Laos Laos regulates PCB contaminated transformers and wastes

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Lao PDR established “Decision on the On the Management and Monitoring, Treatment, Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in the Transformer No. 5925/MONRE” on 30 December 2020. The Decision prescribes the principles, regulations, and measures related to the management and monitoring, treatment, and disposal of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the transformer and PCBs contaminated wastes. The Decision applies to the individual, enterprise, or organization of both domestic and overseas that perform activities in Laos.

 

Responsibilities of the owner of a transformer with PCB or PCB contaminated wastes

Those who own a transformer with PCB or PCB contaminated wastes shall keep the transformer and associated wastes under the following conditions:

  • The storage site shall be safe and the warehouse shall be designed under technical standards in order to prevent the leakage of PCBs chemical agents into the environment. The warehouse shall be a closed space with a concrete floor while having a drainage system and a fence to prevent access of unauthorized individuals and animals.
  • A distance from the communities, schools, hospitals, sources of water, and food production sites shall be at least 1 km;
  • The storage site shall have the warning and prohibition signs at the entrance-exit of the site.
  • The container or packaging shall have a label and warning sign in writing or illustration indicating the hazard posed by the PCBs. The wording shall be in Lao and English.

In addition, the owner shall report the status and conditions of storage to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Energy and Mines, and the Department of Industry and Commerce every 6 months for inspection. In case of chemical leakage, spill, or emergency incident, the owner shall take measures to prevent initial impact while reporting to the local and central government.

 

Responsibilities of the transporter

Those who transport a transformer with PCB or PCB contaminated wastes shall ensure the safety of the health, lives, properties, environment, and society. The transport vehicle shall place the warning sign in red character as “Danger – Hazardous Substances” with a big skull symbol in red color at the front and rear side.

 

Responsibilities of the treatment and disposal facility

The treatment of PCBs in the transformer shall be conducted by an authorized service provider. The treatment and disposal facility shall be distant from communities or water resources. The individual, enterprise, or organization that intends to provide the services of treatment and disposal of PCBs and PCBs contaminated wastes shall request for the business license from the Industry and Commerce Sector in order to collaborate with the Natural Resources and Environment Sector for the consideration in accordance with the law.

 

Survey and registration

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for conducting a survey of PCBs in the transformer and making a registeration to the database. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment at the provincial level in collaboration with the Department of Energy and Mines; the Department of Industry and Commerce; and other Departments; Électricité du Laos; the electrical service providers; the administrative bodies at the district level; the Offices of Natural Resources and Environment at the district level perform the survey and registration of the PCBs in the transformer within its own areas followed by a reporting to the administrative bodies at the province and Vientiane Capital. The Department of Pollution Control and Monitoring collects data across the nation, compiles the database of registered PCB, and reports to the management committee of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Download original text of the Decision at
http://laoofficialgazette.gov.la/kcfinder/upload/files/5925%20%E0%BA%81%E0%BA%8A%E0%BA%AA%202020%20.pdf