[Summary] NCP Complaint for the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Dam Collapse
Summary of the Complaint for the Xe-pian Xe-namnoy Dam Collapse
- < Korean Civil Society Task Force Team for the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Dam Collapse> is a network of Korean NGOs formed in response to the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Dam Collapse.
- Respondent 1: The Export-Import Bank of Korea
- Respondent 1 was entrusted with the management of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) by the Korean government. With regard to the present case, it acted in capacity of the manager of the EDCF.
- In addition, as explained in detail below, Respondent 1 engaged in commercial activities gaining economic profit by acting as financial advisor to the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy project and receiving remuneration for such services.
- Respondent 2: SK E&C Co. Ltd.
- Respondent 3: Korea Western Power Co. Ltd.
[Violation of the Guidelines]
- <Poor Design and Construction (Respondent 2)> was the main cause of the collapse. Human lives and property of the local population were destroyed on account of the collapse, constituting “infringing on the human rights of others”, “adverse human rights impacts caused by business activities” and failure to “collect and evaluate adequate and timely information regarding the environmental, health, and safety impacts of business activities.”
- <Inadequate response at the time and in the aftermath of the collapse (Respondent 2,3)> constitutes “infringing on the human rights”, “adverse human rights impacts caused by business activities”, failure to “carry out human rights due diligence on adverse human rights impacts” and failure to “maintain contingency plans for preventing, mitigating, and controlling serious environmental and health damage from their operations, including accidents and emergencies.”
- <Inadequate human rights due diligence in the course of management of the EDCF and performance of financial advisory services (Respondent 1)> constitutes “adverse human rights impacts caused by business activities” and failure to “prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts linked to their business operations by a business relationship.”
2. Violations of guidelines on human rights, environment, and general policies provisions
- Respondent 2: Problems in Design and Construction
- Respondents 2, 3: Failure to take adequate measures at the time of collapse
- The respondents and PNPC discovered critical defects to the dam several days prior to the collapse. Even though they were not able to implement any substantial repairs, they requested evacuation of the local population only on the day of the collapse when the dam had already sunk by 1 meter.
- In light of the above, the fact that respondent 2 and 3 did not consider the circumstances and geographical distribution of the population and local conditions and did not request evacuation of the local population before the day of the collapse constitutes “infringing on the human rights”, “adverse human rights impacts caused by business activities”, failure to “carry out human rights due diligence on adverse human rights impacts” and failure to “maintain contingency plans for preventing, mitigating, and controlling serious environmental and health damage from their operations, including accidents and emergencies.”
- Respondents 2, 3: Failure to take emergency release of water in a timely manner
- The saddle dam that collapsed also had a flood spillway. However, Respondent 2 and 3 only started activating the emergency spillway on July 22, 2018 at 9:00pm. They failed to timely open the emergency spillway by activating it a day earlier even though on July 20 there was heavy rainfall and sinking of the dam. The failure to decide on emergency water release even though having been aware of the initial danger of overflow also constitutes negligence in commissioning procedure of the dam.
- Respondents 2, 3 : Did not undertake preventive measures
- The environmental impact assessment report pointed out that it is necessary to devise an Environmental Emergency Response Plan which is a type of EAP (Emergency Action Plan) to provide against natural disasters, especially floods during construction and operation (the environmental impact assessment report, pp 299, 312). However, neither respondent 2 nor 3 provided any report on whether such plan was devised, trained and/or such plan or system was actually implemented prior to the collapse.
- Respondent 1: Did not properly assess adverse risks in management of the EDCF and in performance of the financial advisory agreement
- It is known that Respondent 1, under the financial advisory agreement, reviewed documents including agreements relating to the project and reports by consultants, provided support in communicating and negotiating with potential lenders, provided advice in drafting financial documents such as term sheets, and support in fulfilling prerequisites to withdrawal.
- Respondent 1 in relation to the loan agreements entered into by Respondents 2 and 3, should have reviewed various licensing processes and reports by various consultants including the environmental impact assessment report and provided adequate and accurate opinions. Specifically, Respondent 1 should have identified necessary measures to be undertaken by the commissioner and the constructor per the environmental impact assessment report and confirmed whether such measures were actually implemented. However, even though the environmental impact assessment report explicitly stated that an EAP including a disaster risk reduction plan and environmental risk response plan should be devised, it appears that Respondent 1 failed to make necessary assessments or monitor, meaning that it failed to carry out due diligence in spite of being aware of the risks. Therefore, Respondent 1 “contributed” to adverse human rights impacts caused by Respondents 2 and 3.
3. Violation of disclosure provision
- Respondents 2, 3 : Refuses to meet with civil society after the dam collapse and maintains silence on disclosure of information requests
- Respondents 2 : Merely contradicts the result of investigation committee without providing any detailed data
- Respondent 1 : Does not have a general policy about disclosure of information relating to the EDCF and fails to disclose information relating to the present case
4. Requests to the NCP
- We request to the Korean NCP to take sufficient, appropriate measures for the victims in line with the OECD guidelines
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