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Chile: Patagonia Dams On Hold

Source:  Copyright 2008, Inter Press Service
Date:  November 20, 2008
Byline:  Daniela Estrada
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Environmental groups in Chile welcomed the decision by the HidroAysén energy company to seek a nine-month extension of the environmental impact assessment phase of a controversial project to build five hydroelectric dams in wilderness areas in the south of the country.

"We are pleased, particularly because our view that it is a misguided project, and that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) was inadequate, has been reinforced," Sara Larraín, head of the Sustainable Chile Programme, told IPS.

Larraín’s environmental organisation forms part of the Patagonia Defence Council (CDP), an umbrella group of 50 Chilean and international organisations opposed to the HidroAysén dams due to concerns over environmental and social impacts and effects on the tourism industry.

On Wednesday Nov. 19, Hidroaysén asked the regional branch of CONAMA -- the government environment authority -- in the southern province of Aysén to extend the EIA approval process ...

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