The report after the incident establishes that there was “an impact on the ecosystem of the Willow Creek and, to a lesser extent, on the water quality of the Black river and the ecosystem at the mouth of the former, a product of the high pH of the waters.”
With this, after almost half a year, the portfolio decided almost triple the fine applied to the paper company, going from 1,000 adjustable units – around 1.6 million pesos and about 40,500 dollars – to 4,500 UR – about 7.3 million pesos, a total of 182,000 dollars – stating that the violations caused by the company were serious.
In this sense, the signed resolution establishes that the extension of the fine corresponds to non-compliance with the “management commitments provided for in the Operational Environmental Management Plan (PGA-O), approved by ministerial resolution No. 275/023, of March 30, 2023,” as reported by Subrayado.
Furthermore, the resolution establishes that there was also a poor management in external communication of the incident, as well as in the “operational control of the values reported by the conductivity meter and the level sensor in the control pool.”
With this, they established a period of ten business days to pay the fine through a checking account at Banco República to the responsible companies: Cuecar SA and Blanvira SA.. On the other hand, they have the obligation to send proof of payment to the email of the National Directorate of Quality and Environmental Assessment (Dinacea).
The consequences of the spill
In mid-August, the Finnish company’s plant reported that it had discharged an effluent with high pH levels that contained caustic soda in the Sauce stream.
With this, the MA presented to the Legislative power a preliminary report on the impacts generated by the environmental incident, carried out by the department of Evaluation and Environmental Quality. There, the loss of some plant species of aquatic and rooted flora was indicated, as well as a possible destruction of microalgae.
On the other hand, the mortality of more than 250 mojarras, catfish, bitterheads and chestnuts was verified, although they stressed that the losses “were not many”, as explained by the director of Evaluation and Environmental Quality of the MA, Eduardo Andres.
The leader assured that the stream is recovering, since the “natural evolution” of the system is occurring. “Do not be afraid because he will recover,” said Andrés, who added that it will not take long to recover. “In fact, if you look at the photos from a week ago, you will see that there is no evidence that anything happened there,” he added.
Although the ministry assures that there are still fish and bivalves In the area, they admitted the mortality of all the beings that lived in that section of the course, something that also happened with some fish that lived in the discharge of the stream. The portfolio assured that the recovery would occur “in a few months” or would even take up to a year.