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Minister of Environment issues resolution on hazardous waste transport

posted on 05/03/2013: 3269 views

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water has issued a resolution regulating the passage and export of hazardous waste shipments across the UAE border.

Federal Law No. 24 in 1999 on "the protection of the environment and development", defined hazardous waste as waste resulting from various activities and processes or its ashes containing various properties of hazardous materials such as batteries, used oils and medical waste coming from hospitals and clinics along with ink production waste such as dyes, paints and waste contained in production of lead, cadmium, mercury or copper.

The resolution comes in alignment with the "Basel" convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, of which the UAE has taken part since 1990. Such agreement aims to reduce hazardous waste generation and promote environmentally sound management of this waste regardless of the disposal location, it also aims to limit Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes across the border in order to protect the environment human health and from harm.

The resolution also prohibits the passage or exportation through sea, air, or land by any vehicles carrying hazardous waste without a written permission from the ministry in order to reduce the damage caused by the passage of operations and export of hazardous waste shipments across the UAE border.

The resolution stipulates the need to adhere to the provisions of the "Basel" Convention in terms of exporting hazardous wastes across the border, and is also applicable to all materials classified as hazardous waste by the convention.

The risk of this waste lies in its highly toxic form, its difficult decomposition and it's long term, which means it decomposes very slowly in the nature as it enters food chains through groundwater or soil, transporting it from one species to another thus becoming more concentrated in nature.

It also causes water pollution once it has flooded the sea and destroyed the marine life, more importantly the hazards taking a different form will eventually impact humans directly through contaminating the food chain causing fatal injuries and diseases in an impact that may last for years to come.

It is noteworthy that the Federal Law No. 24 for the year 1999 on the protection of the environment and development has banned import on all types of hazardous wastes or disposing of it in any form in the UAE environment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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