Chile details comprehensive decontamination plan for Quintero and Puchuncaví

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Press release by Ministerio del Medio Ambiente de Chile

The Minister of the Environment, Carolina Schmidt, gave details of the comprehensive decontamination plan for Quintero and Puchuncavi, prepared by the government of President Sebastián Piñera, who will take charge of the environmental situation that has dragged this area of ​​the Valparaíso Region for decades.

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The Secretary of State indicated that for the government of President Piñera the most important thing is the health of the people and all the institutions, public or private, must comply with the environmental legislation in force so that this is guaranteed. In that sense, Minister Schmidt informed that five concrete measures will be taken.

The first of them, detailed the owner of Environment, is that from Monday, September 10, the entire network of air quality monitoring stations that today depend on companies in the area, go to the direct supervision of the State of Chile. "With this, all the inhabitants of the communes are guaranteed independent and transparent monitoring," stressed Minister Schmidt.

The second is that from the second semester of 2019 this network will be perfected according to the results of an international audit that the Ministry of the Environment performs together with the government of Finland. "This will allow us to have state-of-the-art equipment and technology for the correct environmental monitoring of the area," emphasized the Secretary of State.

In the third place, Minister Schmidt explained that "a more stringent air quality regulation for sulfur dioxide will be established, implementing, starting in the first semester of 2019, for the first time in Chile, an hourly standard of sulfur dioxide". He commented that this will allow measuring each hour what is currently measured every 24, with higher levels of demand and in line with international standards.

Fourth, the Minister of Environment indicated that as of October 1 of this year, the companies AES Gener and Codelco, present in the area, should update their operational plans, adjusting their operation to the daily atmospheric conditions of daily ventilation. area. "That is to say, if the ventilation conditions are unfavorable, they will decrease their activity, as the Ministry of the Environment we call on all companies present in the area to join this plan," Schmidt emphasized.

Finally, the Minister of the Environment announced that in December of this year the Decontamination Plan for the Quintero and Puchuncaví area will enter to take over the Comptroller's Office, which will establish greater demands on all companies operating in the industrial cordon of this zone.

Call to companies

Minister Schmidt, in relation to the formulation of charges made by the Superintendency of the Environment (SMA) for the episodes of August 21 and 23, said that beyond companies have the legitimate right to take legal action they deem appropriate , "our call is that as soon as possible, we take all the corrective measures that are necessary to ensure the health of the people of the Quintero Puchuncaví area."

The Secretary of State emphasized that "for the Government of President Sebastián Piñera, all Chileans and Chileans have the right to live in an environment free of contamination."

This press release was published in English using an automated translation system.