Chapter Twelve: Hazardous Wastes and Materials


I. Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes

    A. History and Background
Center for Health, Environment and Justice Home Page - provides people with technical information and training to use information to organize to fight for their rights regarding environmental issues including toxic waste, solid waste, air pollution, incinerators, medical waste, and industrial pollution

Indiana Department of Environmental Management: Office of Land Quality - aims to make the air, water and land clean and safe for human health and enjoyment

Center for Hazardous Waste Remediation Research - aims to clean up contaminated soils, surface waters, and groundwaters throughout the U.S.

1. The Nature of the Hazardous Waste Trade

Greenpeace International: Toxics - includes links to toxic campaign press releases, health effects, hazardous chemicals found in PVC baby toys, chlorine industry, and more

2. The Beginnings of an International Response

Pacific Northwest Chapter: Academy of Hazardous Materials Management - advances the art and science of hazardous materials management and its allied fields and fosters professional excellence through education

The Law of Treaties and the Export of Hazardous Waste - published by the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, Hao-Nhien Q. Vu concludes that international agreements alone cannot effectively regulate the transboundary shipment of hazardous waste but can help impose minimum standards on reluctant nations and spur other efforts by serving as foundations on which stronger domestic regulations can be built

3. Waste Trade Legislation in the United States and Europe

International Waste Trade - provides background information on international treaties to ban the trade in radioactive wastes

The Basel Ban - The Pride of the Basel Convention - provides background information on the Basel Convention and analyzes the results

    B. The Basel Convention
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 22 March 1989 - provides list of signatories and parties to the Convention

The Basel Secretariat - provides links to the Convention, meeting and working documents, information on national/regional implementation, and press room

Victorious Outcome at Basel Convention Conference in Kuching, Malaysia - reports on the adoption of a proposal to the Basel Convention, which protects non-OECD countries from the dumping of hazardous waste by OECD countries

1. Definitions - Hazardous and Other Wastes

The Composting Council of Canada - serves as a forum to advocate and advance the use of composting as a means of reducing Canada's waste stream while reclaiming the organic fraction for beneficial purposes

2. Basic Obligations

UK Ratifies Ban On Exports of Hazardous Waste to Developing Countries - reports on the UK's ratification of the amendment to the Basel Convention, noting that the Convention provides a system of prior informed consent to exports of hazardous waste

3. Party to Non-party Ban

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Council Decision Concerning the Control of Transfrontier Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations - (PDF) Basel Convention allows Parties to enter into agreements such as this with Parties or non-Parties provided that such agreements do not derogate from the requirements of the Basel Convention

4. Waste Minimization and Waste Management

Beyond NIMBY: Hazardous Waste Siting in Canada and the United States - provides a synopsis of the book by Barry G. Rabe dealing with the reasons that prevailing approaches to siting of a facility for hazardous waste disposal between Canada and the United States have repeatedly failed to produce agreements

5. Violations

Hazardous Waste Talks to Consider Liability Regime for Basel Convention - reports on the preparations for the Fifth Session of the Conference of the Parties to be held December 1999 and expected to adopt a protocol on liability and compensation

Co-operation in Combating International Crime - providing information on Interpol, which covers all types of criminal activity with international ramifications, to include the illegal traffic in hazardous waste

    C. Implementation and Amendments
1. OECD Party to Non-OECD Party Ban

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development - provides governments a setting in which to discuss, develop and perfect economic and social policy

OECD Content Online - provides monthly data updates in pdf and html formats on OECD

Biotrack Database of Field Trials - includes records of field trials of genetically modified organisms which have taken place in OECD member economies as well as data form other countries

2. The Bamako Convention

Bamako Convention - protects human health and the environment from dangers posed by hazardous wastes by reducing their generation to a minimum in terms of quantity and/or hazard potention

Yearbook of International Co-operation on Environment and Development 1998/99: Bamako Convention - includes information on the Convention with contact information as well as a link to an illustrative map of the status of participation

