Lawmaker calls for DGA head to resign over US$1mn fine

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chilean lawmaker Cristina Girardi, from opposition party PPD, has called for the resignation of the head of the country's general water authority DGA, Matías Desmadryl, news portal El Mostrador reported.

The economic unit of Chile's district attorney's office (FNE) has recommended that DGA receive a US$1mn fine for failing to disclose all pertinent information regarding water rights on the Baker and Pascua rivers for the 2.75GW HidroAysén hydroelectric project.

Last month, Chile's supreme court threw out as inadmissible appeals against DGA concerning the granting of water rights of the Baker and Pascua rivers. The appeals were made in 2008 by environmental groups against the use of the rivers in the southern Aysén region for the mega-hydro.

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Girardi said this will be the first time in Chile's history that one public service will force another to pay a fine. While the transfer of government funds between two government offices may be "silly", the US$1mn fine still represents 3% of DGA's budget, the lawmaker said.