The NPI is a public database of pollutants emitted across Australia. It collects information on the emission and transfer of 93 substances, which is made publicly available on the NPI website. The NPI contains over 20 years of data and includes emissions from specific sources; such as factories, and from spread out sources, such as motor vehicles. Find out more about the NPI.
The NPI ensures the community has access to information about where pollutants are being emitted. The desired environmental outcomes of the NPI program are to:
- maintain and improve air and water quality
- minimise environmental impacts associated with hazardous waste, and
- improve the sustainable use of resources.
The NPI does not include greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane. The Australian National Greenhouse Accounts publishes national greenhouse gas emissions data.
Reporting to the NPI
Your business may be required to report to the NPI. Reporting is mandatory for any facility that meets or exceeds the reporting thresholds in a given year. Reporting thresholds are broadly categorised as follows:
- Uses more than 10 tonnes of a Category 1 substance
- Uses more than 25 tonnes of Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC)
- Uses more than 5kg of mercury compounds
- Uses more than 400 tonnes of fuel and/or waste OR burns 1 tonne of fuel during any hour of the year (such as the use of explosives)
- Uses more than 2000 tonnes of fuel/waste OR uses 60,000 MWh of electricity (for other than lighting or motive purposes) OR your facility is rated at 20MW or more.
- Discharges 15 tonnes of Total Nitrogen or 3 tonnes of Total Phosphorous to surface waters, off-site sewerage system or any other mandatory reporting transfer destination.
Use of a substance means the handling, manufacture, import, processing, coincidental production or other use of the substance. A substance is taken not to be used if: (a) it is incorporated in an article in a way that does not lead to emission of the substance to the environment; or (b) it is an article for sale or use that is handled in a way that does not lead to emission of the substance to the environment.
The occupier of a facility must determine whether they have exceeded any reporting threshold. NPI reporters can calculate their emissions using the industry-specific emission estimation technique manuals.
Some facilities and activities are not required to report to the NPI, even if these exceed the reporting thresholds. These exceptions are outlined on page 7 of the National Pollutant Inventory Guide
How EPA Victoria enforces NPI reporting obligations
The NPI is a joint initiative of the federal, state and territory governments with EPA Victoria responsible for implementing the program in Victoria. In 2021, over 900 Victorian facilities reported to the NPI.
The obligations of facility occupiers are set out in part 5.2 of the Environment Protection Regulations 2021
. Failure to submit a report on time (Regulation 104(3), to exercise due diligence in gathering and providing the required data (regulation 104(2)), and to keep data used to determine threshold exceedance, emissions and mandatory transfers (Regulation 106), can each result in penalty infringements.
The EPA Victoria NPI team conducts active compliance prior to and following publication of reports to the NPI database. This includes validation of reports and conducting compliance inspections of facilities.
Further information for facility occupiers
Contact our NPI team