Programs and initiatives

National Pollutant Inventory


The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) is a public database that provides the community, industry and government with information on 93 substances being emitted to the air, land and water, and transported in waste.

The NPI program is co-ordinated Australia wide by the Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

EPA has the responsibility for implementing the NPI program in Victoria. The NPI is incorporated into Victorian legislation as the Industrial Waste Management Policy (National Pollutant Inventory)1998.

EPA has a strong commitment to the NPI as an important mechanism for providing environmental information to the Victorian public. The NPI is a key tool to satisfy communities ‘right to know’ about the pollutants in their environment.

Further Information

FAQs about NPI

  • EPA's role in the NPI?

    It is EPA's responsibility to work with facilities, industry groups and all other stakeholders to ensure that information that is reported through the NPI database is communicated effectively to all parties.

    EPA runs annual industry workshops to help industries understand their reporting requirements. We also undertake compliance activities to ensure that facilities report correctly and on time.

    The NPI is one way in which EPA promotes continuous environmental improvement. The public nature of the NPI database means companies are placed in the spotlight, side by side with others in their field, encouraging companies to look for better ways of going about their business. Businesses that focus on minimising the environmental implication of their products, will generate financial savings for their company (less waste means less wasted money) and may also assist in building industry and community relationships.

    EPA believes that the NPI provides a resource that can be used in schools to make a difference to the way the next generation strives for a better environment, in which to live. We hope that over time the NPI becomes another tool to influence behavioural change in our society, where people think more about the environmental impacts of decisions they make such as how they get to work, go to the local shop or what products they buy.

  • What does the NPI involve?

    Large industrial facilities are required to annually estimate and report their emissions and transfers of all of the 93 listed substances, for which they trip the thresholds.

    Emissions from smaller industry, households and everyday activities in major population centres are estimated by the government departments and then included in the database.

    These additional sources of emissions to air include house painting, motor vehicles, wood-fire smoke and even lawn mowers. Emissions to water of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus may come from agriculture or urban runoff. These aggregated emissions are included in the NPI database to dispel the myth that only industry causes pollution. Their inclusion also allows governments to see the combined impact of all activities on the environment, which assists in future environmental planning and management.

Page last updated on 27 Jul 2012