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Protocol on Heavy Metals

1) OBJECTIVE

To reduce the emissions of heavy metals that are subject to long-range transboundary atmospheric transport and are likely to have adverse effects on human health and the environment.

2) COMMUNITY MEASURE

Council Decision 2001/379/EC of 4 April 2001 on the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution on Heavy Metals.

3) CONTENTS

On 24 June 1998 the Commission signed the Heavy Metals Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. This Decision approves the Protocol on behalf of the Community.

The aim of the Protocol is to reduce emissions from heavy metals caused by anthropogenic activities that are subject to long-range transboundary atmospheric transport and are likely to have serious adverse effects on human health and the environment. To this end, it stipulates the reduction of total annual emissions into the atmosphere of cadmium, lead and mercury, and the application of product control measures.

Obligations under the Protocol

The Protocol stipulates that the signatory parties must apply the best available technologies vis-à-vis all the major sources of heavy metals existing, or due to be created, on their territory. The best available technologies are described in Annex III to the Protocol.

The parties must respect the emission limit values specified in Annex V.

The signatory parties must apply regulatory measures on products, as specified in Annex VI.

The parties should consider applying additional product management measures (see Annex VII).

Each party must keep regularly updated cadmium, lead and mercury emission registers.

The signatory parties must draw up political strategies and programmes in order to comply with their obligations under the Protocol.

Each party must notify the Executive Body of the Convention of the measures it has taken to apply the Protocol. Each party must also report its metal emission levels.

An implementation Committee will carry out periodic inspections to verify compliance with the obligations under the Protocol.

Cooperation between the signatories

The signatory parties will encourage research and development, monitoring and cooperation with regard to heavy metals and:

  • emissions, long-range transport and existing levels;
  • distribution channels and inventories of pollutants;
  • effects on health and the environment;
  • best available practices and technologies;
  • collection, recycling and removal;
  • global approach to the formulation of future strategies;
  • methodologies permitting consideration of socioeconomic factors in the evaluation of alternative control strategies;
  • replacement solutions;
  • collection of information on concentrations of heavy metals in certain products, on the risk of emissions and on the technologies likely to reduce such emissions.

4) DEADLINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEGISLATION IN THE MEMBER STATES

Not applicable.

5) DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE (if different from the above)

Not applicable.

6) REFERENCES

Official Journal L 134 of 17.05.2001

7) FOLLOW-UP WORK

8) IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

Last updated: 04.07.2005
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