Uruguay's Ministry of Environment imposes sanction of approximately US$188,000 on UPM for non-compliance with the environmental management plan for UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill; sanction is linked August 2023 leak of sodium hydroxide into nearby creek

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

January 19, 2024 (press release) –

Uruguay’s Ministry of Environment has informed UPM that it has imposed a sanction of approx. USD 188,000 (4,500 Unidades Reajustables*) on the company for non-compliance with the environmental management plan for the UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill. The sanction is linked to an incident which took place in August 2023, when a chemical leak occurred at the mill site.

The leak led to the presence of sodium hydroxide in a nearby creek, causing high pH values in the water and leading to fish mortality. The water quality was also affected in the zone in which the creek runs into the Río Negro river, but to a lesser extent.

UPM immediately took the applicable corrective measures to address the situation and prevent any further leakage. We informed the environmental authorities and the mill neighbours of the incident and published an announcement on the UPM Uruguay website.

The pH values of the affected watercourses returned to normal levels within a few days. UPM and the Uruguayan environmental authority have investigated the causes and consequences of the incident, and UPM is implementing all the necessary actions, including monitoring, as instructed by the authorities. We have also taken all measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

We strongly regret this incident and take it very seriously. Our environmental management processes, controls and monitoring worldwide are rigorous, and this type of incidents are very rare in our operations.

*Unidades Reajustables is a term commonly used in the context of Uruguayan financial markets. It refers to a monetary unit that is adjusted periodically to account for inflation.

Our previous release on the incident: Alkaline leak at our Paso de Los Toros mill in Uruguay 


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Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

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