3. Lome IV Convention

Development: Bilateral and Development Cooperation Relations with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific; Lome Convention - provides 20 questions and answers concerning the Lome Convention between the EC and the ACP States

Contribution to the Analysis of the Green Paper on Relations Between the European Union and the ACP Countries on the Eve of the 21st Century - prepared for the Conference, Beyond Lome IV, this report concludes that EU support for ACP efforts is fundamental and could bring about reduction in poverty and in the ACP debt

    D. Cross-cutting Themes
1. Domestic Implementation

Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act - includes full text of 42 USC 6901-6992k

EPA's Office of Solid Waste - provides information on solid waste, laws and regulations, data and other links

2. International Trade Law

CIEL's Trade and Environment Program - works to integrate principles of sustainable development into international trade and investment law and policies, to include the promotion of the effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements

3. Technology Transfer

Center for Biomedical and Toxicological Research and Hazardous Waste Management - conducts cooperative research projects with the Institute for Central and Eastern European Cooperative Environmental Research in the areas of environmental contamination assessment and remediation and international transfer and exchange, as well as hazardous waste management

Commission Proposes Amendment to the Directive on Hazardous Waste Incineration - reports on an EC proposal seeking to limit the emissions into water of heavy metals and dioxins caused by incineration

4. Role of NGOs

EarthLife Africa - aims to promote the careful and sustainable interaction of humans and the environment, to include a campaign against Thor Chemicals in South Africa

Regressive Governments Urged: Ban Toxic Waste Trade Now - reports on the protest by environmentalists from more than ten countries against the international trade in toxic waste ouside the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests

II. Chemical Manufacture and Exports

Our Stolen Future - authors' website to provide further information on the science of endocrine disruption, the interference of synthetic chemicals with human and animal hormones

Union Carbide Corporation: Bhopal Fact Sheet - provides background information on the Bhopal gas leak tragedy, a chronology of Union Carbide's Bhopal aid and relief efforts and the size of the Bhopal settlement and humanitarian aid to victims

    A. Pesticides
Pesticide Action Network: Advancing Alternatives to Pesticides Worldwide - campaigns to replace pesticides with ecologically sound alternatives

Parasites, Not Pesticides or Ozone Loss, Responsible for Frog Deformities - new studies show that some of the frogs' deformities are caused by a parasite and not caused by a broader environmental disaster

1. History and Background

Pesticides, Environment and Your Health - provides links to articles and sites concerned with how the contamination of the environment is affecting human health

2. FAO International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides

FAO Pesticide Management - provides links to full text of the code

a. Prior Informed Consent
Prior Informed Consent For Certain Hazardous Chemicals in International Trade - provides information on the procedure as well as related topics, developments of legally binding instruments and other relevant information
3. Circle of Poison

UPDATE: Pesticide Dumping Continues; Leahy to Reintroduce Circle of Poison Bill - reports that Sen. Patrick Leahy reintroduced his "Circle of Poison" legislation in 1998, which addressed the U.S. companies' practice of "dumping" banned pesticides overseas

    B. Industrial Chemicals
1. London Guidelines

London Guidelines for the Exchange of Information on Chemicals in International Trade - provides full text of the Guidelines

2. Prior Informed Consent Treaty

Earth Negotiations Bulletin - provides a history of the PIC negotiations

    C. Persistent Organic Pollutants
1. The Dirty Dozen

Chlorine Chemistry Council - comprises chlorine and chlorinated product manufacturers that strives to achieve policies that promote the continuing, responsible uses of chlorine and chlorine-based products

2. Impacts and Potential Impacts

Persistent Organic Pollutants and Heavy Metals - provides background information on POPs as well as international agreements to which Canada is a signatory

3. Legal Controls

North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation - provides information on the establishment of a working group whose duties pertain to the regulation or managment of toxic substances among Canada, the U.S., and Mexico

