France requires reporting of PCBs

Government orders action after European Court of Justice law suit announced

The French government last week ordered all significant quantities of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and related PCTs to be reported to local authorities. The move will enable a national inventory of PCB and PCT holdings to be created. It follows hard on the heels of a European Commission announcement of court action against France and five other countries for failing to create inventories or management plans, in breach of EU law (ENDS Daily 25 January).

All EU member states are required to create PCB and PCT inventories under a 1996 directive. The European Parliament recently adopted an own-initiative report criticising widespread failure by governments to comply with this and other rules under the directive (ENDS Daily 23 November 2000).

The French order requires holders of equipment larger than five cubic decimeters, containing over 50 parts per million of PCB, to report possession. Similar equipment also containing certain toxic fluids is being subjected to similar provisions. According to an environment ministry official, a national inventory of equipment containing PCBs/PCTs, and plans for decontamination or disposal of equipment and the PCBs they contain should be completed in about one year's time.Follow Up:
French environment ministry, tel : +33 1 42 19 20 21, and PCB reporting order.

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