Review of Environmental, Social, and Labor Issues
1. Environmental Classification
This is a category III project according to the IIC’s environmental and labor review procedure because it could produce certain effects that may be avoided or mitigated by following generally recognized performance standards, guidelines, or design criteria. The main environmental and labor considerations related to the project include management of liquid effluents and solid waste, handling and storage of hazardous goods, personal safety, and emergency response.
TZ is ISO 9001:2008 certified for its vehicle, general cargo, and container operations and administration. It also is ISO 14001:2004 certified for its vehicle, general cargo, and container operations. The terminal is certified under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) and the Argentine coast guard Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA) is the enforcing authority.
Río Paraná de las Palmas’ natural characteristics do not call for the terminal to be dredged.
2. Main Environmental Impacts
Liquid Effluent Management
The vessels that dock at Terminal Zárate do not clean their bilges or tanks. Bilge water is occasionally drained by an authorized local company, which treats and disposes of it. The following documents are always prepared: off-loading manifest, special waste transport manifest, certification of receipt of waste at the plant, and certification of treatment and final disposal of waste. These procedures fall under the oversight of the PNA.
Liquid effluents from the terminal are treated in modular treatment systems located throughout the terminal where effluents are generated.
Solid Waste Management
The company’s operations do not generate a significant volume of solid waste. The waste that is generated is mostly not hazardous. Solid waste is collected by authorized operators for final disposal.
Handling of Hazardous Materials
The terminal’s current activities require little handling of hazardous materials. For loading and unloading operations that require handling hazardous materials (IMO cargo), TZ has special procedures in place that include substance hazard assessment, emergency prevention and spill containment measures, and emergency preparedness, as established in its Emergency Plan.
3. Personal Safety and Emergency Response
The company prepared an emergency plan to control potential pollution from fossil fuels and other harmful or potentially harmful substances. It therefore adheres to the national system of preparedness for and protection against pollution and complies with international conventions through the national contingency plan Plan Nacional de Contingencia (PLANACON) developed by the PNA in line with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) guidelines. Port terminals in the area have signed a cooperation agreement to implement their respective emergency plans under the PNA’s direction in case of emergency. The agreement includes sharing emergency equipment and coordinating staff training.
The terminal has permanent emergency brigades with appropriate protective gear and firefighting, rescue, and spill containment equipment, among others. The terminal has underground spill containment tanks. There also is a series of manuals, regulations, and procedures on operation safety, traffic, and stay, which must be followed by both TZ employees and third parties operating in the terminal.
There is a fire detection and firefighting system on the docks and extinguishers are located throughout the premises. The office buildings have detection and alarm systems.
4. Labor Practices
Terminal Zárate is in compliance with domestic labor laws and International Labour Organization (ILO) standards. Mandatory core labor standards include social security benefits, freedom of association, organization of workers’ unions, and nondiscrimination in the workplace. Company employees belong to different unions, depending on their area of work. In accordance with Argentine law, all workers have health and occupational accident insurance coverage (ART).
5. Monitoring and Reporting
Terminal Zárate will develop an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) satisfactory to the IIC to ensure compliance with domestic regulations and the IIC’s environmental and workplace safety and health guidelines. The EMP shall provide for a yearly report on liquid effluent and solid waste management; health, occupational safety, and emergency response training; and accident reporting.