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The final day of the PCB Fair featured expert insights into potential tools and guidance to support parties working to eliminate the use of PCBs in equipment by 2025 and to ensure the environmentally sound waste management of liquids containing PCBs and PCB-contaminated equipment by 2028.
A panel of experts share experiences with national and regional projects to eliminate PCBs discussing results achieved, challenges, and lessons learned.
The Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions (BRS) Secretariat kicked off the PCB Fair by presenting a report on progress toward eliminating PCBs and ensuring the environmentally sound waste management of chemicals and wastes, prepared in consultation with a small intersessional working group.
Beyond addressing resource mobilization and the illegal traffic of hazardous chemicals and wastes, delegates tried to effectiveness challenges under the Rotterdam Convention, listed new persistent organic pollutants and adopted a compliance mechanism under the Stockholm Convention, and tackled guidelines on different categories of hazardous wastes under the Basel Convention.
Through its expert reviews, the Committee advanced all but one of the chemicals under consideration to their next stage of being labelled as a persistent organic pollutant. Two chemicals were recommended for listing under the Stockholm Convention: Dechlorane Plus, a flame retardant, and UV-328, an ultraviolet filter used in plastics.
The Basel Convention flexed its institutional muscle, while the Rotterdam Convention managed to add just two of the seven chemicals proposed to its prior informed consent procedure. The Stockholm Convention continued to list new chemicals, but it now faces the downstream consequences of that success: new chemicals bring added implementation challenges.
The Committee successfully adopted decisions on all six chemicals under review and either moved them on to the next stage of the review process or adopted recommendations to the Conference of the Parties to list them under the Stockholm Convention.
Parties and stakeholders to the three global hazardous chemicals and wastes conventions convened online to deal with urgent operational and substantive work including election of officers, the programmes of work and budgets for all three conventions, and a decision regarding the Stockholm Convention’s financial mechanism.
With three potential persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under review and substantial technical work related to implementation of its past recommendations, the Committee successfully completed its full pre-COVID-19 pandemic agenda to avoid delaying action on issues that pose risks to human health and/or the environment.
The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee reviewed three chemicals nominated for listing in Annexes A, B, and/or C to the Stockholm Convention: the insecticide methoxychlor, the industrial chemical Dechlorane Plus (and its syn-isomer and anti-isomer), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts, and related compounds.