SMA formulates charges against Gasmar of Quintero

Monday, September 10, 2018

This press release from Chile's Superintendency of the Environment was published using an automatic translation system.

From the unfortunate events that took place in Quintero during the week of August 20 just passed and by all known, the Superintendency of the Environment (SMA) decided to strengthen its available capacities in the area, redistributing people and technical resources, which are working in shifts during the seven days of the week. In this way, the actions and decisions have been intensified considerably in terms of control and sanctioning procedures with respect to the auditable units in the area.

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As a result of this work, to date, charges have been filed against an existing industrial cordon company in the Puchuncaví-Quintero bay. Indeed, on September 5, charges were filed against Enap.

Today we have proceeded to formulate charges to another company in the sector, the company Gasmar SA, which owns and operates a Liquefied Petroleum Gas Storage Plant ("LPG"), called "Gasmar Plant", located on the F-30 route, on the Concón- Puchuncaví road, Puchuncaví commune, Valparaíso Region.

Based on the audits carried out both previously and in the present, which included inspection visits, information requirements, and statements from both operators and executives of the company, this Superintendency has determined to make charges to the company indicated by deficiencies in the operation of the torch system in relation to a flow of swept gas and pilot gas, lower than what was committed in the RCA that regulates this activity. Said charge is qualified as serious, for breach of a measure established in its environmental authorization destined to eliminate or minimize the adverse effects of the project.

It is made clear that the records gathered, analyzed and processed according to the same criteria and methodologies used in the previous case, however, make clear breaches, do not deliver enough elements, for now, to attribute responsibility in the unfortunate episodes of pollution that affected the neighbors of the area during the week of August 20 last.

In addition to the indicated charge, other charges are made for other breaches, namely, the lack of accreditation of torch maintenance and related equipment; the breach of the obligation of adequate handling of hazardous waste and the lack of an integral response to an information requirement formulated by the Superintendency in 2017.

Once the formulation of charges has been notified, the company will have a legal deadline to present a Compliance Program (10 working days), or Discharges (15 working days), in accordance with the procedure established in the Organic Law of the SMA.

For greater detail, access to the formulation of charges in the National System of Information on Environmental Enforcement (SNIFA):