Legal framework for PCB management

(Storage, transportation, usage, detoxification, disposal and elimination)

The regulations on the management of chemicals and chemical wastes in Russia might be found in a number of legal acts of the Russian Federation, as well as in international treaties adopted by the Russian government.

The main document regulating the management of chemicals and chemical wastes is the Federal Law No.7-FZ “On protection of the environment” from January 10th 2002 (For example, Article 47 “Environmental requirements for the production, management and disposal of potentially hazardous chemicals, including radioactive substances, other substances and microorganisms”, Article 49 “Environmental requirements for the use of chemicals in agriculture and in forestry”, Article 51 “Environmental requirements for the management of industrial and municipal waste”).

In 2011 Russia ratified the Stockholm Convention on POPs in adopting the Federal Law No.164-FZ “On the ratification of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants” on June 27th 2011.

The management of PCBs is regulated by a number of special regulations from other legal acts, including general regulations on the management of chemicals:

  • Resolution of the Government of Russia No.609 “On the federal registry of hazardous chemicals and biological substances, and on changing and declaring as terminated some legal acts adopted by the Government of Russia” from July 20th 2013;
  • Resolution of the Government of Russia “On measures to secure a safe transportation of hazardous freight by automobile transport” from April 23rd 1994 No.372;
  • Hygiene requirements on the disposal and detoxification of industrial and municipal wastes. Sanitary Rules and Norms;
  • Construction Norms and Rules 2.01.28-85 “Sites for detoxification and disposal of toxic industrial wastes. General principles of design”;
  • The Instructions of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of Russia “On the registration of hazardous chemical and biological substances” from May 25th 1993;
  • The resolution of the Government of Russia “On the import and export into and out of the Russian Federation of highly toxic and toxic substances which are not precursors of narcotics and psychedelic substances” from March 16th 1996 No.278;
  • In addition, there are a number of government standards (GOST) which might be also applied to regulate the management of PCBs, and concern the transportation, licensing, safe management of PCB and PCB-containing equipment. For example:
    • GOST 16555-75 “Three-phase sealed power oil transformers”;
    • GOST 12.1.005-88 SSBT “General sanitary requirements for working zone air” establishes sanitary norms on the amount of PCB in the working zone air at 1.0 mg/m3 for PCB vapour (2nd class of hazard). Sanitary norms for PCB for the air in resident areas and allowed levels of contamination of skin are not defined.
    • Others
  • Technical guidelines of the Custom Union TG TU 030/2012 “Requirements for lubricating materials, oils and special liquids” [ссылка на 2.1.3 Технический регламент Таможенного союза]

In addition to the above mentioned documents, PCBs are mentioned in the Treaty on Antarctica ratified by Russia (FZ from 24.05.97 No.79-FZ “On the ratification of the protocol on the protection of the environment to the Treaty on Antarctica”). Article 7 “Prohibited substances” of Annex III to the Protocol “Waste disposal and the management of waste disposal” states that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are forbidden to be brought to the ground or to the shelf ice or into the waters of the area of coverage of the Treaty of Antarctica … except those needed for scientific, medical or sanitary purposes”. 

Moreover, a clause forbidding the use of PCB is included in the Helsinki Convention on the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea area, 1992, and in the Bucharest Convention on the protection of the Black Sea against pollution, in the Protocol on the protection of the environment to the Treaty of Antarctica, and in a number of other international conventions and treaties. For example, the Helsinki committee, which is an executive body of the Helsinki Convention, adopted Recommendation 6/1 “Reducing the use of polychlorinated biphenyls” on March 13th 1985.

Resolution of the Government of Russia from March 24th 2000 No.251 “On the list of hazardous substances which shall not be dumped in the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation from ships, other sailing transport, planes, artificial islands, instalments and constructions” states that the dumping of PCB, ballast waters, wash waters and other waste and compounds containing PCB is forbidden.