Position of Environmental Expertise Put in Question Its Impartiality
The Environmental Expertise of Nature Protection Ministry didn’t eventually dare to decide what kind of activities present the crushing and screening plant in Sotq, already existing or planned. Though the project with the part for crushing and screening plant was submitted in 2012, the plant itself was constructed in 2011.
We speak about “Environmental Impact Assessment of Sotq Open Mine” project which “GeoProMining Gold” LLC has submitted for the opinion of environmental expertise. EcoLur has sent a letter to Nature Protection Ministry, which says that the crushing and screening plant was constructed still in 2011 and has been operating without any permitting documents. The letter says that the project part on crushing and screening plant contradicts RA Law “On Environmental Impact Expert Assessment”, which lays down that the expertise opinion is issued on planned and not existing activities. Consequently, the consideration of this project part is a gross violation of the law. Then, EcoLur demands to turn down the project, to carry out inspection examinations and to impose fines on “GeoProMining Gold” LLC and to dismantle the illegal construction.
The reply of the environmental expertise particularly says, ‘… on 22.06.2012 “GeoProMining Gold” LLC submitted “Environmental Impact Assessment of Sotq Open Mine” project in accordance with the requirements of the working group established by Nature Protection Minister’s order 5-a dated on 12.01.2012. The process of issuing an expertise opinion hasn’t finished yet. For the expertise was submitted not Sotq mine development project, but expected re-equipment of the existing activities with appropriate substantiations. Consequently, your demands are beyond the competences of environmental expertise.’
We think that such a reply from environmental expertise is evasive and tries to diverse the attention from the main problem, illegal nature of the crushing and sorting plant. Such a position of the environmental expertise puts in question its impartiality, which, finally, poses threats to the preservation of Lake Sevan ecosystem.