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Groups file suit against Peru’s 600-MW Chadin 2

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A lawsuit has been filed by lawyers from environmental watchdog EarthRights International and Instituto de Defensa Legal has been submitted on behalf of communities that could be impacted by the construction of Peru’s Chadin 2 hydroelectric plant.

The 600 MW hydropower project, to be located on the Maranon River, would create a reservoir with an area of around 32.5 square kilometers, displacing residents of Tagen, Corgetana, Tupen, Mendan and Rambran, amongst others.

An environmental impact assessment submitted by developer Odebrecht Energia was approved by Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines in February 2014, but EarthRights and its partners want that assessment ruled invalid via a constitutional request for protection due to the impact Chadin 2 might have on the area’s ecosystem.

Statements from the group specifically mention the assessment’s disregard for what impacts Chadin 2’s 175-meter-high by 370-meter-long dam might have on sediment flows in the Maranon River, which are, according to the Washington, D.C.-based group, essential for the region’s agriculture.

“This lawsuit highlights the very real threats the farming communities affected by the Chadin 2 hydroelectric project are experiencing,” EarthRights representative Juliana Bravo Valencia said. “In addition to seeking protection for the communities, the lawsuit also aims to recognize the Maranon River as having rights, and in this way avoid any other violation to the richness of the ecosystem and the communities that depend on the river.”

Chadin 2 was one of 15 hydropower plants offered by Peru’s private investment agency in 2008. Odebrecht won the concession for the project and subsequently transferred development of Chadin 2 to its subsidiary AC Energia S.A.