4. UNEP Activities

Code of Ethics on the International Trade in Chemicals - represents the commitment of the world's industries to reduce the risks of chemical substances to human health and the global environment

UNEP Chemicals: Persistent Organic Pollutants - contains reports on POPs activities of UNEP and other international organizations

UNEP Chemicals Publications - provides a list of publications currently available

Problem Exercise: Chlorine Treaty Negotiations
Natural Organic Chlorine Compounds - provides background information on the natural production of organic chlorine compounds
III. International Regulation of Nuclear Activities
OECD Nuclear Energy Agency - contributes to the development of nuclear energy as a safe, environmentally-acceptable and economical energy source through co-operation among its participating countries
    A. History and Background
1. Nuclear Accidents:Safety and Response

Chernobyl: A Nuclear Disaster - includes links to the disaster, emergency, cause, local effects, worldwide effects and Chernobyl today

Chernobyl Children Life Line - a charity helping children in Belarus with the effects of the Chernobyl disaster, includes an extensive photographic gallery

Worldwide Effects - contains links to radiation spreads, Nordic countries, Europe and the rest of the world

Chernobyl Today - contains links to current conditions of the Sarcophagus, current events at Chernobyl, children of Chernobyl, missing fuel mystery and future plans

Chernobyl 10 Years After - provides complete text of seven reports on Chernobyl

Chernobyl: Ten Years of Disaster: Possibility and Necessity of Phase-out of Chernobyl - contains full text of the WISE News Communique Chernobyl brochure

2. Shipment and Disposal of Radioactive Waste

Greenpeace Tracking of Nuclear Waste Shipments - includes map and daily updates of a Greenpeace veseel tracking waste shipment leaving Cherbourg

High-Level Radioactive Waste Newsletter - provides articles regarding radioactive waste and federal activity, transportation, interim storage, interest groups and low-level waste

Nuclear Utilities May Sue DOE For Failing to Accept Nuclear Waste - reports a lawsuit brought by the nuclear industry for the failure of the Department of Energy to ship their highly irradiated nuclear waste by January 31, 1998

Environment: Nuclear Waste Shipment a Health Hazard to Caribbean - reports confidential documents obtained by Greenpeace International and the Nuclear Control Institute that reveals details of nuclear waste shipments

3. Liability

International Atomic Energy Agency - provides information, press releases, bulletins and more on the IAEA

    C. Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Arms Treaties - provides a chronological list of nuclear arms treaties

The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study - provides extensive information on the book, Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940, and related information

1. Nuclear Weapons Reduction Treaties

START II Documents - includes links to remarks by President Clinton and Vice President Gore, text of the treaty, and analyses of the agreement

Online NewsHour: Moscow's Missiles - discusses the issues facing people in charge of nuclear weapons in Russia

History of Nuclear Weapons Testing - a Greenpeace report, provides an overview of nuclear weapons testing in history

Nuclear Weapons Testing and Negotiation of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty - contains a summary, most recent developments, background and analysis, chronology and sources for additional reading

Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests (And Protocol Thereto) - contains a narrative, text and protocol

Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water (1963) - aims to achieve an agreement on general and complete disarmament under strict international control in accordance with the objectives of the United Nations

START II Treaty - by the Department of State, contains the treaty, protocols, and related documents

Prospects for ratification of START II in the Russian Duma - provides a meeting summary for October 3, 1996

No Rush To Ratify START-II Agreement - reports on the resistance to the START-II agreement in the Russian State Duma

2. Nuclear Weapon-Free Regions

United Nations and Disarmament - reviews the negotiations, treaties and other activities involving nuclear disarmament

3. Nuclear Test Cases

The International Law of Shipments of Ultrahazardous Radioactive Materials: Strategies and Options to Protect the Marine Environment - a paper provided by Globelaw, focuses on some of the issues surrounding the challenge of policymakers and legislators of allowing the Pacific to become a testing ground for new technologies or of addressing the challenges effectively