Highlights for Thursday, 3 October 2019
On Thursday morning, POPRC-15 participants gathered in plenary to hear reports from the contact groups on the chemicals currently under review by the Committee. All three contact group Chairs reported that their groups had concluded deliberations and submitted decision texts for translation into the five other working languages of the United Nations. While the final texts will not be available for decision-making until Friday, English versions, available to participants via the meeting intranet, served as the basis for preliminary discussion.
With few comments on the decision text related to methoxychlor, delegates devoted most of the morning to consideration of the documents related to Dechlorane Plus, which is in the first stage of the Committee’s evaluation process, and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), which is in the final stage of review.
Several members and observers supported making available a list of known PFHxS-related substances with CAS numbers, stressing that this list should be a “living document” that can be amended as further information becomes available. Participants also discussed possible ways of effectively communicating to parties the importance of avoiding “regrettable substitutions” (i.e., replacing PFHxS with other per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances) for dispersive applications such as fire-fighting foam. Members agreed that a drafting group, chaired by Peter Dawson (New Zealand), would meet Thursday afternoon to update the draft risk management evaluation and its accompanying draft decision text to reflect the morning’s discussions.
Discussions of Dechlorane Plus focused on members’ and observers’ concerns about limitations of the data presented in the proposal, particularly with regard to adverse effects to human health or the environment. Many delegates highlighted the need for additional data to be presented at the next stage of the review process, should the POPRC decide on Friday that the Annex D screening criteria have been satisfied.
Plenary was then suspended for the remainder of the day, and will resume at 9:30am on Friday. Remaining work to be completed includes the selection of an interim Chair of the Committee, the workplan for the intersessional period between POPRC-15 and -16, and determination of the venue and date of the next meeting.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, provided daily web updates and a summary and analysis report from POPRC-15.