On October 8, the Water Resources Management Agency of the Ministry of Environment held a discussion on the Water Use Permit (WP) project for Amulsar Gold Quartzite mining project by Lydian Armenia CJSC. Civil society representatives presented their objections to the project to Agency's Acting Head Edgar Pirumyan.
The members of the Armenian Environmental Front are concerned about the decline in river flow in the Arpa River Basin.
"Under the conditions of forecast climate change in the Arpa basin by 2021, the river flow will decrease by about 4.6% or 31.1 million m3, and by 2040 - by 17% or 115.6 million m3. Have these predicted changes in water supply been taken into account when drafting the 40.0 l/s water intake permit from the Darb tributary of the Arpa River? ” Levon Galstyan, a member of AEF asked.
The Initiative members also noted the lack of data on industrial water intake from the Darb River in the Amulsar Gold Quartzite mining design documentation and in the EIA (2016). "Since the river is expected to receive significant amounts of water irreversibly, which may adversely affect the natural environment, water quantity and quality, ecosystems and other water users, we believe there will also be a need for an environmental impact assessment of water use, the requirement of which is laid down in the Governmental Resolution 218-N of March 7, 2003," Levon Galstyan said.
The director of “Forests of Armenia” NGO, environmental lawyer Nazeli Vardanyan also made objections. According to her, the Darb River has an important eco-systemic ecological significance, and water intake from that river for industrial purposes is not permitted under Article 31 of RA Water Code.
Nazeli Vardanyan also reminded that by the decision of Nature Protection and Mining Inspection, the Lydian Armenia CJSC was banned from operating in Amulsar. “The Company's activities were banned on 27.08.18 by the Environmental and Mining Inspection by its decision 30-A, until a new expert assessment opinion is issued. Consequently, this company cannot carry out any activities at this time, and no water use permits under these conditions can be issued,” she added.
The document of objections presented by Nazeli Vardanyan was also signed by "Goy" Environmental and Legal, "Janus" Legal, "EcoLur" Informational NGOs and by Qnarik Hovhannisyan, PhD in Technical Sciences, an expert on water ecosystems. Edgar Pirumyan, listening to all the parties, noted that they are ready to examine all the suggested objections that should be entered into the system for further study.
10:56 October 09, 2019