UPDATES ON THE MONITORING OF THE WATERSHED
Pollution in the Espolón River: We continue the efforts to solve the problem of the dumping of wastewater in the Espolón River by the Water Treatment Plant ESSAL. At the last meeting with the community, ESSAL updated information on the plant’s deficient capacity to treat the amount of water that enters it and that the expansion of it would be done by the end of december 2018. So far we have only received confirmation of this expansion by email but we have requested, together with our CAC partners, a visit to the plant to verify in situ the promised progress.
Extraction of Gravel: After requesting the Regional Department of Environmental Impact Assesment to issue an environmental study for the extraction of gravel in the Espolón River, the issue is still unsolved. The response of the Regional Department was that there are no strong arguments necessary to carry out the study. However, the situation has been brought to the National Level, expecting a favorable decision on the matter. In the meantime, FutaKeeper and CAC continue to hold meetings with the mayor of Futaleufu to monitor the case.
Introduction of Salmon industry in Yelcho Lake: The Community´s rejection to the re-introduction of salmon industry in the Yelcho Lake was loud and strong in Chaitén last December, when executives of Marine Harvest arrived to resume their operations in the Yelcho Lake. According to meetings established with the mayor of Chaitén, key actors of Chaitén and Riverkeeper, the intentions of the company are to not lose the maritime concessions that they have hold in the Yelcho Lake since 1992 (as capital assets of the Company). Despite the refusal of the community, the Norwegian Company complies with the law to carry out this action. In the meeting, the executives of Marine Harvest committed to remove the cages and begin the process of renouncing these concessions after March 2019, a fact that both Yelcho and Riverkeeper neighbors are suspicious of, given the negative reputation of the Company in the region.