THE STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING UNDER THE UNIDO/ GEF PROJECT “ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT AND FINAL DISPOSAL OF PCBS AT THE RUSSIAN RAILROAD NETWORK AND OTHER PCBS OWNERS”
On December 13, 2019, the annual Steering Committee of the UNIDO / GEF project “Environmentally sound “Environmentally sound management and final disposal of PCBs at the Russian Railroad Network and other PCBs owners” (hereinafter UNIDO-RZD project) was held at the Center for Scientific and Technical Information of Russian Railways.
Representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnazdor), the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation attended the meeting. Representatives of Russian Railways JSC, FSBI “Russian Energy Agency”, National Coordination Centre of Stockholm Convention on POPs, SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg”, NEFCO, “Rusatom Greenway” LLC, “NPO Decanter LLC” took part in the event as well.
Head of the Department of Labor Protection, Industrial Safety and Environmental Control of Russian Railways Mr. P. Potapov thanked the project team for the effective work, noted that the project plans for 2020 have already been developed and nowadays they have special priority in the company’s activities. One of the global plans for the implementation of the project is its presentation to the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation in order to identify new ways of project development and discuss the accomplished work.
Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, Mr. N. Inamov noted that UNIDO-RZD project is the largest project to fulfill the obligations of the Stockholm Convention on POPs in the Russian Federation, and today the project remains in the focus of the Ministry and receives its full support, as the project results cannot be overstated. Mr. Inamov noted that at the meeting of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the UNIDO-RZD project was marked as significant, and within the framework of the Global Environmental Facility, such unique and large-scale projects are not currently being implemented in Russia.
Deputy General Director of FSBI "REA" Mrs. Z. Galperina noted that at the beginning of the project, it was focused exclusively on Russian Railways, but the activity and enthusiasm of the project team allowed to extend its experience to different industries, e.g. FEC. Mrs. Galperina spoke about the experience of FSBI “REA” in training employees of federal and regional state institutions, customs authorities, non-governmental organizations and people working with PCBs in Russia. She told that during the training the level of awareness of PCB issue has grown significantly, the interest in the PCB problem was huge, the core audience was broad enough to suggest the national importance of the UNIDO-Russian RZD project.
During the meeting Mr. Korotkov handed over to the Research and Production Center for Environmental Protection methodological materials that were accumulated during the implementation of the project to ensure further work on PCB management in Russia. This Center, located in the city of Yaroslavl, carries out research and development work in the field of environmental protection, and provides JSC Russian Railways with practical and methodological assistance in ensuring environmental safety.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Rusatom Greenway LLC, a subsidiary of the Federal operator for the treatment of waste of I-II hazard classes the state Corporation "Rosatom", which is an industry integrator for the treatment of production and consumption waste. The establishment of such company is an important step in the further development of the UNIDO-RZD project, as the company has the financial and administrative resources to continue the accomplished work. The development director of Rusatom Greenway LLC, Mrs. E. Demicheva, spoke about the structure already created in the company, its activities and plans for the near future for the creation of solid infrastructure for the destruction of waste of I and II hazard class in the Russian Federation.
National consultants Mr. I. Davydov and Mr. V. Pershin told the project participants about the accomplished work in 2019 in the area of laboratory infrastructure and the environmentally sound management and disposal of equipment and waste contaminated with PCBs.
Project Coordinator Mrs. M. Lazareva spoke about the significant results of the project, briefly described plans for 2020. Mrs. Lazareva mentioned that during the project implementation, the unique technologies for the environmentally sound decontamination of PCBs were established, the unique human resources were engaged, as well as unique methods and programs have been developed.
At the end of the event, the representative of the Department of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. B. Meshchanov emphasized the educational component of the project, which is really important in achieving sustainable results. Mr. Meshchanov on behalf of the Ministry expressed the hope that the results of the project will have an accumulative effect and will become an impulse for continuing effective work in this direction.