Countries Agree to Monitor Shared River

BUENOS AIRES, Aug. 17 (UPI) — Argentina and Uruguay have agreed to environmental monitoring to determine whether a paper mill is polluting a river along their common border, officials say.

A paper-mill complex built by Uruguay on its side of the Uruguay River has sparked years of protests by Argentineans who accuse Uruguay of ignoring environmental concerns, the journal Nature reported in an online article Monday.


Argentina took Uruguay to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, over the pollution concerns, and scientists on both sides have traded accusations of twisting data to suit their government’s agendas.

Financed by Spanish and Finnish companies with $1.2 billion, making it Uruguay’s largest-ever foreign investment, the mill started processing eucalyptus wood for paper in 2007.

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica and Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced July 28 the countries would monitor the Uruguay River together for the first time since 2005.

A four-member panel, with two scientists from each country, will jointly monitor the river several times each year for pollution and algal blooms, officials said.

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