Thursday, March 1 2018 18:44
Naira Badalian

Armenia defined criteria for assessing environmental impact in construction and operation of small hydropower plants

Armenia defined criteria for assessing environmental impact in  construction and operation of small hydropower plants

ArmInfo. Armenia has defined the  criteria for assessing the environmental impact in the construction  and operation of small hydroelectric power plants. The relevant  resolution was approved at a government meeting on March 1. 

Minister of the Environment Artsvik Minasyan stated that despite the  fact that hydropower is considered to be the environmentally  preferable generator of electricity, however, studies in this area  have identified certain problems in terms of meeting minimum  ecological needs.

Minasyan pointed out that 10 criteria have been developed that deal  with the presence of endemic species of aquatic flora and fauna  registered in the Red Book of Armenia, maintaining the actual flow of  water at a level not exceeding the environmental allowance defined by  the permit for water use, the availability of sanitary protection  areas of aquatic ecosystems, the presence of natural monuments within  a radius of 150 meters, and landslides, the presence of roads or the  need for their construction in the areas of construction of small  hydroelectric stations, the distance from settlements, the impact of  noise but the environment and human health. It is also envisaged to  suspend the validity of hydro power plant licenses in the case of 40%  or more workloads of rivers by diversion pipes.

As earlier in the conversation with the correspondent of ArmInfo the  famous in the country specialist on water resources, Ph.D. Qnarik  Hovhannisyan, despite the fact that hydroelectric power plants are  the most environmentally safe in the list of other alternative  sources of electricity, in recent years, due to the extremely  extensive construction of small hydropower stations in Armenia on the  waterways of the republic, the ecological status of aquatic  ecosystems has deteriorated sharply. This is due to the violation of  the regime of environmental releases, which hinder the conservation  of biodiversity (flora and fauna) of aquatic ecosystems. Among other  factors of the disturbance of normal activity of natural ecosystems,  the expert considers frequent excess of the established water  withdrawal limits, violation of the norms of construction and  operation of hydraulic structures.

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