1. General help to Thru.de


What ist Thru.de, and what can I find here?

Thru.de is an Internet portal that offers a great deal of data on the quality of the environment in Germany – to be exact, on how much pollution industrial facilities release to the environment and on how much waste they dispose of off-site. The portal is openly accessible to everyone. So just what information can you now access on Thru.de? First, the portal has a register with environmental information on some 5,000 industrial facilities. Everybody can inform himself on the volumes of certain pollutants these facilities release to the environment.

But the portal has even more to offer: information on emissions from “diffuse” sources, that is, e.g., on how many pollutants the transport sector, all households and the entire agriculture sector are releasing to air or water. The portal also features links that navigate you to more information about the quality of the environment.

Thru.de is operated by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). We provide annual updates on the extent of environmental pollution coming from about 5,000 facilities in Germany. We cooperate with competent authorities within the federal states who receive the data from the facilities and review them for quality. The software that operators use to record and transmit data to the competent authorities is called BUBE. The costs of BUBE were funded and split evenly between the federal states and UBA.

The legal foundations for the Internet portal were set out in the European E-PRTR Regulation of 2006. 


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What does PRTR stand for, and what happened to the PRTR website? 

PRTR stands for 'Pollutant Release and Transfer Register'. The abbreviation for this type of register has been used worldwide for a long time and has thereby become common. 

The term "Thru.de" was chosen to minimise the use of an abbreviation of an English term in Germany. The Thru.de portal has now taken the place of what had formerly been the PRTR on the Internet since June 2009. Although the staff at industrial facilities and public authorities who are responsible for data collection and quality assurance have become familiar with the term PRTR in recent years, citizens’ comments in particular revealed that it means very little to most members of the public – yet they are the people to whom the information is actually addressed.

The name Thru.de stands for clarity, transparency, reliability and credibility. In Norse mythology, Thru.de was the goddess of trees and flowers. Her name means 'strength'. The Internet portal by the same name offers reliable, transparent and 'powerful' data on the emissions of pollutants to the environment.


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Where can I now find questions and answers for competent authorities and operators, the expert WIKI?

The expert wiki can be used in the accustomed way.


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I have to file a PRTR report and landed here. What do I have to do? 

To file a PRTR report, you must register. You will find all the necessary information there or in the expert wiki. The information can also be downloaded here

For any other questions and answers about Thru.de please go to Q & A.


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2. Search for facilities

Thru.de offers a number of ways to locate a facility. By selecting "Facilities" in the blue-coloured menu, one can choose between

to search for and find a specific facility according to different characteristics.

Tips on the various ways to do a search are to be found here:

This information is also available for download.


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3. Search the map

User instructions for map

In the map view, you can choose between "individual facility view" or "chart view" to be displayed. The standard setting is chart view. You can switch to individual facility view by clicking on the individual facility function or by selecting one or more sectors.

 


Bild zeigt die Legende zur Karte mit den 9 verschiedenen Industriebranchen.

Chart view 

The chart view features a pie chart showing the number and industrial sector distribution of facilities. This chart view is available for the federal state and the district level. The different colour shades represent the breakdown of the sectors. The width of the pie chart on the federal state level reflects the number of facilities in that federal state relative to the total number of facilities in Germany. The district level view reflects the number of the district's facilities relative to the total number of facilities in that respective federal state.


Bild zeigt beispielhalft ein Kreisdiagramm, mit dem in der Karte die Anteile der einzelnen Branchen in den Bundesländern bzw. auf Lanfdkreisebene darestellt sind.

Clicking on the pie chart will open a window displaying the number of facilities in the individual sectors of industry. The arrow navigation at the bottom of the window will switch to the view of each sector's share of all facilities in Germany or in the federal state. There is a zoom in/zoom out function at the bottom right corner of the window.


Bild zeigt beispielhaft ein Balkendiagramm mit den Anteilen der Betriebe nach Industriebranchen für die einzelnen BUndesländer und Landkreise.

Bild zeigt beispielhaft ein Balkendiagramm mit den Anteilen der Betriebe an der Gesamtzahl der Betriebe einer Brachen.

As of a scale of 1:150,000, the chart view also shows individual facilities. Detailed information about the facilities and their overall profile can be accessed by clicking on the individual icons.


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Individual facility

The individual facility view shows all PRTR facilities with the icon representing the respective industry sector. Individual sectors can be added or excluded. Switching between both views (individual facility and chart) is possible up to a scale of 1:250,000. Data on the individual facility, or detailed information, can be accessed at a scale setting of 1:150,000 and higher. Detailed information about on facilities and their overall profile can be accessed by clicking on the individual icons.


Das Bild zeigt beispielhaft die Daten zu einem Einzelbetrieb.

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Search boxes in the map

You can use three additional search boxes to support your map search: 

Reporting year:

The reporting year is preset to the year with the most recent data.

