Phasing out of PCBs and PCB-containing equipment
Total Project Budget:
The National Implementation Plan (NIP) for the Stockholm Convention (SC) for the FYR of Macedonia identified the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) issue as one of the top priorities requiring immediate attention and action. The rationale and objectives of the project originated from the priorities and key objectives established by the NIP. The implementation of these priorities will assist the country to comply with its obligations under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and contribute, through this, to improvement of the environmental situation and eventually reduce and eliminate the threats, which PCBs pollution represents for the human health.
The main objective of this Medium Sized Project (MSP) is to assist the FYR of Macedonia to comply with the PCB-related obligations under the Stockholm Convention and reduce at the same time the releases of PCBs into the environment through enhanced national capacity in the management of PCBs-containing equipment and wastes.
The proposed project aims to reduce and eliminate the threats to human health and the environment posed by PCBs in the FYR of Macedonia by establishing an environmentally sound management (ESM) system for disposal of PCBs and PCB-containing equipment, including legislation, institutional and technical capacity building, awareness raising and assisting in the phase-out process of PCBs-containing equipment from the selected demonstration areas.
The main outcomes of the project will be strengthened countrywide capacity for PCB management, financial mechanism for PCB management, compliance with the Stockholm Convention obligations related to PCBs, increased public awareness along with well-trained technical personnel involved in PCB management and improved cooperation among key stakeholders, government, public and private enterprises involved in PCB management.
The project will:
- develop close coordination with all parties involved in the implementation;
- develop an ESM system comprising legislations and technical standards for operation of PCB-containing equipment and treatment of PCB wastes;
- implement an ESM system for PCB-containing equipment within the demonstration areas (collection, transport, interim storage, clean-up and final disposal), including a detailed logistic plans for phasing-out of PCB-containing wastes from the demonstration areas;
- upgrade an interim storage facility;
- identify the most efficient disposal technology;
- establish a fund generation mechanism for financial sustainability;
- create awareness of the environmentally sound management of PCB-containing equipment through intensive communication, training for professionals and NGOs, and public information tools; and
- continuously evaluate and disseminate project results.
The principal outputs will be:
- the environmental sound management system,
- an implemented ESM system in selected demonstration areas,
- upgraded storage facility and waste disposal,
- funds generation mechanism,
- increased public awareness of PCB issues, and
- adaptive monitoring and evaluation.
The MSP is addressing the following legal, institutional and technical barriers of PCB management:
- Lack of effective regulations and technical standards, their compliance with the requirements of the Stockholm Convention and regional/EU policy.
- Lack of knowledge on proper disposal options for PCBs and PCB-contaminated equipment.
- Lack of technical capacity and expertise for safe disposal technologies.
- Lack of harmonized legislation for transportation of PCB-contaminated wastes in the country and abroad.
- Lack of accurate and reliable data for locations, quantities and concentration of PCB-containing equipment and wastes.
- Need for identification and labeling of PCB-containing or contaminated equipment as a continuation of the preliminary inventory.
- Lack of proper occupational safety measures for those who handle PCBs and PCB-containing equipment.
- Lack of intermediate storage, disposal and decontamination facilities.
- Lack of proper public awareness and education.
- Lack of financial resources.
The MSP supports capacity building for an early action on environmentally sound management of PCB liquid wastes and PCB-containing transformers. A plan of actions for ESM system needs to be developed in order to avoid cross-contamination of the equipment by PCBs, as well as its reduction and consequently its complete disposal in accordance to the Stockholm Convention’s obligations.
The project is designed to meet the pre-conditions for subsequent and ultimate disposal of PCBs and PCB-contaminated equipment. The GEF support will contribute to the overall improvement of POPs waste management in FYR of Macedonia. In addition, it will contribute to the national efforts towards an environmentally sound management and disposal of PCBs.