Groundbreaking ERG-Supported Report on Toxic Pollutant Releases Published

bird's eye view of a cluster of buildings and water towers

Across the globe, toxic chemicals can be emitted into air, water, and land, endangering the health of communities and ecosystems. To better understand how countries can track their progress in decreasing these pollutants, ERG undertook a groundbreaking effort to analyze air and water release data of 14 key pollutants for more than 30 countries. The analysis shows which countries are reducing chemical pollution from these pollutants, helping to understand global trends. Working for EPA on behalf of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ERG used Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs)—databases that provide information on where, how, and by whom certain chemicals are released—to develop an analysis of releases in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Chile, Mexico, all European Union countries, and several more European nations. A product of more than three years of hard work, the analysis is part of a first-of-its-kind report assessing trends in releases of these pollutants. Ultimately, understanding countries’ progress at reducing chemical pollution can help assess progress toward the UN’s sustainable development goal (SDG) 12.4, which aims to achieve environmentally friendly chemical and waste management to protect people’s health and the environment.