Greenpeace statement on erroneous reports regarding polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs

Press release - April 22, 2014
Quezon City— Regarding the issue on used transformers that contain PCBs, Greenpeace Philippines Toxics Campaigner, Abigail Aguilar said:

“It has been reported in several newspapers that Greenpeace issued a warning against the improper disposal of used transformers that contain PCBs. Firstly, Greenpeace never issued any warning on the matter. What Greenpeace recently publicly commented on was regarding the toxic waste shipment from Canada that is still in the country. Greenpeace, together with other NGOs and civil society groups are demanding the immediate re-exportation of these toxic shipment back to its Canadian port of origin.

“Greenpeace currently does not have work on used transformers or PCBs. However, Greenpeace previously worked with the DENR on a Non-Combustion Technologies for Destroying Persistent Organic Pollutants (Non-Com POPs) project on PCBs in 2007.

“Ecowaste Coalition, of which Greenpeace is a member, has an initiative to push for the implementation of the DENR-DOE Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2013-09-200 on the take-back and proper disposal of lamp wastes. This JAO took effect in October 2013 but assessment showed that it is still not being implemented.

“Greenpeace would like to clarify that no memo was signed by then DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes in 2007 regarding disposal of stockpiled PCBs. All the relevant dates with regard to the management of PCBs, particularly their storage and disposal, are contained in the Chemical Control Order for PCBs signed by former DENR Sec. Elisea Gozun in 2004.”

As to the Non-Com POPs facility in Bataan, Greenpeace said that this is not a disposal facility, but a non-combustion destruction and treatment facility for PCBs. According to the Environment Management Bureau of the DENR, it is still not used commercially because it is still in the final commissioning stage.

Greenpeace has never commented on the UNIDO project on PCBs, or on former DENR Secretary Reyes’ memo or on the Bataan facility.

“Greenpeace hopes that the above facts will help clarify and correct any wrong perceptions that may have arisen from the published articles.”

For more information:

Abigail Lois P. Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner | Email: | Mobile: +639236502070

Therese A. Salvador, Media Campaigner | Email: | Mobile: 0917-8228734