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Novedades

Report to the OECD Environment Directorate
on the Activities of the International Lead Management Center (November 1, 2000)

prepared by Craig J. Boreiko, Executive Director

Index

Summary

This report provides an update on activities of the International Lead Management Center (ILMC) for the timeframe of February 2000 through September 2000.

ILMC has continued to place priority upon the implementation of Pilot Programs - regional demonstration projects wherein ILMC staff work with stakeholders (industry, government, academia and environmental interests) on a voluntary basis in the design and implementation of risk management programs. Program activity has been ongoing in the Philippines, Mexico, Russia, and Peru.

Pilot Program activity in the Philippines has been focused upon secondary lead production. The program was initiated in concert with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Philippine government and industry and initially focused upon assistance in adjusting to the Basel Ban Amendment restricting the importation of used lead-acid batteries. The Manila office of the United Nations Development Program, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) have also been participants in this effort. Program activity included assessment and improvement in the performance of the licensed recycling industry and the development of strategies to reduce the impacts associated with the informal sector (unregulated small battery recycling facilities, battery reconditioners, and cottage smelters). Improvements at the main recycling facility in the Philippines were such that ISO 14001 certification was awarded in late 1999. ILMC continues to work with this facility to establish a program whereby improvements in environmental performance are both sustained and further enhanced. Having assisted in effecting positive change in the licensed recycling sector, the Pilot Program is now focused upon informal sector activities. A matrix of economic, technical and regulatory strategies have been proposed to as to effect integration of the informal sector into a cohesive recycling infrastructure that supports the activity of licensed facilities. Multi-stakeholder panels are presently scheduled for November 2000 to address this next phase of the program.

Changes made in the Philippines served as a case study for a workshop in Manila convened in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Program on Environmental Technology Assessment. Participants in this workshop included representatives from multiple countries in the ASEAN region. Through vehicles such as this, ILMC has thus begun to utilize the Philippine Pilot Program as a model for positive change in this region of rapidly developing countries.

Pilot Program activities in Mexico have been providing assistance to the government of Mexico in the development of regulatory frameworks suitable for lead-producing and using industry sectors. This program is conducted under an agreement between the Instituto Nacional de Ecologica (Environmental Agency of Mexico), Camara Minera de Mexico (Mexico Chamber of Mines) and the ILMC. Program activities include implementation of risk reduction activity in a demonstration project at a lead oxide production facility so as to provide an example of the environmental performance assessment methods and improvement options applicable to different sectors of the industry in Mexico. A "safe operating procedures manual" is being finalized to provide guidance to industry sectors working with lead. Remediation strategies appropriate for abandoned lead-contaminated sites have also become a focus of program activity. ILMC participated in a Symposium focused upon site remediation issues associated with former smelter sites and mine sites. An ILMC proposal for developing cost-effective remediation options to be applied at such sites is under consideration by the government.

Pilot Program activity in Russia is ongoing. ILMC staff began working with the Center for Russian Environmental Policy (CREP) in 1998 to identify industrial sectors in possible need of ILMC assistance. The overall effort is structured within the framework of the Russian Federal Government's "Project Concept" for protection of the natural environment from lead pollution and the reduction of its effects upon human health. After initial delays related to regional political instability, ILMC conducted initial assessments of the primary lead production and battery manufacturing/recycling industries. Memorandums of Understanding were established between ILMC and the industry sectors concerned, with a major initial focus being placed upon battery manufacturing and recycling. The first phase of the program concerns occupational health. Industry representatives from Russia have been in attendance at conferences in Europe and visited US and European facilities to receive training in occupational health standards and analytical techniques used for assessing worker exposure. Portable equipment for analysis of blood lead levels have been provided by ILMC for use at industry facilities in Russia. Efforts are also ongoing to review environmental performance standards in Russia and to align analytical procedures with those employed in the EU.

Pilot Program activity has been initiated in Peru. At the request of government and industry, ILMC staff conducted assessments of material handling procedures for the shipment of mineral concentrates through a large port facility near Lima. Fugitive dust emissions from concentrates had been identified as the likely source of localized excessive general population exposure to lead. ILMC assisted in the establishment of a multi-stakeholder "Roundtable" process wherein government public health and mining Ministries have met, together with Industry, on a bi-monthly basis to develop and implement management plans to effect interim exposure reduction measures and to plan long-term improvements at the Port facility. These Roundtable meetings, in which ILMC participates as a facilitator, monitor and guide the activities of "working groups" addressing different technical issues. The Program also serves to assist the Government in the development of appropriate regulatory standards that will ultimately be applicable to multiple lead industry sectors. The measures being implemented to monitor and control fugitive emissions associated with mine concentrate storage and transport should have applications other countries in Latin America.

