In the wake of news emerging as to the scale of environmental destruction cause by the construction of the Kárahnjúkar dam and associated power plant and smelter on Lagarfljót lake and surrounding ecosystem, the environmental Agency of Iceland is investigating whether it is possible to put Mývatn and the Laxá river area on a watch list of areas under threat of negative environmental impact, RÚV reports.
Mývatn and Laxá river area are declared as wetlands of environmental importance under the Ramsar Convention, an “intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources” signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. The Ramsar Secretariat made a request to the government in October to investigate any threat to the area posed by Landsvirkjun’s geothermal station Bjarnarflag.
The Environmental Agency had previously presented a review of the power station, which became operational in 1969, as it is older and there needs to be a reassessment of the effects of its waste disposal to ensure that the Mývatn are is not compromised.
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