In his letter, President Henczel has observed that “the participation and consultation with the observers of the Human Rights Council, including INGOs, is based on arrangements, including Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 1996/31 of 25 July 1996, and practices observed by the Commission on Human Rights (rule 7 of the Council‘s Rules of Procedure)”. He further notes that “NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC have the right to organize side events”, and that “a large number of such meetings take place in the margins of the session and they do not reflect an official position of the Council”. He said this in response to a protest lodged by the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha last Monday, which was followed up with a meeting on Tuesday. He however adds that “the organizers of side events take full responsibility for the content of their events”.Sri Lanka on Monday lodged a formal protest against the screening of the latest Channel 4 film. In his letter addressed to Ambassador Remigiusz Achilles Henczel, President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Aryasinha had obsereved that “Sri Lanka views this film, as well as the timing of its broadcast as part of a cynical, concerted and orchestrated campaign that is strategically driven, and clearly motivated by collateral political considerations”. (Colombo Gazette) The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has refused to stop the screening of the Channel 4 film “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” organized by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and FIFDH to be held at the UN premises in Geneva tomorrow.The President of the UN Human Rights Council Ambassador Remigiusz A. Henczel has however observed that allowing the screening of the video in the premises while the UNHRC is meeting in another room will not reflect an official position of the Council.
Veolia Water has successfully commissioned and begun operational management of the CONSOL Energy Inc Northern West Virginia Water Treatment Facility near Mannington, West Virginia. The Zero Liquid Waste (ZLW) facility designed and built by Veolia will treat 3,500 gal/min of mine drainage water. By employing a ZLW process, water of low quality is extracted and treated, and clean water is returned to the ecosystem, improving the water balance and condition of the Monongahela River watershed. Veolia will provide operational management of the facility for the next 10 years, guaranteeing CONSOL continual performance and optimisation of the system. The ZLW treatment concept removes contaminants in the mine water and reduces them to solid salts. The process also uses a number of sustainable practices and technology applications, reducing the carbon and energy footprint of the treatment process.This environmentally sustainable design and construction approach was developed to help CONSOL meet discharge standards for chlorides in West Virginia’s waterways. The facility will treat water from CONSOL’s Blacksville #2, Loveridge and Robinson Run mining operations. “In partnering with Veolia on this first-of-its-kind in scale and scope project, we were able to bring the water treatment plant online on time, under budget, and in full compliance with our permits,” commented Katharine Fredriksen, Senior Vice President Environmental Strategy and Regulatory Affairs. “This demonstrates the success of partnering with a company that shares our commitment to our core values of safety, compliance, and continuous improvement.”To quantify the benefits of the water treatment facility to the Monongahela River, Veolia conducted a Water Impact Index (WIIX) evaluation. Developed by Veolia, the WIIX 2 measures not only water volume, but the level of stress upon local water resources, overall water quality and indirect water impacts from chemicals and electricity. Measuring all these factors, the WIIX calculates the water impact of the new treatment facility will be 1.3 billion gallons of high-quality water per year returned to the Monongahela River basin, validating a positive environmental impact by the water treatment facility. “Veolia is continually working to develop sustainable solutions to meet the needs of our industrial customers while benefitting the environment,” said Kirk Schwab, General Manager of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies’ Pittsburgh office that designed and built the facility. “We are pleased to deliver this state-of-the-art project for CONSOL and believe that it will be the benchmark for mine water treatment in the Appalachian region for years to come.”Steve Hopper, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Veolia Environnement North America’s Industrial business, said, “The partnership with CONSOL goes beyond meeting new regulatory requirements. It combines technical know-how with operational expertise to implement a solution which positively impacts the environment while meeting the production needs of CONSOL through guaranteed performance.”