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New Zealand Proposes to Update Rules on Storage and Disposal of POPs

The 2023 Notice incorporates the Basel Guidelines to define low POP thresholds.

On February 20, 2023, New Zealand issued a proposed new EPA notice on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)—the Hazardous Substances (Storage and Disposal of Persistent Organic Pollutants) Notice 2023. Comments are welcome until April 5, 2023.

When the current Notice was first issued in 2004, there were 12 POPs listed under the Stockholm Convention. Since then, 18 new POPs have been added, including two (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and dicofol) that were added at the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-9) in May 2019 and PFHxS in June 2022 (SC COP-10). As a result, the current Notice has lost is relevancy in addressing all the newer POPs and need to be replaced. 

The key proposed changes include:

  • Making provision for already existing manufactured articles containing POPs, such as storage, handling and disposal requirements

  • Updating the requirements for the disposal of POPs drawing on the Basel Guidelines

  • Updating cross-reference to adapt to legislation changes

In particular, the 2023 Notice proposed to adopt the low POP thresholds used by the EU under the Basel Guidelines (UNEP/CHW.15/6/Add.1/Rev.1). Entities who stores more than 50kg of a substance containing higher risk POPs (higher than defined thresholds) are required to notify the authority within 12 months of the effective date of the Notice.

The 2023 Notice will come into force on a date 6 months after publication in the Gazette. Read the full proposal in the discussion document.

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