On November 26, the Supreme Court issued a precautionary measure against the Punta Puertecillo subdivision project, located in the O’Higgins region. Specifically, the highest court prohibited new sales of land that are part of the project until it obtains the corresponding Environmental Qualification Resolution.
The court also fined the real estate company in charge of the project – the businessman Jorge Galmezowner of Mall Sport- with 5 thousand UTA (3.9 million USD).
The Court issued the measure after proving that the project does not have the characteristics of being a rural development in the terms of DL 3516, but that its characteristics are of urban development. Therefore, it should have entered the Environmental Impact Assessment System (SEIA) through an Environmental Impact Study.
The highest court also accredited that the project carries out water extraction near the protected Topocalma wetland.
The Supreme Court issued the ruling after accepting an appeal filed by the Rompientes Foundation and the community organization Vecinos de Puertecillo, reversing the ruling of the Second Environmental Court that had rejected the claim filed by the Superintendence of the Environment (SMA), which acquitted of charges to the Punta Puertecillo project.
“The project has to be evaluated environmentally, it has to regularize its situation, in addition to paying the corresponding fine and being subject to inspection by the Superintendence of the Environment, which in any case had to carry out this inspection,” said the lawyer for the University of Chile and executive director of the NGO Fima, ezio costaa The counter.
“This is a very important ruling, this is a cause that was carried out mainly by the community organizations of Puertecillo and the Rompientes Foundation and that now after many years and much discussion with the institutions, it is finally concluded,” said the lawyer.
“The protected area was a priority site for the protection of biodiversity when the project began to take shape, but today we are talking about a nature sanctuary, which is a type of greater protection, today it is the Punta del Viento, which contains the Topocalma wetland, and which is an important part of what has to be evaluated, that this wetland is not damaged,” added Costa.
Meanwhile, Emanuel Ibarra, Superintendent of the Environment (s) pointed out that regarding the Supreme Court ruling it is “important to point out that this is a decision that was made during January 2019 and that was confirmed by the Second Environmental Court. The Supreme Court resolved to annul the judgment of the Second Environmental Court, issuing a replacement judgment. The Highest Court determined that the Punta Puertecillo project incurred in a very serious violation of circumvention of the Environmental Impact Assessment System (SEIA). In addition, it resolved that a fine of 5,001 Annual Tax Units (UTA). In this regard, we can inform you that we will strictly comply with the decision of the Supreme Court, modifying the resolution issued in 2019 in the sanctioning procedure. Likewise, we will soon coordinate an inspection activity for the project as indicated request the same court”.