The BRS Secretariat and current members of the POPs Review Committee welcomed the 14 newly appointed experts whose terms will begin in May 2020.
The fifteenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-15) to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) opened on Tuesday in Rome, Italy.
Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, welcomed delegates, highlighting the Committee’s role in listing 18 new POPs since the Stockholm Convention entered into force in 2004. He lauded participants for their hard work and underscored the need for broad stakeholder engagement to support the achievement of the Convention’s goal to protect human health and the environment from the risks posed by exposure to POPs.
Delegates moved swiftly through each of the technical items on the POPRC’s agenda, beginning consideration of the three chemicals currently under review by the Committee:
a draft risk management evaluation of perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts, and PFHxS-related compounds;
a proposal by the EU to list the insecticide methoxychlor in Annex A; and
a proposal by Norway to list the industrial chemical Dechlorane Plus, its syn-isomer (CAS No. 135821-03-3) and its anti-isomer (CAS No. 135821-74-8) in Annexes A, B, and/or C to the Stockholm Convention.
The POPRC also agreed to establish an intersessional working group to continue work related to exemptions for continued use of the industrial chemicals decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), both of which are listed in Annex A (elimination) of the Stockholm Convention. In the afternoon, members and observers broke into contact groups on methoxychlor and PFHxS.
Participants in the contact group on methoxychlor sought to address questions raised in plenary, including on whether the screening criteria related to persistence and long-range environmental transport are confirmed by monitoring data.
The contact group on PFHxS worked toward finalizing the draft risk management evaluation, addressing concerns raised in plenary about the tensions between confidentiality of business information and the need for a clear picture of production and use to help parties understand the implications of listing this substance in the Convention.
In the evening, delegates gathered on the balcony of the headquarters of the FAO for a reception. This brief respite from work was welcomed by participants, several of whom said they were looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and colleagues as they prepared for the technical work ahead.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, provided daily web updates and a summary and analysis report from POPRC-15.
Christel Olsen presented Norway's proposal to list the industrial chemical Dechlorane Plus in Annexes A, B, and/or C to the Stockholm Convention.
Lucie Ribeiro (Austria) presented the EU's proposal to list the insecticide methoxychlor in Annex A.
Peter Dawson (New Zealand), Chair of the intersessional working group on PFHxS, presented the draft risk management evaluation of this industrial chemical.
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