During 2015, 84 new environmental disputes were started, which brought the number of legal proceedings open at December 12, 2015 to 567, of which 501 were from previous years (civil and criminal defense proceedings in environmental cases in which legal action has been brought against the Group and those originating from third party appeals for the annulment of favorable administrative orders). Around 50% of the proceedings concern the electricity distribution grid.
In 2015, 74 proceedings were closed.
In 2015 the cash value of the environmental fines was around 143 thousand euro mainly due to compensation to third parties in Spain and Argentina. Details on the most significant disputes at Group level are set out in this Report in the chapter “Responsible relationships with communities” and in the Annual Report.
Environmental disputes started in 2015 (by environmental sector - %)
Dispute Embalse del Muña - Colombia
In 2001 the inhabitants of Sibaté (department of Cundinamarca) started a class action against Emgesa SA, a Colombian company in the Group, and against the Corporación Autónoma Regional for damage and harm arising from the contamination of the Muña basin due to the pumping of contaminated water from the Bogotá river which was undertaken by the company.
Emgesa has declared that it is not liable for the events which are contested, stating, among other things, that the basin receives water which is already contaminated. The initial request for compensation was around 850 million euro.
Emgesa SA has asked for the involvement in the proceedings of numerous public and private bodies which discharge into the Bogotá river or which, for whatever reason, are responsible for the environmental management of the river bed. At the appeal stage the Council of State confirmed in full the decision of the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca which had, among other things, denied the request for enforcement to appear made by the company against the various bodies involved. The proceedings are currently ongoing.