US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Environmental Working Group (EWG)
The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission was established by President Obama and President Medvedev on July 6, 2009 to strengthen the relationship between the US and Russia. The Environment Working Group (EWG) of the Presidential Commission is co-chaired by the US Department of State and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. In the most recent EWG workplan, EPA and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment have agreed to work together on two issues: (1) Management of Legacy Wastes; and (2) Black carbon emissions in the Russian Arctic.
Under the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, EPA is partnering with Russia to share the US approach to management of contaminated sites in order to improve public health and to give the Russians examples of how to manage their legacy wastes.
- June 2013: EPA hosted a technical exchange with a delegation from Russia, led by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
- May 2013: EPA experts in Atlanta, GA (EPA Region 4) hosted a delegation from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) of the Russian Federation.
- March 2013: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MRNE) of the Russian Federation hosted experts from EPA to discuss approaches to the management of legacy contaminated sites in Russia and the United States.
- Older Events: EPA hosted a technical exchange and training for Russian officials on management of legacy hazardous waste.
Recent Events: Bilateral Cooperation on Management of Legacy Waste
June 2013: EPA hosted a technical exchange with a delegation from Russia, led by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The Russian delegation included representatives from the Russian federal and private sectors and the UNDP. Representatives from the U.S. Department of State, Department of Commerce, the World Bank and the US industry also participated in this meeting.
The exchange focused on U.S. CERCLA legislation, hazardous waste cleanup, land revitalization and reuse using U.S. financial mechanisms such as grants and other incentives. The Russian delegation had the opportunity to observe the US innovative green technologies and to learn about the best practices in land remediation and waste destruction from both EPA experts and US companies that specialize in hazardous waste remediation. The delegation also learned about EPA's export promotion program.
The delegation also visited EPA Region 2 in New York, where they toured a Brownfields site, Highline, a large-scale land restoration and revitalization project resulting from a cooperative effort by US federal, state, and city governments and the local community. Participants visited the EPA Laboratory in Edison, NJ, the Cornell Dubilier Superfund site, and the TerraTherm site in Teterboro, New Jersey, where they saw the innovative green technologies and practices in action.
As part of this technical exchange, the newly-established Russian non-government organization Technological Platform for Sustainable Environmental Development signed an important agreement of cooperation with the Environmental Technology Council (ETC), an American trade association. This agreement provides for the exchange of technical information, cooperation on use of best technologies, and capacity building on waste management and remediation of contaminated sites. This cooperation will continue through demonstration projects and information exchanges.
May 2013: EPA experts in Atlanta, GA (EPA Region 4) hosted a delegation from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) of the Russian Federation. EPA shared our regional experience with implementing Superfund and Brownfields programs, emphasizing community involvement in land remediation.
- The Russian delegation toured "Atlantic Station," the award-winning (and largest) redevelopment site; explored the “Atlanta Life Cycle Building Center," a showplace for the concept of deconstruction rather than demolition, which provides a marketplace for recovered building materials that otherwise would end up in landfills; and visited the Ponce City Market, the largest adaptive reuse project in Atlanta's history, in which the 2.1 million square foot historic Sears Roebuck warehouse was transformed into a mixed use development for office, retail and residential living.
- The Russian delegation also attended the 2013 National Brownfields Conference and participated in the international roundtable as a part of its panel. They toured the displays and met the presenters.
At the close of the visit, the MNRE delegation invited EPA experts to follow up with technical consultations at Russian remediation sites near Lake Baikal in the Republic of Buryatia and in the Nizhni Novgorod Region.
March 2013: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MRNE) of the Russian Federation hosted experts from EPA to discuss approaches to the management of legacy contaminated sites in Russia and the United States. Participants discussed the development of new Russian legislation addressing management of environmental damage caused by industrial activities.
EPA experts shared 30 years of experience in the implementing of Superfund and Brownfields programs, including an overview of:
- the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act,
- Superfund trust fund,
- enforcement and cost recovery,
- case studies of actual remediation projects,
- use of innovative technologies and practices in environmental clean-ups, and
- the role of local communities in the superfund process.
Russian experts presented their successes in the clean-up of former military bases at Franz Josef Land (in which EPA has participated since 2000), and remediation of sites near Lake Baikal and sites in the Nizhni Novgorod Region.
EPA hosted a technical exchange and training for Russian officials on management of legacy hazardous waste. The Russian delegation included high-level federal and regional officials, scientific research institutes, and representatives from the private sector.
The delegation met with EPA experts and visited the EPA regional office in New York City, Gowanus Canal Superfund site, a Brownfields Job Training Center, and a Brownfield site, the High Line.
Back to: Russia
For additional information about EPA's work with Russia, contact:
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2650R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460