2008 marks the first year in which businesses must report on 2007 pollutant emissions if they exceed established capacity and pollutant threshold limits, or volume caps on wastes. Corporations obliged to report include industrial facilities in the energy supply sector, the metals industry, minerals processing industry, chemicals, the paper and food industry, as well as landfills, sewage treatment plants, and mass animal husbandry. PRTR data from Germany will be accessible to the public via the Internet as of July 2009. This will allow citizens to gather information about the pollutant emissions of the industries in their vicinity. Publication of PRTR data will also provide businesses with the opportunity to advertise their environmental protection measures.
The Federal Government and Laender worked in close cooperation with the private sector to develop the BUBE-Online software. In addition to recording PRTR data, BUBE-Online will also store reports necessitated by the 11th Federal Immission Protection Regulation (11th BImSchV, Emission reporting) and 13th Federal Immission Protection Regulation (13th BImSchV, large combustion plants). BUBE-Online will thus integrate various reporting duties in a national uniform software that will make it possible for corporations to use data registered once to meet all their reporting obligations.
One additional advantage of BUBE-Online: recording, storage, and transmission is all done electronically only. BUBE-Online is a Web application. Use of the software via the BUBE web portal merely requires an Internet browser. The portal makes a substantial contribution to cutting down on bureaucracy.
The Federal Government adopted the electronic PRTR (ePRTR) into its e-government 2.0 programme in March 2008 as an example of efficient and customer-friendly administration. UBA is involved with other agencies such as the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) in the operation of PRTR as well as the design and development of its components intended for inclusion in public information systems.