ILMC remains alert to prospects for additional Pilot Program. Having had success in the implementation of risk reduction activity for industry sectors in different cultural settings, future Program activity will explore systemic approaches for capacity building and risk reduction. Discussions ongoing with several international agencies and organizations (UNEP, the Basel Secretariat and the International Lead Zinc Study Group) are evaluating the feasibility of new programs that will implement risk reduction on a regional basis and/or in concert with financial assistance vehicles to support the capital expenditures required in the construction of new facilities and/or the introduction of new technology. Geographic regions under consideration for such programs include Asia, Africa and Latin America.

ILMC has continued the development of information tools to assist the international community with product issues. New information Clearinghouses are modeled upon that initially developed for lead in gasoline. Each Clearinghouse centers around a technical manual that details issues of concern in the manufacture, use, disposal and/or recycling of a given product. This main technical resource document, available in both hard copy and electronic format, is accompanied by an annotated bibliography that provides a guide to other technical materials. As appropriate, individual case studies detailing the experience of governments or companies pursuing safe production practices are included.

The ISO Secretariat for ceramic ware leach standards has produced a Clearinghouse module concerned with the manufacture, leach testing and use of ceramic materials. Individual ceramic ware companies are presently reviewing this module. "Case study" material is also being solicited from these companies. Web posting of the Ceramic ware Clearinghouse is anticipated in early 2001. Rutgers University is also preparing material relevant to the manufacture and use of lead crystal. Since much of the technical information pertaining to this product application is not published, the International Crystal Federation (ICF) has provided the full Proceedings of the Technical Exchange Conferences they have convened over the past decade. The materials from the conferences are being compiled into a Clearinghouse format and, following review by ICF, will be published and posted at the ILMC web site. ILMC and ICF are also discussing cooperative efforts for a separate ICF web site on crystal.

Efforts on several other lead products have been deferred in order to expedite the development of technical materials relevant to recycling and the manufacture of lead acid batteries. ILMC worked with UNEP on the generation of case study materials on lead recycling for use with UNEP's new Environmental Technology Assessment (EnTA) tool. An EnTA workshop was convened earlier this year in Manila to refine the use of EnTA by developing countries. ILMC and UNEP have also agreed to cooperate in the preparation of reference materials describing the technologies that can be employed for environmentally sound recycling of batteries. In addition to assisting in ILMC Pilot Programs, these materials are being provided to the Basel Secretariat for possible use in efforts to define environmentally sound recycling processes.

ILMC has also been compiling a data base on health literature relevant to lead. Largely in response to needs expressed by public health officials in Pilot Program countries, the emphasis of this information module is being shifted to include practical guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of acute lead intoxication in children.

Public reporting of ILMC activities continues through participation in international meetings, publication of informational brochures and regular distribution of the ILMC newsletter NewsCasting. NewsCasting is published in English, Spanish and Russian and is now distributed to more than 2000 persons in 44 countries. Revision and updating of the ILMC web site continues. Graphical and text interfaces are now available - and a Spanish language version has been prepared. A Russian language version has been delayed due to problems related to the incompatibility of cyrillic fonts with web-authoring software.

The activities of ILMC continue to be reviewed by an independent Policy Advisory Group (PAG). PAG review of ILMC activities was last conducted in October 2000, and a report will be submitted to the ILMC Board of Directors from the PAG by year's end. The PAG favorably reviewed multiple ILMC efforts and particularly encouraged ILMC's increased focus on the needs of developing countries.
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Status of Current Activities

Pilot Programs

ILMC has explored the utility of different approaches for the establishment of national risk management programs for lead through the implementation of Pilot Programs. Pilot Programs are constructed as multi-stakeholder consultative processes that identify and promote risk reduction objectives via regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms. Such programs are designed as "demonstration projects" and serve as models for the environmental improvements that might be achieved under different cultural and socioeconomic circumstances. The "lessons learned" from individual Pilot Programs further serve as the basis for the development of systemic approaches to capacity building that will promote risk reduction in multiple countries within a given region.
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Pilot Program Activity in the Philippines

Countries in Southeast Asia have been experiencing rapid growth and rising demand for lead, with consumption demands being met principally through secondary lead production. Demand for lead has traditionally exceeded that available from domestic recycling efforts by approximately 40% and the secondary lead industry has met demands by importing used lead acid batteries for recycling. However, the Basel Convention has impacted upon the availability of feed materials for the Southeast Asian secondary industry. Thus, ILMC has been working with UNCTAD, the United Nations Development Program, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, and local industry to assist in the development of proactive strategies for adjusting to Basel-related alterations in material flow while at the same time ensuring adequate environmental performance and occupational safety.

