Major industrial accidents may cause far-reaching transboundary effects and may lead to accidental water pollution. Therefore, the Signatories, and later Parties, to the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents and the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes decided to cooperate on issues related to the prevention of accidental pollution of transboundary waters.
The joint expert group has been tasked with, among other things:
- support to the Working Group on Civil Liability in its drafting of the Protocol on Civil Liability;
- drafting guidelines for establishing model cross-border contingency plans;
- reviewing the location criterion related to the water path contained in the guidelines to facilitate the identification of hazardous activities for the purposes of the Industrial Accidents Convention;
- developing an inventory of existing safety guidelines and good practices for the prevention of accidental transboundary water pollution;
- promoting international response exercises, including an international seminar on cooperation to prevent and respond to transboundary effects of industrial accidents (Ketrzyn, Poland, 13-15 June 2002);
- developing safety guidelines for (off-site) pipelines -- which resulted in adopted guidelines and included a workshop on the prevention of water pollution due to pipeline accidents (Berlin, 2005) and a workshop on the prevention of accidents of gas transmission pipelines (The Hague, Netherlands, 2006);
- drawing up guidelines and good practices for tailing dams -- which resulted in adopted guidelines and included a workshop on the safety of tailing management facilities (Yerevan, 2007);
- facilitating the exchange of information on the functioning of alarm and notification systems; and
- developing safety guidelines and good practices for crisis management on transboundary waters.
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