BOGOTA – Colombia’s National Authority of Environmental Licenses imposed a fine of 2,419 million pesos ($794,000) on Hidroeléctrica Ituango SA, operators of the Hidroituango dam in the northwest, for violating environmental norms, official sources said Wednesday.
In resolution 01444, dated Sept. 4, ANLA said Hidroeléctrica Ituango SA – a joint venture between Colombian state-run utility group EPM and local development institute Idea, did not adhere to environmental norms while constructing a hydroelectric project road connecting San Andres de Cuerquia to El Valle de Toledo.
The operators were also fined over the unauthorized installation and construction of two plants, a crusher and a concrete plant.
An EPM representative said they are in the process of evaluating the fine, and added that it was also working to resolve an ongoing crisis at the Ituango hydroelectric project.
The Hidroituango dam has been in a precarious condition after one of its engine rooms reportedly collapsed on May 7, blocking a tunnel that diverts water of the Cauca river, the second largest in the country.
Fearing a total collapse, authorities evacuated thousands of people out of their homes in Puerto Valdivia and Puerto Antioquia localities, along with residents from Caceres and Taraza municipalities.