To be more precise, they have to report this data to the competent authorities in the federal states. After review the federal states authorities send the data to the Federal Environment Agency, which in turn compiles and reviews the information and forwards it to the EU Commission. The Federal Environment Agency in Germany is also required to publish this information. And this is exactly what the portal Thru.de does.
All of this is founded on laws and regulations:
The European E-PRTR Regulation of 2006 requires to inform the public about the releases of 91 pollutants and pollutant groups to air, water and soil, on the disposal of waste and off-site transfer of pollutants in waste water. Operators of facilities with reporting obligations must provide this data to the respective competent authorities.
The German Act to implement the European PRTR Regulation (PRTR Act - SchadRegProtAG) regulates how facilities in Germany must report on their pollutant emissions and waste transfers and how the information is to be made public. The Act contains:
- provisions on the establishment of a national pollutant register,
- the collection and reporting of information necessary for publication in the national and European pollutant registers,
- the confidentiality of certain information, as well as
- administrative fines and rules governing informant protection as it relates to violation of the provisions of the PRTR Act or the E-PRTR Regulation.
The act also stipulates that in addition to data from industrial facilities, the pollutant register must contain information about emissions from diffuse sources.
There is also a Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, or PRTR Protocol. Although it was the starting point of European and German regulations, it plays only a minor role in practice. The PRTR Act and E-PRTR Regulation contain the relevant provisions on facilities reporting their emissions to the competent national authorities and the EU Commission.