Early ILMC activities in the Philippines focused upon working with Philippine Recyclers, Inc. (PRI) a large licensed recycling facility just outside of Manila. ILMC conducted environmental assessments of the PRI facility in September of 1997 and began working with the company to establish a process of continuous environmental improvement. Following consultations with ILMC staff, numerous ILMC visits to the Philippines, and visits of PRI staff to secondary facilities in OECD countries, technical and management changes were effected at the facility to significantly reduce environmental emissions and levels of occupational exposure. The Environmental Management Bureau of the Philippines served to verify the improvements made by the facility. Among the many achievements of PRI has been the successful implementation of a "Return Your Batteries" Program that was launched as a means of recovering approximately 36,000 tons of scrap batteries generated each year in the Philippines. The Program encouraged motorists to return their used batteries when a new one was purchased through a series of financial incentives. Using the sales networks for new batteries, the Program succeeded in capturing 750 tons of scrap batteries per month in its first year, a 100% increase over the collection rate the previous year. The collection rate for used batteries has grown steadily at a rate of 500 metric tons per year.

PRI also committed to the implementation of environmental management systems based upon the ISO 14001 framework. Although the company already had a formal quality management system, and had most of the components in place to meet the standards of ISO 14001, much additional work was required. Several specialist teams were commissioned to work on the project, with almost half of the PRI employees ultimately developing direct involvement. This effort resulted in the facility achieving ISO 14001 accreditation in late 1999. PRI was the first heavy industry in the country to achieve ISO accreditation and is only the third battery recycling facility in the world to do so. Achievement of accreditation was particularly challenging in the Philippines because, unlike most countries, the Philippines lacks facilities designated for the disposal of toxic and hazardous waste. PRI, working with ILMC, was able to develop the means by which hazardous waste generation was essentially eliminated and existing stocks of waste materials were converted into inert non-hazardous materials. Among the innovations employed was the development of a process to segregate ebonite case material from battery plate separators. This process should enable PRI to reduce its present stockpile of hard rubber waste by 70%. The remaining waste material, composed principally of paper, PVC and plastic separators, is being further sorted and retreated. PRI plans to sell the ebonite as a secondary fuel and to use portions of this waste flow as a reducing agent in their furnaces for secondary lead production. A formal ceremony in recognition of ISO 14001 certification was held in February 2000.

ILMC continues to work with the staff of PRI to ensure that a process of continuous environmental improvement is maintained. PRI has also sought involvement in other ILMC activities. For example, the United Nations Environment Programme and ILMC recently convened an Environmental Technology Assessment (EnTA) Workshop in Manila for which the PRI experience served as a case study. PRI hosted visits to their facility so that the EnTA delegates could inspect first hand the technical improvements made at the facility and to learn more about the active community outreach programs that had been established by the company to provide medical services to the local population.

The improvements made by PRI marked the maturation of the first phase of the Philippines Pilot Program. Under the Memorandum of Understanding between ILMC, UNCTAD and the Philippines government, efforts are now moving to resolve issues associated with the activities of unlicensed small battery recyclers, battery reconditioners and cottage smelters. The activities of the informal sector constitute a significant source of general population exposure to lead. ILMC has been working with the Philippine government and UNCTAD in the design of economic, technical and regulatory instruments that seek to incorporate the "informal sector" into an organized infrastructure for the collection of lead acid batteries for recycling by licensed facilities. The technical and socioeconomic factors that promote the activities of the informal sector have been analyzed in a series of papers prepared to guide the deliberations of an expert multi-stakeholder panel. The panel had initially been scheduled to meet in July 2000, but this meeting has been postponed until November because several members of the panel were indisposed.

Changes made to date in the Philippines, as well as improvements yet to come, provide a model for change in the ASEAN region. Multiple countries now wish to address issues associated with growing quantities of waste battery scrap and recognize the need to recover this waste for use by their domestic industry sectors.
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Pilot Program Activity in Mexico

Program activities in Mexico are broadly based and target multiple lead producing and using industry sectors. The program was initiated under an agreement between the Instituto Nacionale de Ecologica (INE; Environmental Agency of Mexico), Camera Minera de Mexico (Mexico Chamber of Mines) and the ILMC. In accordance with initial working agreements established in March of 1998, the parties identified a demonstration project to serve as a model for the environmental performance assessments and improvement options available to different sectors of the industry in Mexico. An environmental audit was conducted at a lead oxide production facility representative of the older technology in place at some facilities in Mexico. The action plan being implemented at this facility will improve its environmental performance and generate a generic "Safe Operating Procedures Manual" useful to other industry sectors working with lead.

