Chile Scraps Huge Patagonia Dam Project After Years of Controversy
Citing environmental concerns, the Chilean government canceled HidroAysén.
Chile's government canceled a controversial plan for five dams on two of Patagonia's wildest rivers Tuesday, after an eight-year battle between environmentalists and developers.
Chile's Committee of Ministers overturned the environmental permits for the HidroAysén project, which would have put dams on the Baker and Pascua Rivers, flooding 5,900 hectares of land in order to generate hydroelectric power.
The committee had previously approved the permits in 2011, but has faced strong public opposition to the plan inside Chile and from the international environmental community. (See related blog post: "A Battle Over the Quest to Tap Patagonia's Rivers for Energy.")
"Patagonia's rugged and varied wilderness is truly an environmental treasure," Amanda Maxwell, Latin America project director at the Natural Resources Defense