Issue 2 October 1997

NewsCasting

UNCTAD AND ILMC HOLD TOXIC AND WASTE MANAGEMENT SEMINAR

In conjunction with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and at the invitation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), ILMC assisted Ulrich Hoffman of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in a two day Management Development Seminar on toxic and hazardous waste management in Jakarta hosted by the Indonesian State Ministry of the Environment.

Addressing the government delegates from nine south East Asian countries, Apichai Sunchindah, the ASEAN Secretariat Assistant Director, explained the need to review both the criteria for listing and the shipping requirements of toxic and hazardous waste, particularly in light of the Basel Convention.

The seminar was designed specifically to address the needs of the ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on the Environment and the ASEAN Cooperation Plan on Transboundary Pollution. Ulrich Hoffman explained the legislative requirements of the Basel Convention and the likely environmental and economic impacts on ASEAN member countries.

The need to closely coordinate the activities of the ASEAN members to ensure that there are consistent policies, controls and practices to attain the highest environmental standards and eliminate illegal activities were emphasized throughout the seminar.

ILMC Pilot Program Activities, particularly those in Mexico and the Philippines were used during the seminar as examples of sound waste management procedures for recovering potentially hazardous material.Brian Wilson, ILMC Program Manager explained the principles of the Risk Management Process for toxic and hazardous waste, illustrating the key points with reference to the recycling of scrap automotive batteries.

The final sessions of the seminar were devoted to the exchange of information between the ASEAN members. A Representative from each delegation outlined their country’s proposed approach to improving their environmental performance. It was apparent that some ASEAN members were more advanced in their planning than others and it was agreed that the delegates should maintain the contacts made during the two days and continue to network information and ideas.

Philippines Project - ILMC Completes Initial Assessment

Following the successful training seminar in Jakarta, Brian Wilson (ILMC) and Ulrich Hoffman (UNCTAD) visited the Philippine Recyclers Inc. (PRI) lead acid battery recycling plant on the outskirts of Manila. The purpose of the visit was to conduct a preliminary assessment of the recycling facility and to discuss with the plant Management the protocols for a sampling schedule to ascertain environmental performance.

PRI Vice President Nelson Cruz and his production team welcomed ILMC to the plant and provided every assistance during the visit explaining the process, from scrap reception through battery breaking, smelting, refining to the final alloy casting. In the spirit of cooperation and participation in the pilot program two PRI personnel, Maria Rosa Diokno, from the Environmental Management Section and Rolando Galao the Assistant Engineering Manager will be part of the team assigned to the monitoring program.

It is anticipated that the monitoring program will take up to six weeks, but should be completed by the end of the year. Sampling and testing will ascertain effluent quality, atmospheric emissions, occupational exposure and solid waste composition.

The results of the monitoring program will be evaluated and assessed by ILMC and the results and recommendations, following consultations with PRI, be made available to the first multi-stakeholder panel meeting early next year.

Whilst the prospects for improvements in the environmental performance of PRI are most encouraging, the Philippine Government is concerned that improved recycling rates for lead acid batteries might adversely impact the informal economy in Manila. With this in mind the Government has asked both ILMC and UNCTAD to not only consider involving informal workers in the collection of scrap materials, a concept already discussed with PRI, but to consider extending their role if possible.

Asian Battery and Lead 97 Conferences Approve of ILMC Pilot Programs

The aims and objectives of the Declaration for Lead Risk Reduction issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) were explained to the hundreds of delegates at the Asian Battery Conference in Penang, Malaysia and at the International Lead 97 Conference in Salzburg, Austria.

At the Asian Battery Conference held at the beginning of September the delegates were very optimistic about the future developments for the lead acid battery industry.

Research, particularly the programs sponsored by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) predicted dramatic reductions in recharging times and a ten fold improvement in recharging cycles. Most important for ILMC, however, was the fact that the new generation of valve regulated lead acid batteries, capable of powering electric vehicles (EV), would use considerably less metallic lead and sulfuric acid electrolyte than conventional low maintenance batteries for the same power output. Thus the new generation of sealed batteries should be easier and safer to collect and cheaper to recycle than current scrap batteries.

ILMC explained that a key OECD objective was the promotion of recycling and an increase in recovery and recycling rates for lead acid batteries and consequently emphasized importance of ensuring that any new materials introduced into any lead acid battery must be compatible with existing recycling technology.

At the Lead 97 Conference Brian Wilson, ILMC Program Manager endorsed the OECD Declaration and outlined the current Pilot Program activities in support of the Lead Risk Reduction Project.

Web Site Launch

As part of the continuing program to extend the information exchange in support of the Lead Risk Reduction Project ILMC launched its Internet web Site last month.

The ILMC home page can be found at:

http:\\www.ILMC.org

Information at the time of the launch is limited to the ILMC Brochure, NewsCasting and two Fact Sheets. Links to other information sources are being established and there are extensive data bases planned for next year. In addition the Site provides for inquiries and requests for information. Such e-mail will be read daily and a response can be expected in 72 hours or less.

Zambia, First in Technical Exchange

ILMC has been initiating a technical exchange program as a means of enhancing outreach activities to non OECD countries. Noranda nominated and sponsored Kapumpe Valentine Musakanya as the first participant in this activity. Kapumpe is an Environmental Officer with Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines and specializes in lead and asbestos exposure.

Visiting the North Carolina office in August Kapumpe discussed the status of Zambian Mine rehabilitation projects with ILMC staff and explored opportunities for reducing the levels of population lead exposure.

Over the course of three days ILMC arranged for Kapumpe to review progress with Lester Grant and Rob Elias of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), based at the Reseach Triangle Park Center in North Carolina. In addition Kapumpe visited the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore with ILMC Executive Director, Craig Boreiko, to provide understanding and guidance on the latest advances in chelation therapy for children with high blood lead elevations.

ILMC have submitted a report and a series of recommendations for continuing the technical exchange with ZCCM and await the result of further discussions scheduled for mid October between ILMC and Senior ZCCM Management.

--------------------------------------------------

NewsCasting is published quarterly by the International Lead Management Center, a not-for-profit organization established by the International Lead Community in response to the need for international action on the issue of lead risk reduction. Please direct correspondence to:

International Lead Management Center

P.O. Box 14189

Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709 - 4189

United States of America

Telephone : ++ (919) 361-2446

Facsimile : ++ (919) 361-1957

Internet : http://www.ILMC.org

e-mail : mail@ilmc.org