locations contained in waste. Such Class I Designated Chemical Substances are recognized as continuing to exist in the environment of a considerably wide area and as posing the risk of being injurious to human health, or the risk of impeding the inhabitation or growth of animals and plants. The system also requires the government to disclose not only a tabulation of the data of which notification was submitted by the business operators, but also the estimated amounts of chemical substances that are supposed to be released from entities other than the business operators concerned.
In line with the revision of the Order for Enforcement of the Chemical Substances Management Act in November 2008, the coverage of chemical substances of which notification is required under the PRTR system was also expanded from 354 to 462 of the substances ascertained in FY2010 onward. At the same time, the medical industry was newly introduced to the coverage of the system, resulting in the total number of industries that are required to submit a notification coming to 24.
Jointly with MOE, METI totaled the released amount of such designated substances, as well as estimated and calculated the amounts that are supposed to be released from entities other than the business operators, and compiled the results.
The results of the compiled data and the data by individual business operator will be publicized on both the METI and MOE websites from March 5, 2019.
2. Outline of the FY2015 PRTR data
1) Released and transferred amounts of which notification was made
The government compiled the released and transferred amounts of chemical substances of which notification was made by 34,253 subject business operators nationwide during FY2017. There were 152,000 tons of released amounts, up by 0.24% from the previous fiscal year, and there were 235,000 tons of transferred amounts, up by 4.4% from the previous fiscal year, which came to 387,000 tons in total, up by 2.7% from the previous fiscal year.
In addition, there were 136,000 tons of released, continuously-confirmed substances,* the notification of which is designated to be submitted by business operators not only under the revised system but also under the pre-revised system, a decrease of 0.04% from the previous fiscal year, representing a continued decreasing trend.
*Note: Continuously-confirmed substances: 276 chemical substances that business operators should notify the government of as substances designated under the revised system as well as the pre-revised system
2) Released amounts of which notification was not made, based on the estimation of the government
The government estimated the released amounts of which notification was not made from industries that are required to submit a notification and the released amounts from industries that are not required to submit a notification, households and mobile bodies, and found that there were 239,000 tons of the released amounts across Japan.
3. Release of the compiled results
For the materials of the compiled results, visit the following websites (in Japanese):
Division in Charge
Chemical Management Policy Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau