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 Wednesday, October 23 2019 19:18
Naira Badalian

Minister: Samples taken from the Voghchi River indicate excess of MPC  of a number of heavy metals 

Minister: Samples taken from the Voghchi River indicate excess of MPC  of a number of heavy metals 

ArmInfo.Proceedings have been initiated on the fact of pollution of the Voghchi river in the Syunik region of Armenia caused by an accident at the metal pipeline of the  Artsvanik tailing dump of the Zangezur copper-molybdenum plant.  Minister of Nature Protection Erik Grigoryan announced this on  October 23 during a government hour in parliament.

According to him, the Inspectorate initiated inspections, appropriate  samples were taken, which already indicate an excess of the MPC  (maximum permissible concentration - ed. note) of a number of heavy  metals in the river. As the Minister pointed out, there are a number  of legislative regulations that in such a case establish either  administrative or criminal liability, depending on the severity of  the damage to the environment.

At the same time, as Grigoryan recalled, a similar accident at the  same place was recorded in 2010. Then the company compensated for the  damage and paid a fine in general in the amount of about 700-900  thousand drams. "We believe that the amount of compensation under the  current legislation does not reflect the actual amount of damage  done," he said, noting that the ministry is currently working to  toughen sanctions and increase fines for damaging the country's  environment and water basin.

To recall, on October 17, early in the morning, it became known that  the waste from the Zangezur Copper- Molybdenum Plant fell into the  Voghchi River, as a result the river turned brown. Before the  rescuers arrived at the scene, the damaged area of the waste storage  was repaired. As Erik Grigoryan stated then, the pipes at the plant  have not been replaced since Soviet times. According to him, the  amount of damage to the environment will soon be determined, on the  basis of which the amount of compensation will also be determined. At  the same time, as the Minister admitted, the current regulation on  restoration of environmental damage needs to be substantially  revised. So, the legislator has set such ridiculous tariffs for  damages that it is often more profitable for the owner of the mine to  pay a fine than to modernize the infrastructure, in particular, to  change the pipes

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