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There Is No Threat of a Major Disaster at “Nairit” Plant - International Experts Say

On September 22, the European expert team on a mission in Armenia to assess the situation related to the chemical substances at the “Nairit” plant presented its findings to Davit Tonoyan, Minister of Emergency Situations of Armenia in a meeting at the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Bradley Busetto, the UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia, representatives of different UN agencies and the “Nairit” Plant were present at the meeting.

The experts assessed the whole stock of various chemical substances stored in the plant, its current state, storage and maintenance conditions and all the related risks, and made recommendations for possible solutions to ensure the safety of “Nairit” in terms of its impact on people and the surrounding environment.

According to the results of the conducted studies there is no imminent risk of a major disaster at “Nairit” plant. Therefore, to minimize the possibility of any possible incident, the international experts recommended to proceed with chemicals’ appropriate labeling, repackaging as well as systemized storing of the existing substances in modern storages in line with international standards. The urgency of the mentioned steps is to be considered as a precondition for the implementation of further effective risk management measures.

Mr. Davit Tonoyan expressed his gratitude to the UN Office in Armenia and to the international experts reiterating that the ultimate goal of the Ministry is to ensure the safety and security of the site.

Mr. Bradley Busetto assured that the UN Office in Armenia will continue supporting the Government efforts in eliminating the problems facing “Nairit” considering it as a crucial step towards the overall issue of hazardous waste management in Armenia.

The parties expressed hope that the report of the international experts’ team would serve as a strong basis for the development of reasonable and timely solutions for the issues under review.

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As a response to the appeal from the Government of Armenia, namely from the Minister of Emergency Situations, an international experts’ team had arrived in Armenia to assess the situation related to the chemical hazards located at the “Nairit” plant in Yerevan, where a fire broke out on August 28, 2017. The visit was facilitated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) through its partnership unit with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).