Providing World Class environmental compliance consulting
that is both cost effective and focused on client needs

POPs Plan Launched by EPA


Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are a group of toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and can bioaccumulate in the food chain.  A global treaty was negotiated and the Stockholm Convention on POPs was adopted in 2001. This Convention includes several requirements to control POPs including banning or restricting the production, use, import and export of POPs and actions to reduce and/or eliminate their releases.

Requirements regarding wastes containing POPs are also defined including the duty to destroy or irreversibly transform the POP content of wastes. The POPs currently controlled under the Convention are listed below. These chemicals are found in historical pesticides, industrial oils and may be produced as unintended by-products.

  • Aldrin
  • Chlordane
  • Dieldrin
  • Endrin
  • Heptachlor
  • Mirex
  • Toxaphene
  • DDT
  • Lindane  (and Alpha and Beta hexachlorocyclohexane)
  • Chlordecone
  • Endosulfan Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether
  • Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether
  • Hexabromobiphenyl
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride
  • Pentachlorobenzene
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins
  • Dibenzofurans

Since 2010 Ireland has been a party to the Stockholm Convention and is required to submit to the secretariat a National Implementation Plan in 2012.

In August 2012 the EPA issued a report titled ‘Draft National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants’.

The draft National Implementation Plan proposes a number of actions including;

  • Assessment of IPPC licences, waste licences, waste permits and activities, where appropriate, related to unintentional POP sources to facilitate the promotion of BAT.
  • Ongoing inspections and enforcement related activities concerning PCB holdings.
  • Assessment of environmental monitoring programmes to determine the need for further POPs monitoring (e.g. water and soils).
  • Raising public awareness under existing farm inspection programmes regarding POP pesticides.
  • A POPs working group to monitor and evaluate progress in implementing measures in the National Implementation Plan and Action Plan on unintentional POPs.
  • Improvement of inventories of unintentional emissions to air, land and water. 

As implementation of the Stockholm Convention is about to be ramped up in Ireland, now is a good time for industry to confirm that the above compounds are not used or produced at their facilities and not contained in waste produced by their processes.

Please call Gerard Kelly on 058-51155 if you wish to discuss POPs further.