Mobilization to reject the highway in Punilla

On May 20, we accompanied the Argentina Fair, Eco Casa, Córdoba Environment Assembly, Córdoba Environmental Forum and Córdoba Climate Forum in a call to demand the sanction of the Punilla highway project. The complaint was made within the framework of the last day of the project’s public hearing.

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The result of the public hearings held via the web was overwhelming. 90% of those who participated will express their rejection. Among some of the fundamentals, it is worth mentioning the one that shows that the project crosses 16 water courses, affecting the water bodies of any water dependent on access to drinking water in the communities. Likewise, if it indicates that it involves the affectation of 172 hectares of native forest -red category-, negatively impacting the functions of the ecosystems and the fauna that inhabits there.

In addition, the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure was carried out with notorious deficiencies, affecting citizen participation, a fundamental requirement to grant any authorization. In addition, in the face of this scenario of rejection by the communities, the national State issued Decree No. 295/2021 on May 3, through which it approves its approval for the construction of the highway. This is less problematic, as the Environmental Impact Assessment process is in the middle of the development process.

The EIA process must consider and review all observations. The rejection of the road was the driver of the exhibitions that were held in the public hearing, and must be evaluated at the time of issuing an administrative act. It is not possible to grant an environmental license due to a social license.

Photo: Tomás Medina

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Juan Bautista López, juanbautistalopez@fundeps.org