Joint Statement on Development
of a Targeted Program to Reduce Environmental and Health Risk From Lead Contamination in the Russian Federation, Washington, DC, 1998
Done at Washington, DC 11 March 1998
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the U.S. Department of State
The Co-Chairs of the Environment Committee of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation are pleased to note the initiation of joint efforts to formulate a lead risk reduction strategy for the Russian Federation, based on latest international experience and scientific-technological accomplishments. They believe that targeted cooperation in this area is timely and should help avoid increased environmental contamination from lead and lead compounds resulting from the operation of various industrial sectors, especially nonferrous metal production and recycling, and from increased use of leaded gasoline in automobile transport in the Russian Federation.
This need to address the problem of lead contamination follows from the results of joint epidemiological research, carried out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the R.F. Sanitary-Epidemiological Service, and from recommendations contained in the 1996 “white paper” report on lead contamination in Russia, prepared by the R.F. State Committee for Environmental Protection with financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). U.S.-Russian cooperation on this task implements decisions reached at the May 1997 Environmental Summit of the Eight (Miami, FL) focused on the environmental risks to children’s health. It is also consistent with various multilateral initiatives (the 1996 OECD Declaration on Lead Risk Reduction, negotiation of a heavy metals protocol under the Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution Convention, and activity within the framework of the “Environment for Europe” process).
With these considerations in mind, Russian Federation Government Directive No. 1237 of September 26, 1997, instructed federal Russian authorities to formulate a targeted program entitled, “Protection of the Environment from Lead Contamination and Reduction of Its Impact on Public Health.” Development of the program will be financed from the R.F. Federal Environmental Fund and from non-budgetary sources. With financial support provided by USAID, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency intends to participate in this effort together with the R.F. State Committee for Environmental Protection, which is the proponent agency for the program and will coordinate the work of various R.F. ministries and agencies. Preparation of the draft targeted program should be completed by the end of this year.
The Vice President of the United States of America, Al Gore, and the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, V.S. Chernomyrdin, are gratified by the success of the Environment Committee in cooperation to reduce the risk from lead contamination.
The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chairman of the R.F. State Committee for Environmental Protection underscore the importance of international cooperation to ensure favorable environmental conditions for the people of Russia and for the global community as Russia continues on the path of economic transformation, today and in the years to come.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency R.F. State Committee for
Washington, March 11, 1998