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Dams that threaten source of Amazon can't legally be built

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 28, 2020
The environmental impact assessments for two dams planned on Marañon River, the main tributary to the Amazon, have expired, meaning the dams can no longer legally be built, according to a new legal analysis done by the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, in partnership with Waterkeeper Alliance and Marañón Waterkeeper.
Marañon River Amazon
Dam   Marañon River Amazon
The Marañon is one of five great rivers connecting the Andes with the Peruvian Amazon.

Topics: Dam Amazon

As the hydrological source of the Amazon, it plays a key role in the flow of sediments into the lower basin, as well as the migration of fish, an important source of food for hundreds of thousands of people.

The planned Veracruz and Chadin II dams would block a portion of the upper middle Marañon, flooding a 320 kilometer long stretch of river and essentially blocking the free flow of water, nutrients, sediments, and aquatic life between the upper and the lower sections of the river.

The projects were met with deep concern by environmental organizations, and, in the case of Chadin II, with heavy opposition from locals and human rights organizations.

That project was also tied to the Odebrecht corruption scandal.

Odebrecht, a Brazillian construction company, in 2016 signed the largest anti corruption settlement in world history.

The environmental impact assessments of both the Veracruz and Chadin II dams have expired, because neither company has started construction within the approved timeframe.

This information has not been communicated to the local people who would be affected by the dams.

The Peruvian Government does not have a method to communicate this information publicly; often leaving populations affected by large infrastructure projects in limbo.

The Peruvian Society for Environmental Law urges SENACE, the responsible Peruvian authority, to include the validity status of an environmental impact assessment in its public registry.