PCBs on board the MSC Flaminia

29 Aug 2012

MSC Flaminia
Press release # 7

Update August 30, 9:45 am

The complete inventory of hazardous materials on board the MSC Flaminia has been made by an unofficial source. No radioactive material is declared. However, the big surprise is the presence of two PCB waste containers on board outside the damaged area. These PCBs are banned from production and use worldwide. They were undoubtedly intended for disposal in Europe. They came clearly the United States, since MSC Flaminia left Charleston. It is surprising that the United States would expose the marine environment to known high risks by transporting and exporting hazardous waste to Europe. Exportation from the United States to Europe is not illegal as long as done in accordance to the Basel Convention on transborder movements of hazardous waste. But it is illogical.

Another hypothesis is that the PCBs have passed through Charleston but it was originated in a country other than the United States. The question now is what are the countries of destination and disposal? (Updated 4:20 p.m.)


Update August 30, 9:45 am

Based on information transmitted to Robin des Bois by the Trédi group, the two PCB waste containers on board of MSC Flaminia were to be treated in the specialized unit of Saint-Vulbas in the Ain department. The 45 tons of PCB waste originated from Mexico. They were loaded on the MSC Flaminia in Charleston (USA). This waste is mostly in liquid form and contain only slight amounts of PCBs. Both containers were to be landed at Le Havre port in mid-July.

Mexico does not have the appropriate disposal facilities. The main facilities qualified to eliminate PCBs in the European Union are available in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Germany.

Hazardous materials onboard MSC Flaminia.
=> List of hazardous materials onboard MSC Flaminia – Source Maritime Bulletin (pdf)







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