Uruguay has strict environmental legislation. For example the UPM mill in Fray Bentos is one of the most tightly monitored pulp mills in the world. Its environmental performance is reported monthly to the local authorities who also monitor it online, and the environmental performance has been excellent.
The new mill will be following Best Available Technology (BAT) standards and the global UPM principles, as well as the stringent legislation.
According to the Environmental and Social Impact Study for the new pulp mill by the Uruguayan authorities, all the potential impacts are acceptable and manageable: it will not have negative impacts to the human health, living conditions, urban structure, land use, cultural environment, wildlife and conservation sites, soil, bedrocks or groundwater.
The impact of the new mill on the Rio Negro river has been under a specific scrutiny. Based on the environmental studies done by international and local experts the direct impact of the new mill to the Rio Negro would be minimal. The long-term average annual use of water is less than 1% of the river’s average flow rate in Paso de los Toros. Water effluence will be strictly monitored by UPM, and by the Uruguayan authorities as well.
The current state of the river requires initiative and action from all stakeholders and industries along the river. UPM will fund the improvement of municipal waste water treatment plant and restoration of the municipal landfill in Paso de los Toros as part of the community investments worth USD 70 million.