UNECE Heavy Metals Protocol Amended, Stringent Heavy Metals Emissions Controls Adopted

UNECE19 December 2012: Parties to the Protocol on Heavy Metals under the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LTRAP) have adopted amendments to increase the stringency of heavy metal emissions controls, at the 31st session of the LTRAP Executive Body.

The Protocol requires parties to reduce emissions of cadmium, lead and mercury below 1990 levels, or an alternative year between 1985 and 1995. The new amendments place stricter limits on emissions of particulate matter and releases of the three heavy metals during certain combustion processes and from specific industrial sources, including production processes for silico- and ferromanganese alloys.

The Protocol requires the adoption of best available techniques to address existing and new emission sources. Parties adopted new guidance, “Best Available Techniques for Controlling Emissions of Heavy Metals and Their Compounds From the Source Categories Listed in Annex II,” to facilitate this requirement.

The Executive Body was meeting from 11-13 December 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland. [UNECE Press Release] [Meeting Documents]