What environmental release information will ECHA publish as part of the opinions on applications for authorisation?


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ECHA will publish the emissions of non-threshold substances such as environmental endocrine disruptors, PBTs, and vPvBs. It will also publish the release factors related to these emissions to the environment in cases where the applicant has not claimed the volumes used to be confidential. In such cases, ECHA will disclose the emissions as such and redacted information on the release factor (see example).

ECHA encourages applicants to be transparent about the release factors. Indeed, in two thirds of applications received to date (March 2020), applicants have provided this information without claiming the information on the release factor and thus the volume used confidential.

Note that the actual release factors and volumes used are always made available to ECHA’s Committees for Risk Assessment and Socio-economic Analysis when they evaluate the applications and give opinions to the European Commission.

Justification:

Article 64(6) of the REACH Regulation says that the Agency shall determine in accordance with Article 118 and 119 which parts of its opinions should be made publicly available on its website. Article 118(2)(c) provides that disclosure of precise tonnage is normally deemed to undermine the protection of commercial interests of the concerned party.

Under the Aarhus Regulation (Article 6(1)), an overriding public interest in disclosure is deemed to exist where a request is made for information relating to emissions to the environment. ECHA thus considers that emission values are non-confidential from a viewpoint of public interest and right to know.  

This policy is consistent with the ECHA’s core values of transparency and efficiency, recognising the overriding public interest in the disclosure of emissions set out in the Aarhus Regulation.

Example:

The volume used of substance is 2 000 kg per year, the release factor is 0.2% and thus the emissions to the environment are 4 kg per year. Unless the applicant has claimed the volume confidential, ECHA will publish this information as part of its opinion.

If the applicant claimed that the volume used should not be disclosed to the public, ECHA would instead publish the volume within a range (e.g. 1 000-5 000 kg), the corresponding release factor also within a range (e.g. 0.1%-0.4 %) and the emission to the environment (4 kg).

SOURCE: ECHA Q&A on REACH Authorisation

                   

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