5 Step Checklist for National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Reporting

National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Reports are gathered annually by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), a department of the Canadian government. These reports help the government to quantify and manage pollution and wastes. However, NPRI reporting can be confusing if it isn’t approached from the right angle, especially if it is your first time to complete an NPRI report.

These five steps for NPRI reporting can keep your facility in compliance and help you prepare for the first week in June when annual reports are due.

Step 1: Understand the Current NPRI Reporting Requirements

Currently there are 322 chemical substances that have been identified as pollutants and are regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. However, NPRI reporting requirements are frequently changing, and you should monitor those changes closely to keep your facility in compliance. A summary of the changes can be found online and downloaded from the ECCC website. The changes are also usually outlined in detail in the official guidance manual found in the Gazette government publication.

Step 2: Collect Data on Product Usage

The next step is to gather chemical usage data from chemical suppliers and on-site inventories. To accurately report chemical usage amounts, you will need to have an efficient system for collecting and storing data and determining usage totals.

This step will include creating lists of all the products used on site, their safety data sheets (SDSs), and information about the processes in which each product is used and released.

Keeping a well-maintained database and list of contacts from whom you collect data is essential to this process, as it enables you to collect accurate and thorough information.

Step 3: Determine Which Chemicals Are Reportable

Once the usage totals have been calculated, compare the totals to the reporting thresholds to determine exceedances.

Most NPRI substances have a reporting threshold of 10 tonnes (one tonne being the equivalent of 1,000 kilograms), but there are many that have thresholds of only 1 tonne. Some even have a threshold of less than 100 kilograms. There are also some substances that require a calculation based on the type of activity to determine the reporting threshold.

If your release total is over the reporting threshold quantity, you must report that release in your NPRI report.

Step 4: Calculate Release Totals

Once you have determined which substances are reportable, you must then calculate release totals.

The release totals should be classified based on the pathway of release. For example, this could be “fugitive” for uncontrolled air emissions, “stack” for controlled air emissions, “on-site disposal” for waste buried in an on-site landfill, or “off-site transfer” for wastes that are picked up and disposed of elsewhere.

Each pathway will have a different release percentage based on the engineering methods used at your facility. For example, you may have a product used on site in which 12.91% of the total amount used is recovered or recycled and the remaining 89.09% is sent to a wastewater treatment plant.

Step 5: Report Exceedances Online

Each chemical that exceeds its threshold quantity must be reported online to ECCC. You can find the easy-to-use, fillable forms within the Single Window Information Management (SWIM) system on the ECCC website.

The forms are based on the release pathway, but you will still need to fill out a separate form for each reportable substance.

Get Help From Tetra Tech

If you need help collecting data on your chemicals, determining your release totals, or completing your NPRI report, contact Tetra Tech’s reporting team at [email protected]. We have over 20 years of experience helping clients all over the world meet their reporting deadlines, and we can help make your NPRI reporting efficient and manageable.


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