Environmentally Sound Management of Obsolete Pesticides in the Russian Federation. Final Report for Phases I and II. Inventory and Safe Storage Activities, 2001 - 2012. September 2013.
Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP)
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Pesticides may become obsolete because of poor storage conditions that lead to damage or alteration of the preparations or loss of identity, because their shelf-life has been exceeded, or because they have been prohibited or other changes in product registration and approval have occurred. The Russian Federation has large stocks of obsolete pesticides, estimated at 40,000 tonnes, originating mostly from the Soviet era. In 2001, one of the six permanent working groups of the Arctic Council, the Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP), initiated a project to improve management of obsolete pesticide stockpiles in twelve priority regions in Northern Russia. The first two phases of the project—inventory and repackaging, and screening and provision of safe storage—have been completed in the selected priority regions of the Russian Federation. Stocks of about 6800 tonnes of obsolete pesticides were discovered during the inventory in ten northern regions of the Russian Federation (Altai Krai, Arkhangelsk Region, Komi Republic, Magadan Region, Omsk Region, Tyumen Region, Altai Republic, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Tomsk Region, and Krasnoyarsk Krai). In order to reduce exposure of humans and the environment, most pesticide stocks have been repackaged and transported to interim storage facilities while awaiting environmentally sound destruction. Because the Russian Federation still lacks environmentally sound destruction capacity, the only option at the moment is safe interim storage. Because of this lack of final destruction capacity, placing the pesticides in hazardous waste landfills or “polygons” is a common practice. It is unlikely that pesticides disposed of in this manner will ever be retrieved for final destruction. According to recent studies in the Russian Federation, destruction capacity is under development although the environmental performance of these technologies has not been fully documented. It may, therefore, be a long time before environmentally sound destruction capacity will be commercially available in the Russian Federation.
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