Principle aspects of the program in Mexico have been adapted, at the request of the government, to address several broad and pervasive environmental issues confronting the country. For centuries Mexico has been one of the most important mining countries in the world. The contribution of this industrial sector to the economic and urban development of the country has been significant, particularly during the period of rapid industrialization between 1950 and 1970. Although Mexico has been among the leading world producers of non-ferrous metals, the environmental impacts of mining activities in Mexico have never been systematically assessed. However, public concern regarding occupational health, water and air pollution and general population exposures associated with smelting operations has been increasing. Unfortunately, efforts to address these concerns have been complicated by the heterogeneous nature of minerals in different regions of Mexico, the different technologies that had been employed to extract minerals, and the diverse range of social conditions and ecosystems at sites of contamination. This has posed formidable challenges to efforts to assess and manage the risks from mining and smelting waste materials.

ILMC involvement in these broader issues began at a two-day workshop in Mexico City in November 1999 concerning "Risk Assessment, Management and Communications Related to Mining and Metallurgical Wastes". The Workshop was sponsored by the INE, the National Environmental Research and Training Center, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the ILMC. ILMC staff and technical experts from the ILMC membership were active participants in the Workshop. As a result of the Workshop, the government decided to embark upon a program to control wastes associated with mining and metallurgical processes. This was in turn followed by a request to ILMC to provide assistance on issues associated with site remediation at abandoned mine and smelter sites.

In June 2000 ILMC submitted a preliminary proposal for a project to prepare a remediation manual to guide cleanup efforts at abandoned lead mines, smelters and secondary facilities. ILMC proposed preparation of a manual to detail the most cost effective methods for minimizing general population lead exposure, with a specific early focus upon the remediation of soil at an abandoned lead smelter in Tijuana. Following receipt of a positive response from the government to ILMC's preliminary proposal, ILMC submitted a detailed plan for a project to prepare "remediation guidelines for abandoned lead mines, smelters and secondary plants". The project proposes to define the scientific principles and technical guidelines by which site assessments should be conducted, remediation strategies implemented, and adequate follow-up measures undertaken so as to ensure the efficacy of remediation efforts. Government approval of this project proposal is pending.

The first steps of the proposed project entail assessment visits to a representative number of abandoned sites to characterize the nature of contamination and to define potential exposure programs. Government assistance will be required to resolve legal barriers that presently exist and which impede forward movement on site remediation programs. Recognizing that soil removal and replacement strategies may pose financial obstacles to remediation, ILMC will be working with the international scientific community to determine the suitability of alternative approaches for interim management of contamination at specific sites. The principal remediation strategies to be evaluated include:

  1. Removal of contaminated soils and replacement with uncontaminated soils, or removal of soil followed by decontamination and return of the treated soils to the original site;
  2. Geochemical transformation of contaminants at abandoned sites through thermal, biological and chemical treatment methods;
  3. In situ extraction and separation techniques; and
  4. In situ stabilization and containment strategies.

The range of treatment options that will be applicable at a given site will be dictated by site-specific geochemical and climate parameters. Indeed, a single technology and/or methodology may not be adequate to effect remediation at any given site. Thus, the guidelines will define a decision tree work plan, whereby different treatment technologies that can be integrated so as to reduce the risk of lead exposure.
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Pilot Program Activity in Russia

In 1998 ILMC staff began working with the Center for Russian Environmental Policy (CREP) to identify industrial sectors for inclusion in a multi-sector Pilot Program. These activities were to be structured within the context of the activities of the State Committee for Environmental Protection (SCEP) of the Russian Federation. Potential risk reduction needs identified were associated with primary lead production, copper smelting, waste disposal in the lead crystal industry, and occupational exposures and environmental emissions associated with battery manufacturing and recycling.

Initial ILMC visits to Russia to conduct field monitoring at candidate industrial sites were scheduled for 1999. Unfortunately these scheduled assessments coincided with the initiation of NATO air strikes in Kosovo and anti-Western demonstrations and were thus delayed. To further complicate matters, the State Committee for the Environment was eliminated by the Federal government in May of 2000. As a result, Pilot Program activity in Russia focused upon the battery manufacturing and recycling industry sectors. Memoranda of Understanding had previously been established with battery manufacturing facilities in Russia, with agreed objectives to reduce levels of occupational lead exposure and to implement environmental management systems that included regimes to sample and monitor discharges from manufacturing facilities. Site visits to battery manufacturing facilities in St. Petersburg had been conducted, and experts from Russia had visited secondary lead and battery manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom. This had permitted Russian experts to become familiar with British and EU methods for environmental sampling and for the control of occupational exposure. Training was also provided in the use of portable analytical equipment for the determination of occupational blood lead levels. Instrumentation provided by ILMC was then used at Russian facilities and established that some occupational exposures were excessive and in need of reduction. The engineering controls and personal protective equipment required to effect the desired exposure reductions were identified and arrangements made for necessary technology transfer.

