Within the UNDP/GEF funded project "Preparation of the National Implementation Plan on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention", the National Implementation Plan on Persistent Organic Pollutants 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. To ensure compliance with requirements under international conventions, as well as compliance with legislative requirements, the PCB containing equipment and waste shall be eliminated by December 31st, 2010.
Therefore it was utmost important to identify sources of PCB and amounts of PCB containing equipment in Latvia. In Latvia mainly the transformers and capacitors made in the former USSR contain PCB and are used in such industries as power industry, chemical and oil industry, ferrous metal industry, wood industry, wood-pulp and paper industry and other.
The State Environmental Service is the institution in charge of the PCB containing equipment inventory and commenced the said inventory in 2003. Pursuant to the current inventory data, up to December, 2006 already 84 companies, holding PCB containing equipment, have been identified. In total approximately 5800 capacitors and 34 transformers have been identified, with estimated gross weight of 450 tons. However, the inventory is still in process and an increase of 20% in the total amounts could be estimated.
The UNDP/GEF funded project "Environmentally sound disposal of PCB containing equipment and waste" will provide disposal of the PCB containing equipment held by 12 companies participating in the project, estimated gross weight of 280 tons. The disposal will be organized in 2 phases (please view: Transportation and disposal of the PCB containing equipment: Phase 1 and Phase 2).
However, the project will also aim to facilitate timely and environmentally safe disposal of the equipment held by other companies and will devise a support system. Within the scope of the support system information on available options for disposal and related expenses will be provided, as well as an opportunity for companies to hand over the equipment for disposal within the Phase 2 of the project, on condition that all expenses are covered by the company.
In order to obtain information on how the remaining companies are planning disposal of PCB containing equipment, a survey was carried out within the project. Overall it was concluded that companies have not yet initiated planning of disposal of PCB containing equipment and there is a lack of information about the options available, as well as expenses involved. To find out more about the results of the survey, please view: Survey on planning replacement and disposal of the PCB containing equipment.