Outcomes of a two-year OSCE-supported project studying the obsolete pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in the Nubarashen burial site, located near Yerevan, and their impact on the environment were presented and discussed today.
The Nubarashen landfill was established in the mid-1970s as a disposal site for persistent organic pollutants, a form of toxic waste, and is located in a valley subject to severe erosion processes. Although the Armenian Government has taken some measures to repair it, until recently it posed serious environmental and human health risks.
“Considering the close relationship between environment and security, the OSCE implemented an important project in the area of prevention of environmental degradation. This project gathered detailed data on the boundaries, volume and contents of toxic waste contained in the burial site in Nubarashen, providing an accurate assessment of the risk level of environmental damage in the surrounding areas,” said Ambassador Andrey Sorokin, Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.
The workshop brought together the project’s main stakeholders, including representatives of state institutions, civil society and the international community, to discuss results and follow-up actions. Potential scenarios for site remediation were presented by Boudewijn Fokke from Tauw a Dutch company which conducted a project feasibility study as well as assessment of environmental and health risks.
“The OSCE and the Ministry signed an agreement in 2011 to work together to find long term solutions to the problem. Now that the study and the assessment of the site initiated by the OSCE are completed, we have a solid knowledge foundation for follow-up actions for the Nubarashen toxic burial site remediation,” said Armen Yeritsyan, Armenian Minister of Emergency Situations.
The project was implemented by the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations, with funding from the US Government.