Simultaneous with this was the establishment of an agreement between ILMC and the Russian organization, Electrozariad. Electrozariad was uniquely positioned as a partner for the execution of a risk reduction program. Based in Moscow, Electrozariad was formed in 1991 from the former Soviet Union's Ministry of Electrotechnical Industries by the leading battery manufacturing companies of the new Russian Federation. Electrozariad's main activities involve coordinating the procurement and distribution of industry's raw materials, especially scrap automotive and industrial lead acid batteries. Implicit in this is the transportation of finished products from the Russian battery manufacturing industry to customers, development of an investment program for the various manufacturing and smelting facilities in the Russian Federation, establishment of international cooperation with the world's lead acid battery industry, and serving as liaison between industry and the government of the Russian Federation. In 1998 Electrozariad had initiated a program to develop additional sources of raw material for battery production, particularly scrap lead. One source that is now recognized as important is the recovery of used automotive batteries that were previously either discarded or collected and sent to land fill. Electrozariad was instrumental in the development of a battery infrastructure collection system in Moscow that successfully increased the collection rates for used automotive batteries for shipment to secondary smelters.

ILMC and Electrozariad have entered into a formal working arrangement to assist in the expedited reduction of occupational lead exposure in the Russian Federation's battery manufacturing and secondary lead industry. The specific objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding recently signed include, 1) reduction of occupational exposures and environmental lead emissions where necessary; 2) the introduction of internationally recognized exposure assessment methodologies and measurement techniques for monitoring environmental emissions; and 3) the development of environmentally and socioeconomically sound policy options and community-based intervention programs to reduce lead exposure at selected locations. The Pilot Program being implemented will serve as a demonstration project for the Russian lead industry. Methodologies proving to be successful will be shared with both Federal and local government agencies.

Electrozariad is now working with ILMC to extend their successful Moscow Pilot Program to cover 19 regions in the south and southeastern regions of the Russian Federation. Electrozariad's strategic plan includes the development of infrastructure and industrial facilities to collect, segregate and recycle used automotive and tractor batteries estimated to contain some 60,000 tons of lead. The first phase of the project involves information sharing and gathering, environmental sampling and occupational exposure monitoring. Manufacturing process information will be combined with environmental assessment data and collated at the various plants so as to identify individual facilities that are significant point sources for lead. ILMC is serving in a technical support capacity to this study and will be advising on community intervention aspects of the project.

Significant logistical challenges are posed by the situation in Russia. The area in question covers approximately 1,200,000 square kilometers in which there are 7 million vehicles generating about 2.5 million used batteries per year. A growth rate of 9.6% in the generation of scrap batteries is projected and, if proven true, will result in the need for a collection infrastructure capable of capturing 5.5 million used batteries each year over a wide geographical area. The battery collection infrastructure systems that existed prior to the adoption of market reforms in Russia succeeded in collecting only 35-40% of the spent batteries. A plan has thus been devised to divide the large collection area into 15 manageable collection zones, each with its own collection infrastructure and an appropriately sized battery breaker. Provisions are further being made for separation of the battery components locally, followed by shipment of lead bearing materials to a common recycling facility. Investment of approximately $30-38 million (US) is estimated to be required for this ambitious effort and ILMC has been assisting in both the logistics of the battery collection scheme and the development of a realistic business plan for the project. ILMC is also providing guidance on the technologies used for the different components of the system and the environmental control systems that will be employed.

Following ILMC visits to Moscow in May, the Public Health Ministry approved in principle new rules for occupational exposure to lead, including biological monitoring. Details remain to be resolved with respect to the exact monitoring procedures and exposure limits that will be adopted. Towards this end, ILMC is working towards the establishment of a system that will:

  1. Monitor, collate and evaluate ambient air lead levels at different sites;
  2. Sample selected groups of occupationally exposed workers to determine correlations between methods used for monitoring lead exposure in Russian and those employed in the EU;
  3. Conduct trial testing of different types of personal protective equipment;
  4. Test the adequacy of plant ventilation systems and the develop recommendations for improvement;
  5. Sponsor workshops focused upon occupational health, safety, and the training of medical personnel.

To further these goals, additional technical exchange visits have been arranged for Russian personnel to visit EU facilities to gain training in the laboratory and field analytical methodologies that will be required for this ambitious effort. Additional blood lead monitoring equipment has been provided by ILMC for use in Russia so as to facilitate the establishment of occupational exposure baselines.
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Pilot Program Activity in Peru

In mid-1999 ILMC received multiple inquiries from Lima, Peru regarding material handling procedures appropriate for lead-containing mineral concentrates. Subsequent to this, the US Environmental Protection Agency advised ILMC that the US Centers for Disease Control, with funding from the US Agency for International Development, was working with the Peru public health agency (DIGESA) to determine levels of lead exposure in the general population of Lima. Excessive general population exposures had been detected near concentrate storage facilities at the Port of Callao just outside of Lima.

