Global effort to eliminate PCBs hailed
- Katherine Adraneda () - February 25, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Environmental organizations have lauded the unveiling of a global mechanism that would help countries, including the Philippines, address the “highly toxic” industrial chemical PCB or polychlorinated biphenyl.

The EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and International POPs Elimination Network lauded the launch of the PCBs Elimination Network (PEN) at the start of the simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in Bali, Indonesia this week.

Manny Calonzo, president of EcoWaste, said the launch of PEN will complement and bolster ongoing efforts in the Philippines to safely manage and eliminate the country’s own stockpiles of PCB oils and contaminated equipment such as electric transformers and capacitors.

“The current public-private partnership to establish a closed-loop non-combustion facility, with support from the United Nations, to destroy the country’s stockpiles will be our best contribution to the global movement to purge the planet of PCBs,” Calonzo said.

Citing data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Calonzo said the Philippines has 6,879 tons of PCB-containing equipment and wastes comprising about 2,400 tons of PCB oil. 

Calonzo said the global estimate for PCBs is five million tons.

According to EcoWaste, PEN is a collaborative arrangement that seeks to promote the environmentally sound management (ESM) of oils and equipment containing or contaminated with PCBs in line with the goals and requirements of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

It said PEN will facilitate information exchange on the ESM of PCBs, promote research, technical assistance and technology transfer, foster networking and cooperation, raise awareness on successful ESM activities and establish annual awards for contributions to the ESM of PCBs.

The UN Environment Program said that developing countries and countries with economies in transition suffer from the lack of capacities, poor inventories, limited resources, and inaccessible information to ensure ESM of their PCBs.

“The formation of PEN should assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition who lack financial and technical resources to identify, contain and destroy or irreversibly transform PCB wastes both in closed uses such as transformers and in open applications like paints and sealants,” said Alan Watson, IPEN representative to PEN and chairman of PEN’s disposal working group.

ALAN WATSON CALONZO CONFERENCES OF PARTIES DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ELIMINATION NETWORK ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM GLOBAL ALLIANCE INCINERATOR ALTERNATIVES MANNY CALONZO PCBS PEN
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