Inventory of permanent and temporary POPs storage sites

There are a lot of special facilities designated for temporary or permanent storage of persistent organic pollutants.

The facilities designed for permanent storage (mass burials of POPs), as well as the facilities designed for utilisation, detoxification and disposal, shall be made in accordance with the legislation on environmental protection and on the sanitary and epidemiological safety of the population.

An inventory of such sites shall help not only to estimate the total amount of POPs in the country, but also to register all facilities which fell into disrepair and require special management.

The initial inventory made for the Russian Federation has identified that more than half of all registered storage sites of POPs have fallen into disrepair. The reasons for that might be the following:

  • Adequate technologies were not applied while building the POPs disposal sites and storages, which in many cases have caused the subsidence of surface;
  • Aging and decay of the storage containers;
  • Damaged storing containers due to improper positioning;
  • Flooding with ground and overflow waters.

Such violations of storage regulations lead to dire consequences, such as mixing of hazardous chemicals, release of toxic emissions into the atmosphere or of toxic wastes into ground waters, and which pose a great threat to human health and the environment.

The above-mentioned available information emphasizes the need to urgently provide an appropriate technical treatment to the identified storage sites that fell into disrepair; to make a complete detailed inventory of all POPs storage sites with information on the chemicals in untagged and damaged containers.