Environmental officials discuss pollution of Okhchuchay River [PHOTO]
By Sabina Mammadli
A working group on environmental issues discussed the pollution of the Okhchuchay River, the restoration of ecosystems, and other issues, Azernews reports.
The discussion was held during a regular meeting of the working group on Environmental Issues of the Interdepartmental Center under the Coordination Headquarters, created for the centralized solution of issues in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan.
The meeting was attended by employees of the relevant public institutions, represented in the working group, as well as the employees of the representative offices of the President of Azerbaijan for Karabakh and the East Zangazur Economic Regions.
The members of the working group were informed about the comprehensive monitoring carried out in the liberated areas to assess the environmental situation. They were also informed on biomonitoring to determine evidence-based interventions to prevent transboundary pollution of the Okhchuchay River, restore ecosystems, improve water quality, and prepare appropriate proposals.
They were told that during last week's monitoring that was held to determine the level of water pollution in the Okhchuchay River, serious changes in the color of the water were observed, as well as a pungent smell.
Reportedly, analysis of water samples taken near the border with Armenia showed that the concentration of iron, manganese, molybdenum, ammonium, and sulfates in the water increased even more. The data analysis transmitted from new automatic hydrological stations installed on transboundary rivers, including in the village of Shayifli in Zangilan District, also confirmed the increased level of pollution.
Similarly, heavy metal pollution of the Okhchuchay River is observed all year. The reason for the change in the color and smell of the river water during the last monitoring was a significant increase in the amount of ammonium and sulfate ions. Thus, in Okhchuchay, the content of ammonium, widely used in the mining industry, was 4-5 times higher than normal, and the content of sulfate was also several times higher than normal.
The working group carries out its activities through close contact and the exchange of information with other working groups of the Interdepartmental Center and special representatives of the president.
Azerbaijan had previously urged responsible companies to halt operations at the Zangazur copper-molybdenum plant in Armenia's Syunik region due to the environmental disaster caused by the latter.
It should be noted that the plant's main shareholder is Germany's Cronimet Mining Company, which massively pollutes the transboundary Okhchuchay River.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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