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The Australian National Pollutant Inventory Fails to Fulfil Its Legislated Goals

1
Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney 2052, Australia
2
Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Canberra 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jason K. Levy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050478
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Publically accessible pollution databases, such as the Australian National Pollutant Inventory, contain information on chemical emissions released by industrial facility and diffuse sources. They are meant to enable public scrutiny of industrial activity, which in turn, is meant to lead to industries reducing their pollution. In Australia, however, concerns have been consistently raised that this process is not occurring. To assess whether Australia’s National Pollutant Inventory is fulfilling its legislated goals, we examined the accuracy and consistency of the largest facility and diffuse source of airborne lead, a major pollutant of concern for public health. Our analysis found that the emissions estimates provided by the Inventory were not accurate and were not consistent with other sources of emissions within the Inventory, potentially distorting any user interpretation of emissions estimates provided by the National Pollutant Inventory. We conclude that for at least these important public health pollution sources, the Inventory does not fulfil its legislated goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollutant release and transfer registers; Australia; lead; national pollutant inventory; airborne emissions; Mount Isa pollutant release and transfer registers; Australia; lead; national pollutant inventory; airborne emissions; Mount Isa
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Cooper, N.; Green, D.; Meissner, K.J. The Australian National Pollutant Inventory Fails to Fulfil Its Legislated Goals. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 478.

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