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Projects Database

Defusing The Chlor-Alkali Mercury Time Bomb


Project Information

Award Amount:$45,000.00
Dollars Leveraged:$0.00
Start-End Dates:4/1/99-9/30/02
URL:n/a
Description:Summary: This project undertook to study the environmental and economic impacts of mercury stockpiles associated with decommissioned chlor-alkali facilities in Western Europe. At the time this study was conducted, more than 60 factories in Western Europe hold 12,000 to 14,000 tons of mercury. When factories close, their mercury stocks have traditionally been sold to commodity dealers.

Environmental Results/Products: This project contributed to two reports. In September 2000, Institute of European Environmental Policy (IEEP) authored Decommissioning Chlor-alkali facilities in Western Europe: Mercury Options. In addition, IEEP provided the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), which after the onset of this grant undertook a technical review of mercury environmental issues. The grantee was able to provide salient information regarding the chlor-alkali industry to the UNEP review. The UNEP report became a useful forum by which chlor-alkali issues could be brought to the attention of environmental policymakers. This assessment report was forwarded to the UNEP Governing Council for its meeting during February 2003. This contributed to increased understanding worldwide of major issues related to mercury, thereby facilitating discussion and actions.

The IEEP project collaborated with the European chlor-alkali industry association, located in Brussels, obtaining information on its procedures for management of mercury and methods for measuring mercury vapor emissions. IEEP also shared information on the chlor-alkali industry with the United Nations Environmental Program mercury review. This in turn helped elicit information on the industry from other nations, including India.

With regard to mercury consumption in the chlor-alkalai industry, the Indian association has reduced mercury losses by about 40 percent during the past three years; the U.S. industry has reduced losses by 80 percent during the past six years; and European factories have made progress, though the extent of progress has not been comparably reported. This is contextual progress by the industry during recent years. It cannot be attributed to the efforts of IEEP, but rather to voluntary actions by factories. Nevertheless, IEEP’s project contributed valuably to bolstering world understanding of chlor-alkali mercury issues.

Products/Reports

  • Decommissioning Chlor-alkali facilities in Western Europe: Mercury Options.

Funding Organizations

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are funding this project.

U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office - Primary Contact

77 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, Illinois 60604
There are no individuals in this organization
associated with this project.


Organizations Receiving Funding

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are receiving funding for this project.

Institute of European Environmental Policy - Primary Contact

52 Horseferry Road
London, England, Other Not Shown
There are no individuals in this organization
associated with this project.


Associated Organizations

Below is a list of associated organizations that are NOT giving or receiving funding for this project.

EuroChlor - Partner

Avenue E Van Nieuwenhuyse 4, box 2
B-1160 Brussels, Other Not Shown p: 32 2 676 7211

United Nations Environmental Program - Partner

1707 H Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, District of Columbia 20006
p: 202-785-0465
f: 202-785-2096
info@unep.be

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).

P2Rx

One East Hazelwood Drive; Champaign, IL; 61820; (800) 407-0261; glrppr@glrppr.org