Argentine province in hot water over contamination
A complaint over alleged water contamination has been lodged in the Argentine province of Salta with demands for around 4.8 billion pesos (US$1.17 billion) to cover damages and recuperation costs, website Eltransigente.com.ar reported.
The case was launched by public figures Carlos Quevedo, Humberto Vázquez and Luis Caro against company Aguas del Norte, as well as Salta's provincial and municipal governments, the story reported.
The trio involved local government in the case for its subsidization of the company, which allegedly did not provide the services it charged for.
"Not only was it (government) charged for a service that wasn't provided and they (Aguas del Norte) contaminated the water, but they contaminated the production of fruit and vegetables, because that uses the water from the rivers to irrigate its production," natural resources engineer and lawyer Luis Caro told the website.
The contaminated areas concerned were the Arenales and Mojotoro rivers, with the case involving compensation demands of 2.5 billion pesos (US$613 million), in addition to 2.3 billion pesos (US$564 million) for necessary works to prevent continued pollution, the story reported.
The case also refers to the Northern Region Water Treament Plant, which is 7% copmlete and has been undertaken by the Provincial Government of Salta and the Department of Public Works. The prosecutors have expressed concern that no public hearings were held about the project and its potential effects on the people of the area.
In February, Quevedo and Vázquez demanded Aguas de Salta give back around 57 million pesos (US$14 million) to its customers.
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