Preliminary discussions were held regarding ongoing US AID funded studies in Lima and, at the suggestion of US AID, contacts were then made with the public health agency in Peru. In late 1999 ILMC received a draft copy of documentation describing blood survey data for Lima and the nearby Port of Callao. General population blood lead levels in Lima averaged approximately 7 µg/dL. However, excursions well above this were reported in the vicinity of storage areas for mineral concentrates.

ILMC staff made an initial assessment visit to Lima in January 2000. A series of exploratory meetings were also held with industry and government representatives to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a cooperative project to reduce lead exposure risks associated with concentrate storage in the Port area. Preliminary inspections were conducted of concentrate storage facilities and provisional recommendations made with respect to changes in material handling procedures that might reduce levels of fugitive dust emission. Occupational hygiene procedures at the warehouses were of varying degrees of sophistication - occupational health issues were thus judged to be potentially appropriate for inclusion in a risk reduction effort.

Subsequent to this assessment visit, meetings were convened with the mining industry, an industry coalition of warehouse operators, DIGESA, US AID and the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Both industry and government expressed the desire to develop a proactive cooperative solution to the problems associated with fugitive emissions from concentrate storage and transport. The government agencies further considered it probable that the problems being encountered in Callao might have parallels elsewhere in Peru and Latin America. ILMC guidance was requested to devise a series of interim and long-term risk reduction efforts.

Noting that multiple sectors were planning or implementing exposure intervention strategies, but that coordination between the different sectors was minimal, ILMC negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding wherein government Ministries and industry sectors would work together to resolve lead exposure problems in the Port area. Issues included in the Memorandum of Understanding encompassed the reduction of fugitive emissions from concentrate storage areas, determination of occupational exposure levels, and the implementation of appropriate occupational exposure control and environmental emission control measures as needed. Over the course of the next several months, working arrangements were expanded to also include the Port Authority in Callao, railway service companies, and the Municipality of Callao. Opportunities for cooperation with outside agencies were identified, including assistance programs with the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Canadian International Development Agency. Following a series of visits in the first half of 2000, the various concerned parties agreed to form a cooperative multi-stakeholder "Roundtable" to address the lead exposure problems first identified in 1999. ILMC was asked to facilitate the activities of this Roundtable as the participants sought to:

  1. Achieve tighter coordination between government ministries and different segments of the private sector;
  2. Prevent duplication of effort and achieve more cost-effective allocation of resources;
  3. Provide an independent technical review process for improvement plans resulting from the Roundtable.

The Roundtable now meets on a bi-monthly basis with ILMC, serving as a facilitator at the meetings. The meeting participants have embarked upon a program to monitor and reduce fugitive dust emissions from concentrate storage areas, develop environmental monitoring programs to evaluate the efficacy of different risk reduction methods, evaluate occupational exposure levels and to implement industrial hygiene programs as appropriate. Working groups were established to coordinate efforts to achieve each of these goals between the Roundtable meetings. To date, multiple interim exposure reduction measures have been implemented. Stored concentrates are now maintained in covered piles and air/dust fall monitoring has been implemented so as to monitor the effectiveness of the measures undertaken. Improved procedures for the loading and unloading of concentrates have also been developed. A consortium of mining, transportation, and concentrate storage facilities is further developing options for construction of modern concentrate storage and transport facilities modeled upon those in place in OECD countries.

The final outcome of the Peru Pilot Program is expected to have multiple beneficial impacts. Existing regulatory structures in Peru are not specifically designed to control occupational and general population exposures to lead. The principles being developed in the Roundtable process will thus have applications for multiple industry sectors in Peru. In addition, the problem of fugitive emissions associated with concentrate storage and transport are expected to be relevant to other port facilities in Latin America. This aspect of the Pilot Program may thus serve as a model for change in multiple countries in this region.

Although the design and implementation of intervention procedures through the Roundtable process remains the focus of ILMC activity in Peru, several additional issues are also being addressed. Existing programs for maintaining adequate analytical quality control and quality assurance for lead analysis are in need of improvement. ILMC is thus working with government ministries and industry to develop more reliable analytical capability for environmental assessment and general population exposure monitoring. Matters of medical intervention have also emerged to be of concern. ILMC is thus making provisions for training in the diagnosis and treatment of acute lead intoxication in children.
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Future Pilot Program Activity

Existing ILMC Pilot Programs have permitted exploration of the "levers for change" that are effective for improving the environmental performance of industry sectors in a variety of cultural and socioeconomic contexts. In accordance with recommendations made by the independent Policy Advisory Group of ILMC, future Pilot Program activity will build upon these experiences to explore systemic approaches that can be applied for capacity building and risk reduction. Discussions are ongoing with several international agencies and organizations to identify new Pilot Program opportunities that would permit the implementation of risk reduction on a regional basis and/or in concert with financial assistance vehicles that provide support for the capital expenditures required for the construction of new facilities and/or the introduction of new technologies. For example, in concert with the Basel Secretariat, consideration is being given to participation in analytical studies defining scrap lead acid battery flows in Latin America.

