April 22, 2004
The Politics Surrounding POPs
On February 17, France became a party to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), ensuring that it will become binding international law on May 17. The treaty bans or severely restrictions twelve of the most toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and certain pesticides, while including provisions to add additional chemicals in the future. Although the United States signed the treaty in May 2001, it is not yet a party to the convention.
Informed observers believe the U.S. must amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to implement the Convention. Will Congress be willing and able to act in time for the Senate to ratify the treaty? What amendments must be made? On April 22, ELI held an Associate Seminar to discuss the legal, political, environmental and economic ramifications of the POPs treaty and statutory amendments. Panelists included, William Boyd (Minority Staff, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works), Clifton Curtis (Director, Global Toxic Program, World Wildlife Fund) and Mike Walls (Senior Counsel, American Chemistry Council). Jane Luxton (Partner, King & Spalding, LLP) moderated the discussion.