December 20, 2013
‘River Uruguay report must be published’
The Uruguayan delegation at the River Uruguay Administrative Committee (CARU) stated yesterday that there was “no motive nor reason” not to reveal the results of an environmental study conducted on the river which borders the two countries and where the UPM pulp mill is located.
Through this statement, published yesterday by the Uruguayan government, the delegation responded to the criticism fired at it by its Argentine counterpart the previous month, in which Argentina had accused the mill of polluting the water through excess pulp production and “ignoring or infringing” the River Uruguay Statute.
According to Uruguay’s statement, the study performed by the Argentine delegation is plagued with “technical errors.” Uruguay also denied that there had been any concealed activity and described the accusation of “the dumping of solids in the water”, among other elements, as “false.”
The report of the pulp mill was agreed by both countries in August, 2010, after a prolonged bilateral conflict generated by protests by Argentine citizens who blocked the international bridge in Gualeguaychú. The UPM mill, formerly run by Botnia, is located on the Uruguayan side of the water in Fray Bentos.
The Uruguayan delegation at the CARU “noted with satisfaction the unwillingness of the Argentine delegation toward the complete publication of the results of the tests carried out in international laboratories hired to monitor the UPM mill.”
It added that differences within the Scientific Committee who conducted the study over the temperature of the effluents produced by the mill could not be considered an excuse for not publishing the data and reports produced by the same committee.
As part of its objections to the criticism made by the Argentine delegation, the Uruguayan group stated that its country “has shown its openness, allowing all monitoring visits required by the Scientific Committee to the mill.”
“None of the arguments expressed by the Argentine delegation should be sufficient to prevent the publication of the results of the joint monitoring,” added the statement, and added that “the Argentine delegation seeks to plant doubts regarding the environmental results revealed by the report and generate distrust in the DINAMA Uruguayan environmental agency, ignoring the performance of the environmental authority, which has been subject to international scrutiny even before authorizing the Botnia mill.”
The Argentine ambassador to Uruguay, Dante Dovena, yesterday stated that the Argentine national government would not “permit further blocks that prevent circulation on the bridge.”
Herald with DyN