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Larisa Paremuzyan

Alaverdi Plant Workers Demonstrate; Want to Invalidate Negative Results of Recent Environmental Review

Afraid of losing their jobs, employees of the Alaverdi Copper-Molybdenum Plant took to the streets in this small industrial town some160 kilometers north of Yerevan today demanding that the negative findings of a recent environmental study be thrown out.

Almost the entire staff of the plant, owned by the Armenian Copper Programme (a Vallex Group subsidiary) turned out to voice their opposition to the review conducted by the Environmental and Natural Resources State Inspectorate.

The results of the study were presented at a public hearing on October 1 in Alaverdi.

The study, conducted in August, revealed that the plant damaged the local environment in the amount of AMD 380 million ($783,000).

At the public hearing , Artur Grigoryan, who heads the inspectorate, confessed that Armenia lacks any mechanism to effectively measure the degree of damage to public health and that standards set by the government are faulty.

Workers, afraid that the government might shut the plant, blocked the railway running through the plant’s grounds and closed the interstate highway.