Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Review of Fifth Baltic Sea Pollution Load Compilation for 2013 HELCOM Ministerial Meeting

Target and activities

The overall task of the Project is to update the Fifth Pollution Load Compilation with data on waterborne (and airborne) inputs to the Baltic Sea from 2009 (2010).

The project will be carried out in two consecutive stages:

  1. Data collection, submission and compilation
  2. Preparation of the report

This PLC-5.5 report shall:

  • quantify and describe the waterborne discharges from point sources and losses from non-point pollution sources as well as the quantified natural background losses into inland surface waters (source oriented approach) within the catchment area of the Baltic Sea located within the borders of the Contracting Parties and request non Contracting Parties to submit information on sources based on PLC-5 data and possible updates by the Contracting Parties;
  • quantify and describe the waterborne loads (from rivers, unmonitored and coastal areas as well as point sources) discharging directly to the Baltic Sea (load oriented approach);
  • quantify and describe the airborne deposition of nutrients to the Baltic Sea and its sub-basins (total and from combustion, agriculture, road transport and shipping sectors of the Contracting Parties and sources outside the Baltic Sea Area);
  • evaluate changes and trends in the pollution load since 1994;
  • assess changes and trends in country- and sub-basin-wise nutrient loads in relation to maximum allowable inputs and nutrient reduction targets;
  • explain to which extent changes are caused by human activi­ties or natural variations;
  • overall evaluate the significance of main water protection measures applied in the Baltic Sea catchment area to reduce the pollution load from land-based sources.
  • quantify air emissions relevant for the Baltic Sea divided per source and per country
  • quantify and describe atmospheric deposition on Baltic Sea sub-basins
  • include a blame matrix of deposition including transboundary deposition and  deposition from ship emission
  • evaluate trends in air deposition 1995-2009 (2010) and compared with reference period
  • overall evaluate the significance of major measures to combat air emission applies within the Baltic Sea catchment areas and sources outside the catchment relevant for air deposition on the Baltic Sea

The PLC-5.5 report should be based on the data collected by the Contracting Parties for the annual indicator facts sheets on total waterborne loads and additional comprehensive data for the year 2009 (2010) and in accordance with the Waterborne Pollution Load Guidelines. Data on airborne emissions and deposition should be used on data reported by the Contracting Parties to EMEP.

The PLC-5.5, as the previous compilations, will be internationally recognized and referred to as a standard publication for a number of years. Therefore, the final PLC-5.5 project report should be published in a consistent and easily readable form which attracts scientists, administrators and the general public.

HELCOM LOAD will replace the role of PLC Group, therefore no separate workshops will be organized. HELCOM LOAD Core Group will replace the role of PLC Core Group to steer the implementation of the Project.

Expected results

The objectives of periodic pollution load compilations (PLC-Water) regarding pollution of the Baltic Sea from land-based sources are to:

  • compile information on the water (and airborne) inputs of important pollutants entering the Baltic Sea and from different sources in the Baltic Sea catchment area on the basis of harmonized monitoring methods; data on sources besides direct point source load shall be based on PLC-5;
  • follow up the long-term changes in the waterborne and airborne pollution load to the Baltic Sea;
  • determine the priority order of different sources of pollutants for the pollution of the Baltic Sea (to be based on PLC-5);
  • overall assess the effect of main measures taken to reduce the pollution load in the Baltic Sea catchment area; and
  • provide information for assessment of long-term changes and the state of the marine environment in the open sea and the coastal zones.

A final report shall be presented to HELCOM 34/2013 (HELCOM HOD in December 2012) with a view to use it for the purposes of HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in 2013.


Project Manager

Mr. Lars Svendsen
Chair of HELCOM Expert Group on follow-up of national progress towards reaching BSAP nutrient reduction targets (HELCOM LOAD)
Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (NERI)
University of Aarhus
Vejlsoevej 25
DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
Tel: +45 4587158795