Search town/ city/ postal code:

You can enter any postal code or town/ city (in Germany) in this search box. Please select the postal code or name of town from the pull-down menu that will open and click on the zoom button behind the search box. Your selected town or postal code area will be displayed at a scale of 1:50,000. Click on the facilities in the pane to access the detail view.

Search facility: 

You can enter the facility name that you are looking for in this search box. A number of names will be suggested as you make your entry. Select your facility of choice and click on the zoom button behind the search box. The selected facility will be displayed at a scale of 1:20,000. Click on the facilities in the pane to access the detail view. 


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Nothing happens when I click on the facility icons on the map. What am I doing wrong? 

Detailed information about facilities as well as their overall profile can be accessed by clicking on the individual icons. This function is only available at scale 1:150,000 or greater. 

You can change the map scale by clicking on "-" or "+" in the upper left corner of the zoom bar in the map. The current map scale setting is shown at the bottom right of the map.


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How do I get more detailed information about a facility on the map? 

Detailed information about facilities can be accessed by clicking on the individual icons in the map at a scale of 1:150,000 or greater. A small window will open with key information about the facility. In this window, click on "Profile" to see the detailed information. 

This information is also available for download.


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4. Search by criteria

Information about search criteria

The "Search" form can be used to look for specific facilities, pollutants or waste amounts. You can customise your search by combining a number of search criteria. The available selection criteria only cover information which the operator of the facility is obliged to report to the EU and the national PRTR. 

General remarks: 

  • All the data shown on the "Search results" page are shown as a list of facilities and can be downloaded (as a pdf- or an Excel document.
  • Please note that you must limit certain search boxes to "all" or "individual"; otherwise you will receive an error message.

About the individual search criteria:

  • Reporting year: This preset to the current reporting year. Select other years from the menu as desired. Data is reported to the EU on 31 March and 30 September every year.
  • Name of facility: Use this search box to enter the name of the facility you are looking for. A number of names will be suggested when your entry is finished. Select your facility of choice.
  • Confidentiality: Operators may label certain information as confidential. If you want to do a search for limited reporting on grounds of confidentiality , select "yes" and you will see the names of all the facilities that have labelled data as confidential. Then click on "Detail" for a selected facility to get detailed information on their confidential data. For more information on confidentiality go to Q & A.
  • Location: You can enter either a postal code or a town/ city here. The first digit of a postal code usually is enough to do a search as this will be more inclusive.
  • River basin: The river basin in which a facility releases pollutants to water is relevant for the reporting. The identification of a river basin is done in accordance with Article 3, Para. 1 of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). Enter the name of the river basin you are looking for in this search box.
  • Operator/Owner: The owner of the property where a facility is located is usually also the owner of the facility. The owner of a property is identified in the land register. The owner of a facility may be but is not necessarily the operator of the facility on the basis of the E-PRTR Regulation. If the owner of a facility also runs the facility, he is also its operator. However, if the owner gives rights of disposal to another entity, e.g. a tenant, leaseholder or lessee, owner and operator are not identical.
  • Parent facility: A parent facility is an enterprise owned by the operator of the facility.
  • federal state: It is possible to do search in the different federal states. There are two ways to do this:

    • "All": will search the whole of Germany, that is all federal states;
    • "Baden-Württemberg" ... "Thuringia": limits the search to the selected federal state or federal states.

  • Main activity / non-main activity: The operator of a facility must classify all releases and transfers in a main activity. If other industrial activities are pursued in addition to the main activity, the operator must register these as non-main activities. The facility's main activity on the basis of PRTR is usually classified as the one most relevant to the environment. All emissions and disposals of waste are associated with the main activity of the facility. You can search both main activity and secondary activities in Thru.de.
  • NACE Code (Nomenclature des Activités économiques dans les Communautés Européennes): the statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community, based on Regulation (EC) No. 1893/2006. In this search box, you can select from a list either the name of the sector you are looking for or the associated NACE Code.
  • Sectors: There are nine sectors in the PRTR. You can select the desired sector of industry from the list in the search box. 
  • Activities: The PRTR requires 65 activities to be reported. These 65 activities are classified in nine sectors of industry. The focus is on industrial activity and not – as is often assumed – on the main business activity of a facility. You can select an activity from the list in this search box. 
  • Pollutant group: There are seven pollutant groups in the PRTR. You can select the desired pollutant group from the list in the search box.
  • Pollutant: E-PRTR requires operators to report on up to 91 pollutants and pollutant groups. The name of the pollutant may be treated as confidential in the PRTR, whereby the operator must indicate the pollutant group instead of the name of the pollutant. You can select the desired pollutant from the list in the search box.
  • Air/Water/Soil/Wastewater: The E-PRTR Regulation makes provisions to report discharges to the environmental media air, water and soil as well as the disposal of pollutants contained in wastewater. These four environmental media can be selected here.
  • Methods of determination: The PRTR requires operators to report the methods used to determine their emissions (releases) and transfers. This information is based on a simplified system of three categories, each labelled with a letter:

    • Category M: Release and transfer data is based on measurements ("M" – Measurement)
    • Category C: Release and transfer data is based on calculations ("C" – Calculation)
    • Category E: Release and transfer data is based on estimations ("E" – Estimation)

  • Pollutant amounts (kg/a): Pollutant amounts reported in PRTR are rounded off to three significant digits and are given in kg/a. You can assess either total amount (kg/a) or accidental emissions (kg/a). The default setting is "Total Amount".
  • Waste: Waste amounts reported in PRTR are rounded off to three significant digits and given in t/a. There are two categories of waste to choose from.

