EIA of Smelter in Avan Should Be Given Negative Assessment

EIA of Smelter in Avan Should Be Given Negative Assessment

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of “Copper” LLC in Avan administrative district in Yerevan must be rejected. "EcoLur" Informational NGO addressed a letter to "Environmental Impact Expertise Center" SNCO of RA Ministry of Environment, submitting the possible reasons for giving a negative conclusion.

The letter particularly says:

1. The smelting workshop site will have a water circulating system and concrete floor, thus excluding the penetration of production flows into groundwater. It will be located at a distance of 600 m from Avan salt mine and if the circulatory system is disrupted, the salt layers of food will be at risk of contamination. This risk is not properly assessed in the EIA.

2. Under the EIA, it is planned to transport 50 kg (4th class hazardous waste) oil-covered rags to an urban landfill site annually. Although the presented waste class corresponds to the waste code mentioned in the appendix approved by decree N 430-N of RA Nature Protection Minister dated on 25.12.2006, however, in practice, it is not convincing, as these oils can also contain much more toxic substances, such as polychlorinated diphenyls belonging to the first class of hazard, transformer oils or other oils containing transformer oils, pose a serious risk to the environment and  human health.

3. The company also plans to organize the collection and storage of used lead accumulators. Accumulators of this type are classified in the 3rd class of hazard. Acceptance of dry accumulators is envisaged only, but the draft project lacks a description of the processes confirming the reliability of the arguments proving their dryness. In practice, if the accumulators are not "dry", there may be risks of leakage of acid-based electrolytes from the accumulators. The project lacks measures to prevent these leaks, calculations of the quantities of industrial water required for them.

4. No application has been submitted for the solution of the problems related to the removal of copper oxide and removal of electrostatic precipitators in the production of aluminum and copper alloys in the production of metallurgy or their use in the technological process.

5. Under the EIA, drinking water from the city water supply system will be used for both drinking-economic and industrial needs. According to Article 120 of RA Water Code, the use of water resources in accordance with the standard of drinking water is considered a priority for the population for drinking, communal, household and health needs. The use of drinking water supplied to the population for production purposes may lead to a reduction in the amount of drinking water for the needs of the population. This risk has not been considered."

Reminder: on September 16, “Copper” LLC did not hold the 4th round of public discussions on the EIA report of the smelter in Avan administrative district, Yerevan1in.am host Gohar Hayrapetyan posted on her Facebook page that the hearings did not take place due to lack of proper awareness.

September 22, 2021 at 10:03