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Mission Report – Paraguay PCB fire

Mission Report

The report presents the results of a UN expert mission in response to a fire that took place in a transformer depot, at the National Electrical Administration (ANDE) in the Laurelty –San Lorenzo municipality of Paraguay on 14 October 2015. The facility provides electricity to the country and is located in a densely populated metropolitan area 11 km from the capital Asuncion. The site covered approximately 27 hectares (has), and the fire affected approximately 2 has. Equipment including stored transformers, capacitors, and other materials that may contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which can generate a large amount of dioxins and furans, were affected by the blaze. Following the request of the Paraguay Ministry of Environment, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (JEU) organized a mission to provide technical assistance and guidance to assess the impact of the fire. The objective of the mission was to evaluate the extent of the environmental risk to the fire-affected sites, including the associated runoff, leaks, spills and waste, and provide recommendations for the management of the waste resulting from the incident. The findings and recommendations of the mission can be found in the report, which is available in Spanish with the Executive Summary in English.

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