Current analyses suggest that, for many countries, the quantity of used lead acid batteries generated may not be sufficient to sustain an economically viable recycling facility. However, the combined waste generation of multiple countries in a geographic region might provide the necessary level of material flow required for economic viability. The establishment of regional battery collection infrastructures, and regional recycling centers, may thus be explored. In other instances, the volume of scrap battery generation is likely adequate to support an economically viable recycling industry. However, the initial capital costs associated with the construction or modification of recycling facilities with appropriate environmental performance characteristics can pose an obstacle to environmentally sound recycling. ILMC is thus engaged in discussions with the International Lead Zinc Study Group regarding the initiation of projects would attempt to arrange financial assistance for countries considering the construction of new facilities and/or the introduction of new recycling technologies. Geographic regions under consideration for this effort include Russian and the ASEAN region. Given that potential participants in either of the preceding efforts would require guidance on the environmental performance characteristics of different recycling technologies, ILMC has reached agreement with the United Nations Environment Program for the preparation of technical materials that describe the different processes that can be employed for lead recycling and technological issues associated with assurance of adequate environmental performance. This latter effort recognizes that the optimal technologies that might be employed by countries will vary as a function of both anticipated quantities of feed material and existing regulatory frame works. The engineering controls and environmental management systems associated with different technologies (e.g. pyrometallurgical versus hydrometallurgical) further dictate different strategies for controlling occupational exposure and environmental emissions. The technical materials would thus provide countries with an objective guide to the different options available for recycling and the measures that would need to be undertaken so as to ensure sound environmental performance.
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Risk Reduction and Information Transfer Tools

ILMC continues to develop information tools for the dissemination of risk reduction information associated with individual lead product applications and processes. In the case of lead product applications, these materials take the form of information "clearinghouses" similar to that initially assembled for lead in gasoline. Clearinghouse materials thus consist of one or more technical papers describing issues associated with the manufacture, use, and end-of-life disposition of a given product application. This technical documentation is designed for both hard copy publication and for posting on the ILMC website. An annotated bibliography is also prepared that lists pertinent reference materials that would be of interest to individuals seeking more in depth information. Finally, ILMC solicits "case studies" so as to provide information regarding unusual issues that might have arisen regarding a specific product and the measures that a given industry sector or country might have undertaken to resolve the issue.

Materials pertaining to the manufacture of ceramicware with lead containing glazes have been compiled by experts at Rutgers University. Rutgers University serves as the ISO Secretariat for the leach test standards applied to ceramic materials in contact with food surfaces. Rutgers has compiled a "user manual" appropriate for small industrial facilities and hobbyists describing occupational exposure and industrial hygiene issues associated with ceramicware manufacture, appropriate technologies to limit the leaching of lead from surfaces in contact with food, leach test techniques, and the standards that are presently employed to ensure the quality and safety of products produced. These technical materials are undergoing review by individual ceramicware companies for technical accuracy. These companies have also been asked to suggest "case studies" that might be informative.

Rutgers University is also preparing informational materials for lead crystal. Whereas there is a significant body of published literature regarding ceramicware, little published information is available regarding the safe production and use of crystal. The International Crystal Federation thus made available to ILMC the proceedings of their Technical Exchange conferences over the past decade. Rutgers University is presently extracting the information content of these proceedings and organizing it into an information clearinghouse. ILMC had initially hoped that this effort would be completed in 2000. However, the volume of material received was much more extensive than originally anticipated. Completion of the effort is now projected for mid-2001. Arrangements have been made for technical review of the clearinghouse materials by the International Crystal Federation. Cooperative interactions between ICF and the ILMC are also being discussed for the establishment and maintenance of a separate website for the dissemination of information pertinent to crystal.

