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Nubarashen landfill neutralization issue still remains on the agenda

On May 16, the “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” (AWHHE) NGO has initiated the kick-off meeting of “For the sake of the environment freeof toxins, from local to global level” project in Yerevan Aarhus Center. This is acomponent of “Elimination of Obsolete Pesticide Stockpiles and Addressing POPs” large-scale project implemented in 2015, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
In 1982from the storehouses512 tons of 33 types of pesticides have beenrestoredin the RA, of which 60% arebannedand belonging to POPs pesticides.Those are kept in unsafe conditions, even used by humans and can harm the environment and public health.
Nubarashen toxic waste dump is a storehouse for similar materials, in which research activityfor yearsis engaged AWHHE organization.

Last year, the parties concerned were informed that 1,050 tonnes of POPs and other obsolete pesticidescontained at the area are subject to evacuation and destruction.However, for temporary storage of hazardous waste of Category 1 was chosenan area belonging to the Ministry of Emergency Situations,not far from the town of Hrazdan, around which heated discussions startedtoday as well.

AnahitGabrielyan,assistant to the mayor of Hrazdan reminded again that the area is only 800 meters away from the dwelling houses, it is a busy and vibrant area because in the neighborhood areprivatizedagricultural lands, every day the cattle passes over there.”Hrazdanis completely poisoned:a thermal power plant, a waste landfill, we should not allow another explosive space created in our region,” she added.

GayaneGharagebakyan,UNDP GEF project coordinator noted that in the near future a discussion will be undertaken with the participation of stakeholders, after considering all the circumstances, a final decision will be made.
Emergency Situations Ministry’s representative Ruben Khamoyan also wished to dispel the concerns of the attendees, informing them that the new storage will be a facility with a specially trained staff, governed by special mode andregulations.

Yelena Manvelyan,AWHHE president urged to refrain from emotions, find a reasonable solution, because the situation makes to eliminate pesticides fromNubarashen landslide-prone.The latter proposed to set up a specialized group, which will ensure full security of the entire program.

Translated by Anush Beybutyan