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VIEW: HidroAysén project in Patagonia should be rejected, says Maxwell

Amanda Maxwell of the Natural Resources Defense Council writes in her blog that, “(On October 29), HidroAysén – the company proposing a massive hydroelectric scheme in Chile’s Patagonia – began the next phase of its environmental impact review by submitting replies to the 1,114 criticisms that state agencies filed about its environmental impact assessment during the last phase in the autumn of 2009.  Next month, the Regional Environmental Commission will decide whether to approve the project, ask for more information, or reject it outright.  It is almost certain that HidroAysén’s latest documents will still not produce information sufficient to warrant its approval or meet international standards, and in that case, it should be rejected.”

Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and the British Columbia Investment Management Corp are all supporters of the environmentally destructive HidroAysen project. The Council of Canadians has spoken against it. The Council’s national chairperson Maude Barlow may be going to Patagonia with other civil society leaders (including Vandana Shiva) this January to voice her condemnation of this project.

Construction on the project is scheduled to start in 2014, with its five dams operational by 2024.

To read Maxwell’s blog (which provides excellent analysis on this situation) please go to http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/amaxwell/the_next_phase_in_hidroaysens.html.