US Signs Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
May 24, 2001 12:00 PM, Modern Bulk Transporter staff
Following up on the commitment of President George W Bush to sign the global treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), EPA Administrator Christie Whitman on May 23 signed the Convention on behalf of the United States in Stockholm, Sweden. Ministers from over 90 countries joined the United States in signing the treaty.
The Administration plans to move swiftly to submit the treaty to the US Senate for ratification. The United States was among the first to call for a global POPs Convention and was a leader in bringing this environmental treaty to a successful conclusion.
President Bush, in a Rose Garden ceremony on April 19, attended by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Administrator Whitman, strongly advocated completion of the agreement to rid the world of these highly toxic chemicals and pesticides. The President hailed the treaty as one that would safeguard the health of Americans, while extending a helping hand to developing countries.
The United States worked closely with other countries to reach a broad consensus on an ambitious interim work plan that will focus on ways to quickly address the twelve chemicals targeted in the treaty. Once in force, the Convention's dynamic provisions permit the addition of other chemicals to the list.
The chemicals on the list include substances such as DDT, PCBs, and dioxins. POPs are toxic, persist in the environment for long periods of time, and accumulate as they move up the food chain. The United States already has banned or severely restricted the production, use, sale and/or release of these chemicals. However, many countries have taken little or no action.