The matter of neutralization of Nubarashen pest burial continues to be a topic for tense discussions. For the purpose of burial neutralization the Armenian Government and international structures are proposing to establish a national warehouse in Kotayk Region and to transfer Nubarashen pesticides there. The establishment of the warehouse is a part of “Elimination of Obsolete Pesticide Stockpiles and addressing POPs Contaminated Sites within a Sound Chemicals Management Framework”. The project is implemented with the financial support of GEF/UNDP.
The pesticides have contaminated the land, which carries out 7000 tons, according to initial estimates. The matter of transfer and neutralization of this highly contaminated land area remains open.
On 20 October this issue was discussed at Yerevan Aarhus Center. The representatives of the NGOs taking part in the discussions mentioned that Nubarashen burial site remains one of the most hazardous objects in Yerevan administrative area. Everybody agree that the burial site shall be neutralized, but options are questionable.
“Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO Expert Lilik Simoyan mentioned that the burial site is located in active landslide zone and has slided down. The fact is that the burial site shall be eliminated,” Lilik Simonyan noted.
“We support this idea, but the selected area is impermissible (note by EcoLur: Hrazdan warehouse). Kotayk region area can’t be used to dispose any wastes,” said Silva Adamyan, President of “Environmental Public Union” NGO.
“Social and environmental impact assessment is needed for the implementation of such a project. Already now Hrazdan residents express their concerns, and there will be much resistance when the project implementation starts,” said Inga Zarafyan, President of “EcoLur” Informational NGO.
“There are different land area and derelict warehouses left from the Soviet period. They could be potential alternatives. Nevertheless, this is a complex process and if we follow that way, we shall stop this project,” Project Coordinator Gayane Gahragebakyan said.
She mentioned that one of the most and satisfactory circumstances for them is that the supervision over Hrazdan warehouse will be carried out by the Ministry for Emergency States. Another concern is the reprocessing of 7000 tons of soil
“We are concerned with 7000 tons of contaminated soil. We can’t neutralize it in Nubarashen. First of all, it’s a landslide zone and, secondly, the wheat reserve is located nearby (note by EcoLur – Erebuni reserve). If we burn something down and reprocess it, emissions will naturally cover that area as well,” said Lena Manvelyan, President of “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO.
“Land should be reprocessed on the spot, there are many alternatives and technologies, which are acceptable,” said Vardan Tserunyan.
The project also plans that after temporary storage in Hrazdan warehouse the pesticides shall be taken out of the country and eliminated. Nevertheless, there is still no solution given: “Project discussions still continue and the next discussion is planned to be carried out on 7 November.”
It should be mentioned that GEF has allotted US $ 4.7 for project implementation, while the Armenian Government has undertaken a commitment to invest US $ 16,020,000.
19:29 October 21, 2016