Air and Water Quality Declining

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–According to data collected by the Environmental Monitoring Center of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Armenia–Armenia’s air and water failed to become cleaner in the past six months–and the situation even worsened in certain aspects. The content of dust and nitric dioxide in the air in Yerevan was observed to exceed the highest admissible norms in the first half of 1998. The concentration of dust was also higher than admissible norms in the town of Vanadzor. And; in the town of Ararat the concentration of cement dust has been 5-7 times higher than admissible norms for the past several years.

Senior engineer at the Center–Alina Sargssian–emphasized that dangerous substances–such as benzapiren and heavy metals (in particular–lead) have also accumulated from the city traffic fumes.

There is a dire situation in the town of Alaverdi where the content of sulfuric dioxide from factory wastes has been up to three times higher than admissible norms for the past half a year. The situation in Alaverdi is being controlled by the State Inspection office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Test conducted at Armenia’s reservoirs showed that all rivers where studies were conducted were polluted with nitrates and ions of ammonium as a result of discharged nitric fertilizers and sewerage wastes.

There is also a concern over the content of oil products in the rivers of the basin of Lake Sevan–which is up to 24 times higher than admissible norms in separate cases.

Sargssian also said that the number of conducted analyses had decreased almost by 25 percent. The list of tested admixtures had also decreased. There are only ten observation points operating countrywide today; as opposed to the twelve such points last year.

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