The Situation Statement is the first part of the baseline review document. The situation statement examines local and national conditions in which a POPs (or other hazardous substance) related contaminant issue occurs. A Situation Statement is used for risk management on a country-wide or site-specific basis.
The goal of the situation statement is to assess:
- Where challenges and opportunities may exist;
- Strengths and weaknesses of the legal, technical, administrative or institutional aspects, and knowledge;
- Identify why exposure to a chemical is occurring; and
- Identify the broader environmental and socio-economic context of a chemical-related problem.
Specific questions to answer in the Situation Statement include:
- Which Ministry or Departments are involved in managing toxic chemicals? the selected hot spot?
- What chemical-specific legislation or regulations are in place in the country?
- Is enforcement of regulations (if they exist) undertaken as necessary?
- What relevant industries use toxic chemicals?
- What research institutes are undertaking research or investigations into POP contaminations?
- What level of understanding exists in government and industry about the hazards the chemical poses?
- What level of awareness exists amongst workers and the public concerning toxic chemicals?
- What related technical infrastructure exists (e.g. information on quantities produced/ generated, imported, in use)?
- Existing programs for monitoring releases and environmental and human health impacts.
- Are there any ‘bottlenecks’ in the management of toxic chemicals, nationally and/or locally?
- Are there cases of accidents, poisonings, contamination, etc. involving toxic chemicals, and routinely reported to the relevant authorities?