ILMC has deferred preparation of several information clearinghouses to focus upon issues more directly relevant to Pilot Programs and the needs of less developed countries. Priority is now being assigned to the design of a "teaching practicum" to educate physicians on matters regarding the diagnosis and treatment of acute lead intoxication in children. Practicum materials are being prepared in English and Spanish and are being supplemented by a searchable electronic database to provide a guide to relevant health literature. Issues of battery manufacture and recycling have also been assigned priority. In addition to the Environmental Technology Assessment materials generated in cooperation with UNEP for lead recycling, preparation of technical manuals describing different recycling processes, and requirements for the establishment of recycling infrastructure, is scheduled for initiation in early 2001.
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Conferences and Workshops

ILMC staff have participated, upon request, in conferences and workshops convened by national governments and international organizations. As noted earlier, ILMC organized an Environmental Technology Assessment (EnTA) Workshop in Manila this past February. The introduction and use of inappropriate technologies for lead recycling can lead to environmental pollution and health risks. Procedures are available to assess the environmental impact of recycling technologies, but these methods are not widely known or used in the developing world. Thus, at the request of the United Nations Environment Programme, and with matching funds from the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft, ILMC organized a four day training workshop on the application and use of an Environmental Technology Assessment tool for lead recycling. The workshop examined technologies either currently available or being developed for the recycling of automotive batteries and was specifically targeted towards the issues likely to be encountered by countries in the ASEAN region. In addition to examining environmental performance factors, the workshop considered the macro and micro economic factors that are integral to the establishment of a viable and sustainable recycling infrastructure.

ILMC has also been an invited participant in workshops on sustainable development for non-ferrous metals convened by the International Copper Study Group, the International Lead Zinc Study Group, and the International Nickel Study Group. The most recent workshop was convened this past September and included a focus on the needs of less developed countries. As a consequence of this workshop, ILMC and the International Lead Zinc Study Group are exploring possible interactions whereby financial assistance mechanisms might be employed to facilitate the ease with which capital investments are made to establish viable recycling infrastructure in less developed countries.

ILMC was also an invited participant in a workshop on "Control Options and Technologies to Abate Heavy Metals and Persistent Organic Pollutant Emissions from Stationary Sources and Products" convened under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe this past April in Prague. ILMC presented its findings regarding socioeconomic factors that impact upon the control strategies and policies used for the recycling of automotive batteries. The presentation emphasized the importance of taking into account the social and economic needs of industry sectors affected by government policies, national legislation, new technologies, and changes in trading patterns. ILMC emphasized that abatement technology must be made readily available, from both technical and economic standpoints, if improvements in environmental performance are to be achieved.

ILMC has also been asked to serve as a technical resource to the Basel Secretariat on issues of lead acid battery recycling. As an invited participant in working group meetings, ILMC expertise is made available to address technical and economic problems associated with the establishment of recycling facilities and support infrastructures for the collection of materials destined for recycling. This interaction with the Basel Secretariat is anticipated to continue as evaluations are undertaken of the needs of countries in Latin America and consideration given to the utility of regional centers for recycling. ILMC will also be assisting in the preparation of technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of used lead-acid batteries. This latter effort will be undertaken as a cooperative interaction with UNEP.
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Reporting and Accountability

Publications

ILMC continues to publish its quarterly newsletter, NewsCasting. The 13th Issue of NewsCasting was published in October 2000. The newsletter continues to be published in English, Spanish and Russian and is currently distributed to over 2000 individuals in 44 countries. Distribution occurs via both printed hard copy and in electronic formats.

ILMC also continues to improve and expand upon its website. A low graphics version of the website has been implemented so as to facilitate access by individuals in less developed countries. Many of the materials on the website are now available in Spanish, and a Russian version of the website has also been prepared. Unfortunately, the cyrillic fonts required to support a Russian language website have proven to be incompatible with HTML coding software. Pending the resolution of these technical difficulties, the ILMC website will then present materials in three different languages. The website remains an effective tool for both information dissemination and is the source of inquiries to, and requests for assistance from, the ILMC.
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Policy Advisory Group

ILMC maintains its independent Policy Advisory Group (PAG) so as to obtain objective assessment of the effectiveness of ongoing activities and to provide guidance on future organizational priorities. The Policy Advisory Group is composed of 7 professionals with expertise in areas of public health, infrastructure development, risk reduction, and voluntary non-regulatory initiatives. The Policy Advisory Group was recently expanded to include representation from the environmental community in the ASEAN region.

The PAG was most recently convened in October 2000. A report describing the deliberations of the PAG is in preparation by the PAG Chair and will be submitted to the ILMC Board of Directors before year's end. The PAG took favorable note of the success being achieved by ILMC in a number of Pilot Programs and strongly endorsed assignment of priority to issues relevant to the needs of less developed countries. The PAG further noted that the practical experience of ILMC in identifying effective "levers for change" in developing countries could shortly be put to use on a larger scale. ILMC was urged to establish cooperative interactions with other organizations so as to facilitate the development and implementation of more systemic approaches to risk reduction and capacity building in developing countries.
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International Lead Management Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 14189 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-4189 USA
Telephone: 919.361.2446 Facsimile: 919.361.1957