Highlights for Tuesday, 1 October 2019
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:
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.