June 1st, 2022
Supreme Court confirms the judgment of the Court of Appeals of Concepción that rejects the remedy of protection against the Rucalhue Hydroelectric Power Plant project.SHARE
On April 21, the Supreme Court confirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals of Concepción (Case No. 10,609-2022) which rejected two remedies of protection filed by the Municipalities of Santa Bárbara and Quilaco against the "Rucalhue Hydroelectric Power Plant" project to halt its construction.
The project, which is owned by the company Rucalhue Energía SpA, is a 90 MW run-of-river hydroelectric power plant that has environmental authorization. The Public, Regulatory, and Environmental Law team of Barros, Silva, Varela & Vigil assumed the legal representation of the company.
In their remedies, the municipalities argued that the project would represent an alleged threat to some constitutional rights, noting, among other illegalities, that the environmental authorization did not consider the variable of climate change and that works would be built without the respective building permit.
The lawyers of our firm, representing the company, rejected these arguments, with procedural grounds, such as the timeliness of the claim and the suitability of the remedy for the case, and substance, indicating that the project has the permits required by law, which does not affect the availability of water or its quality or rights of third parties. Finally, they indicated that the project constitutes a renewable and clean energy source, aligned with international and local public energy policy related to climate change.
The decisive criterion of the Supreme Court, which decided to reject the appeal, was the extemporaneity of the claims, demonstrating that the municipalities took note of the start of the construction of the project on November 16, 2020 - regarding a formal communication sent by Rucalhue -, while the remedies were filed on August 13 and 14, 2021. That is, the deadline of 30 calendar days for action has been met.