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Project "Environmentally sound disposal of PCBs containing equipment and waste in Latvia"

UNDP, Ministry of Environment and Environmental investment fund have commenced implementation of the project "Environmentally sound disposal of PCBs containing equipment and waste in Latvia". The project will continue for 3 years and the total funding for the project are 2 841 696 USD, of which 999 600 USD are provided by the UN Global Environment Facility (UN/GEF).

This project is a direct follow-up of a UNDP/GEF funded project "Preparation of the National Implementation Plan on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention". Within the scope of the said project the National Implementation Plan on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) for years 2005-2020 was developed and adopted. Within the plan the PCB issue has been recognized as one of the prior issues to be solved in Latvia. Therefore, UNDP developed project proposal for this new project on environmentally sound disposal of PCB equipment and waste. To ensure compliance with requirements under international conventions, as well as compliance with legislative requirements, the PCBs containing equipment and waste shall be eliminated by December 31st, 2010.

Persistent organic pollutants are carcinogenic, toxic and mutagenic substances. Poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are one of the most significant sources of POPs in Latvia. Transformers and capacitors made in the former USSR contain PCBs and are used in power industry, chemical and oil industry, ferrous metal industry, wood industry, wood-pulp and paper industry and other.

The overall objective of the project is to avoid the release of PCBs from working and obsolete electrical equipment and to provide environmentally sound disposal of PCB containing equipment and waste. The project will aim at collection and disposal of 280 tons of PCB containing equipment and waste. 12 enterprises who signed memorandum of understanding participate in the project. However, within the project a support system for the remaining enterprises, holding PCB containing equipment, will be developed in order to facilitate timely and due disposal of the said equipment. Within the project other activities are envisaged in order to raise awareness and knowledge on safe and proper decommissioning, transportation and disposal of PCB containing equipment, as well as awareness raised on PCBs and possible hazards to health and environment.

The main tasks of the project are:

  • Collection of PCBs containing equipment and waste, and temporary storage
  • Transportation and environmentally sound disposal of PCB containing equipment and waste
  • Establishment of loan facility that would stimulate companies to replace the old equipment with new PCB-free equipment
  • Development of support system for other enterprises to facilitate due and timely disposal of PCB containing equipment.
  • Awareness raising among enterprises on safe management of PCBs as well as possible hazards to health and environment.

Environmental investment fund shall:

  • Provide overall coordination of the project
  • Provide execution of the project tasks
  • Within the scope of the project shall devise financial loan system for replacement of the PCB containing equipment with new, non-PCB containing equipment.

To find out more about the project, please view:

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"Environmentally sound disposal of PCBs containing equipment and waste in Latvia", Project presentation



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