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What do the different measurement and calculation methods mean?

When data reported is based on measurements or calculations ("M" or "C"), the method applied must also be reported. The various measurement and calculation methods are:

  • ALT (M): (ALTernative measurement method), in compliance with existing CEN/ISO measurement standards
  • CRM (M): measurement method whose efficiency has been proven by means of Certified Reference Materials and has been approved by the competent authority 
  • INT (C) ETS: established guidelines for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions under ETS (Emission Trade System)
  • INT (M) CEN/ISO: internationally recognised measurement standard (according to CEN or ISO standards)
  • MAB (C): (MAss Balance method), accepted by the competent authority
  • NRB (M): Nationally or Regionally Binding measurement method established by legal provision for a certain pollutant and the concerned facility
  • NRB (C): Nationally or Regionally Binding calculation method established by legal provision for a certain pollutant and the concerned facility
  • OTH (M): OTHer measurement methodology
  • OTH (C): OTHer calculation methodology
  • PER (C): calculation method that has been determined by the competent authority in the course of an authorisation or licensing procedure for the facility (PERmit)
  • PER (M): measurement method that has been determined by the responsible authority in the course of an authorisation or licensing procedure for the facility (PERmit)
  • SSC: (Sector Specific Calculation), recognised throughout Europe
  • Sonstiges (M): other/no method
  • Sonstiges (C): other/no method
  • INT (C) UN‐ECE/EMEP: method of taking inventory of air emissions according to the UN‐ECE/EMEP "EMEP/CORINAIR Emission Inventory Guidebook 2005"

This information is also available for download .


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5. Use the proximity search

What can I find by doing a proximity search?

A proximity search allows you to find facilities that are located within a certain distance to a town or in a certain postal code area. Please enter your search criteria in the search boxes. The "status of data" information at the top right of the form shows when the information was last updated (see also Q & A).

Reporting year:

The default setting is the current reporting year. Please select earlier reporting years as appropriate.

Town/ City/ Postal code: 

You can enter the desired postal code or name of a town/city in this search box.

Surroundings:

You can locate facilities that are within 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 km from the town selected above and display a result list.

This information is also available for download.


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6. Display details of selected facility 

There are two ways to display details of a facility. 

Map:

Enter the name of the facility you are looking for in the "Facility" search box, select it in the list and then click on the zoom function or go straight to the zoom function without making a selection. You will see information about the location of the facility as well as individual facility data.

Search: 

Enter your search criteria into the boxes. Please note that you must limit your search to "All" or "Individual facility" in some cases; otherwise you will see an error message. Click on the "search" button, and you will receive a list of search results. You must then click on the "Map" or "Detail" icon of a selected facility to display the details.

This information is also available for download.


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7. Search results: useful information

Useful information on pollutant loads search results 

Thru.de lets you see both aggregate and industry-specific search results.
For example, if you choose the medium "Air" when doing a search and select "Pollutant loads" for the presentation of results, you will see both the total load per pollutant group and, by expanding the "Pollutants" box, a detail display of which pollutant makes up how much of total pollutant load.


Useful information on waste volume search results

Thru.de lets you see both aggregate and industry-specific search results.
For example, if you select both "Hazardous wastes" and "Non-hazardous waste" under the "Waste" heading and click on "Waste amounts" for the presentation of results, you will get two columns of results which you can view alternately by switching back and forth. The current display of results is shown by the dark-shaded button.

The results page shows total amounts in tonnes/year and the proportions of total amounts that were either recycled or disposed of. The last line shows the total amount of all or only the selected industry sectors. By expanding the "inside/outside of the country" box when you are on the "Hazardous waste" results page, you will find information about the shares of waste which were recycled or disposed of in Germany and abroad. All figures are rounded off to three significant digits. 

This information is also available for download.


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8. Technical advice  

The system's functionality has been tested successfully with the following browsers:
• Mozilla Firefox, Version 9 and higher
• Google Chrome, Version 21 and higher
• MS Internet Explorer, Version 8 and higher
Please be sure to activate JavaScript in your browser.


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9. Printing and download


To print any of the general information pages in "Thru.de", "Information" and "Help" please use your browser's print function. 

Results of "Search", "Proximity search" or "Emissions in short" can be downloaded as pdf or Excel files.


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10. I have read everything on the "Help" page but still cannot find what I am looking for. What can I do?

You are welcome to get in touch with us directly. Please direct your enquiries to us by using the Contact page.


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