SEMARNAT DENIES PERMIT for HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT in the LACANDÓN JUNGLE
By: Isaín Mandujano
TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas (apro)
The Secretariat (Ministry) of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) denied the Generación Enersi SA de CV company authorization to construct a hydroelectric dam in a region of the Lacandón Jungle.
After several weeks of discussion, last Monday, August 20 the federal agency decided to reject the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the hydroelectric project on the Santo Domingo and Lacantún Rivers, between the communities of Las Nubes and Loma Bonita, in the border municipality of Maravilla Tenejapa.
In a press conference, Ricardo Hernández Sánchez, state Secretary of Environment and Natural History, detailed that last June 20 the Generación Enersi SA de CV Company sent Semarnat the project’s regional EIR for its corresponding evaluation and decision.
He said the project consisted of the construction and operation of a hydroelectric power plant, with a total capacity of 110 MW, for which it would use the flow of the Santo Domingo and Lacantún Rivers, principally in the municipalities of Las Margaritas and Maravilla Tenejapa, in the Lacandón Jungle Region.
After several weeks of analysis, last Monday Semarnat’s General Directorate of Environmental Impact and Risk (DGIRA) decided to deny the project’s authorization: “since it contradicts what is stipulated in different legal regulations, among which are the National Waters Reserve Decrees, signed by President Enrique Peña Nieto on June 6, 2018, the Program of Ecological Ordering of the State of Chiapas and the Management Program of the Lagunas de Montebello National Park.”
According to the state official, the project was also notoriously unviable from a technical and environmental point of view, as corroborated by the negative opinions -emitted during the environmental impact assessment procedure- of the National Water Commission (Conagua), the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), la National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio), the Chiapas Ministry of Environment and Natural History (Semahn), the State Water Institute (Inesa) and the Maravilla Tenejapa municipal council.
With this resolution, he said, the federal government reiterates its commitment to the conservation of the Lacandón Jungle, the protection of the ecological basin for the preservation of biodiversity and the coordination with the different levels of government so that legality and the state of law prevail.
The region’s indigenous communities had started an information day among the inhabitants to protest against that hydroelectric dam that, they emphasized, was going to disrupt life in the zone.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee