15-16 March 2023 – up to 20 stakeholders with 70% of women representation, gathered for a stakeholder workshop to discuss the newly adopted legislation “On Approval of the Technical Regulation on Special Requirements for the Collection and Treatment of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)”. The meeting was organised within the “PCB-free Electricity Distribution in Georgia” project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with support from the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (RECC).
The meeting brought together representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA), the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Department of Environmental Supervision, Department of Customs Revenue Service (MOF), Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development as well as large industrial companies, particularly “Energo-Pro Georgia” and “Georgia State Electrosystem”.
“With this legislative initiative, Georgia has taken an important step towards sound management of chemical substances and is on its way to fulfilling the requirements of the Stockholm Convention” highlighted Mr Alverd Chankseliani – Head of Waste and Chemicals Management Department at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
“In partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, REC Caucasus reinforces the mobilization of financial and non-financial resources from the private sector and together with the support of the Government, we believe that a PCB-free environment could be achieved in Georgia” emphasised Ms Sophiko Akhobadze – Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus.
The participants were also given information on the Stockholm Convention: Main Achievements and Challenges and on the regulation on Procedures Aimed at Preventing Oil Release and Cross Contamination provided by Ms Ana Berezhiani, Head of Chemical and Hazardous Waste Division at MEPA. Within the framework of the stakeholder meeting, Mr Akaki Veltauri, the project’s leading expert, presented the amendments made to the existing waste management legislation regarding the management of equipment and oils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Tailor-made trainings on legal and practical aspects of environmentally sound management of PCBs is planned to continue for the private sector representatives and local municipalities.
The project “PCB-free Electricity Distribution in Georgia” is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). National components are executed by the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (RECC). The project intends to speed up the adoption and enforcement by the Georgian government of provisions related to the management of PCBs, and assist the country in the development and enforcement of specific rules and standards on the management of PCB-containing waste, as well as the development of technical guidelines concerning all stage of the lifecycle of equipment containing or contaminated by PCBs.