The ecological problems caused by SHPPs was discussed during the consultation held at the Minister of Nature Protection Aramayis Grigoryan

01-09-2014

Minister of Nature Protection Aramayis Grigoryan held a consultation on the topic of “The problems of small hydro power plants in Armenia”. The meeting was attended by the Chairman of SHPP Union Naira Nahapetyan, representatives of 22 SHPPs of the Republic, as well as the representatives of non-governmental organizations concerned with the problem, the Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) member Levon Galstyan and Chairman of “Ecolur” public organization Inga Zarafyan. The above mentioned participants regularly highlight in media the environmental problems caused from the construction of SHPPs on different Rivers of Armenia and the necessity to review and reform this section.

Minister A. Grigoryan emphasizing the operation importance of small hydro-power plants in electricity production field, however noted that the present-day there are serious problems, as there are SHPPs that operate with some design deviations, do not maintain the set WP /water permit/ and the ecological flows. “We, as an authorized body that regulates the activities in this field will show new approaches, will be stricter towards the violations and abuses, so I decided to organize such kind of consultation to listen your questions and proposals also”.

Chairman of SHPP Union Naira Nahapetyan thanked for organizing such an important meeting and noted in her speech that SHPPs have a strategic meaning for our country. It is one of the most developed and important sector in the Republic of Armenia and we shouldn’t extend the omissions of certain cases to the whole field and critically approach to the entire sector.

“We should do our best to ensure the sustainable development of this sector. Yes, there are some problems that have been associated more with the scarcity and the problems cannot be considered only from one side”.

During the consultation Deputy Head of State Environmental Inspectorate Marzpet Qamalyan and acting Director of Water Resource Management Agency of the Ministry of Nature Protection David Grigoryan presented their professional observations and the provisions that need to be reviewed and amended during the exploitation and design process of SHPPs.

Environmentalist Levon Galstyan raised the need to review the volumes of environmental flow, and called the owners of SHPPs to review their approaches during their activities as in about 35 SHPPs of the Republic the environmental norms have not been followed. Chairman of “Ecolur” NGO Inga Zarafyan offered to use the proposals developed in the framework of the "Sustainable Hydropower Development for Energy Security" Armenian-Norwegian cooperation program for preventing and mitigating the negative social and environmental impact of Small Hydro-Power Plants.

Concluding the discussion Minister Aramayis Grigoryan stressed, that the Ministry of Nature Protection will set more strict control over the activities of SHPPs for minimizing the damages caused to the nature and environment. The Minister also informed that Water Resources Management Agency of the Ministry of Nature Protection is developing new method for determining environmental flows and in the near future the water permits of all SHPPs will be reviewed to regulate the field and minimize the violations.

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