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  QUESTION: National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) reporting in SA, 12 Jul 2006, South Australia

I am part of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) team here in SA. In July we will have two University of SA students working with us to produce a marketing plan for the NPI. Our goal is to make the NPI an easily accessible database for the public and industry to use. I am organising a contact list of local and national groups which would find the NPI useful for the UniSA students. I would like to know if The Lead Group Inc would find the information gathered for the NPI to be useful? I have included a link to our website with this form; I encourage you to take a look at our website and decide if the information provided is useful.
Jean Lawrence
ANSWER: 12 Jul 2006

Dear Jean,

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to find the time to look at the work your team has done at and that I don't have the time to investigate it as fully as I'd like before commenting but this is the modern world and if people can't find the information they need quickly on a website, like me, they tend to move on to some other pressing task.

I need to inform you of my inherent bias against the credibility of NPI data which I developed from the first 10 times I used the national website years ago. If I am any guide to your current users, then I would advise your marketing team to really concentrate their efforts on the following messages (if they are true):

  1. The NPI does not just serve industry.
  2. NPI data is credible. It is not just made up (estimated) by industry without vetting by government.
  3. The industry-supplied data is truly comparable to the government-supplied data because the same principles are applied to come up with the figures.

The SA NPI Team is not just caught up in the grind of collecting data but is keen to ensure that what we say the NPI emission information will do, it ACTUALLY WILL DO.

For instance, it would be excellent if you were able to report on examples of Cleaner Production or Waste Minimisation by Industry or Business or Government and report on how your marketing team managed to get an article in the news media telling South Australian industry how they most need to lift their game, and how householders or consumers can best change their habits to assist in making for a cleaner environment etc. You could have a section for the individual consumer which shows time trends in for instance, emissions from home combustion heaters or architectural surface coatings emissions. I for one would like to know whether you include emissions from preparation of old paint for repainting in your architectural surface coatings emissions data or is it just the off-gassing of new paint that you are counting?

Can I also suggest, because it is the focus of my work and the thing that a lot of people associate with South Australia, that trends in lead and other heavy metal emissions should be specifically commented on every year in the "South Australia Summary Report". [Also the label on that links to the "South Australia Summary Report" should include "South Australia" - I nearly didn't look at it because the label implies these are national NPI Summary Reports.] Within the South Australia Summary Report for 2004-2005 there could be much clearer labelling of the Figures eg to know what Fig 14 and Fig 15 is showing you have to read the surrounding text because the type of emission is not mentioned in the Captions.
It worries me that Fugitive Emissions are the only type of smelter emissions that seem to have a manual.
Thanks for letting me know about your team and I wish you well.
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

Update 2012: See National Pollutant Inventory South Australia summary report 200809

South Australia Environment Protection Authority 2012 NPI Newsletter

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Last Updated 11 September 2012
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