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Peru's Env Min: Oil spill in Ventanilla is an environmental and humanitarian disaster

Photo: ANDINA/Eddy Ramos

Photo: ANDINA/Eddy Ramos

09:32 | Lima, Jan. 23.

Environment Minister Ruben Ramirez affirmed that the oil spill, which occurred in Lima's Ventanilla sea area last weekend, is an "environmental, social and humanitarian disaster" that has affected other coastal marine areas in northern Peru.

In addition, he described it as an economic disaster, because it is affecting various productive activities across the impacted jurisdictions. 

Remarks were made on Saturday afternoon during his presentation before the extraordinary joint session of the Commission on Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples, Environment and Ecology, and the Special Commission on Climate Change of the Congress of the Republic.

Within this framework, the minister detailed the interventions implemented by different sectors in response to this ecological emergency. 

"The Ministry of Environment (Minam) has worked diligently, from the first hours after the events were reported, in coordination with Ventanilla Mayor," he said.

The government official stated that the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement (OEFA) completed the field work very early on Sunday, January 16, before taking corrective measures and issuing measures that must be observed by Repsol.

The next day, he visited the affected beach, together with the mayor of Ventanilla. Then, he went to the Environmental Prosecutor's Office to present the corresponding folder, where an agreement on "the prosecution of environmental crime" was reached.

Afterwards, Ramirez coordinated with fishermen and social organizations in the impacted areas.

The high-ranking official was very emphatic in pointing out the responsibility of La Pampilla Refinery in the aforementioned environmental disaster, since it (the refinery) would have tried to minimize the amount of crude oil spilled "as if it were from a small vessel." 

In addition, he underscored that authorities were not informed of the true magnitude of the problem, that information was omitted and was not disclosed in a timely manner.

On January 15, an oil spill was reported at La Pampilla refinery facilities, owned by Spanish company Repsol. The event has contaminated part of the Peruvian coastline from Callao to Barranca, causing serious pollution damage to the sea and its marine fauna.

(END) NDP/CAN/RMB

Publicado: 23/1/2022