About the NPI
The NPI database displays estimated emissions, calculated in kilograms per year (kg/yr), for substances that may pose a health and/or environmental risk. These emissions can arise from industrial, commercial, domestic and transport activities.
The NPI currently includes 93 substances which can be categorised as:
- inorganic substances (metals, metal oxides and non-metals)
- products of combustion (from the burning of fuel such as diesel, petrol, gas, oil or coal)
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The NPI also describes techniques used by facilities to estimate their emissions; provides maps with the locations of reporting facilities and their contact details; and lists the emissions to air from non-facility sources in many urban and rural areas.
The estimated emission data can be requested by:
- location (postcode, state or territory, or Australia-wide)
- substance (individually or up to 93)
- source (industry sector)
- facility (specific industry site)
- emission destination (air, land, water or all three).
Industrial sites (facility emissions)
A limit or 'threshold' is set for each substance listed in the NPI. Throughout Australia, industrial sites that have tripped an NPI threshold must provide emission information to the NPI.
The three mechanisms for tripping the NPI threshold are:
- 'using' more than a specified amount of an NPI substance, where 'use' is defined as 'the handling, manufacture, import, processing coincidental production or other use of the substance'
- burning more than a specified amount of fuel
- emitting more than a specified amount of nitrogen or phosphorus to water.
The reporting sites have calculated their own emissions according to emission estimation techniques (EETs) available in supplied NPI manuals.
These industrial sites, known also as point source emitters, supply the following information annually to the NPI:
- emission values in kg/yr
- site location
- public contact details
- a summary of site activities that reduce emissions.
This information can be accessed on the database through a location, substance, source or facility query using the ‘search by form’ option, searching by map, or browsing the database.
Commercial, domestic and transport activities (aggregate emissions)
The NPI database also provides emission estimates from smaller companies, mobile and non-industrial sources using less than the threshold amounts of NPI substances. These include household activities (lawn mowing, wood fires), transport related activities (cars, aircraft), and area-based sources (road marking services, bush fires).
Each state and territory has estimated the emissions from these sources, also known as aggregated emissions.
South Australia has estimated aggregate emissions for the Adelaide metropolitan area and 16 regional centres—Barmera, Barossa Valley, Berri, Loxton, Lyndoch, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Nuriootpa, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Renmark, Riverland, South East, Spencer Gulf and Whyalla.
This information can be accessed on the database on the ‘search by form’ option and choosing Diffuse (Airshed/Catchment) source of data.
When is NPI emission data reported?
The majority of South Australian industries submit their estimated emission data annually to the SA NPI Team by 30 September. The NPI database is then updated on 31 March the following year.
The SA EPA does not explain, analyse or interpret the data in the NPI database—this is left to the database user.
The Commonwealth Department of the Environment has provided contextual information to help users understand the data from NPI sources.
South Australian NPI Team
Since the introduction of the NPI, the SA NPI Team has been gradually increasing the number of facilities reporting to the NPI. For the 2014-15 reporting period, the team received a total of 483 industry reports.
The focus of the SA NPI Team is to ensure the quality and reliability of the reported data through desktop auditing, scheduled site visits, and onsite audits of facilities.
Please contact the SA NPI Team for further information.