Peru declares 90-day environmental emergency after oil spill

admin January 31, 2022
Updated 2022/01/31 at 1:53 PM

After an oil disaster that spilled 6,000 barrels of crude oil into the water, the Peruvian government declared a 90-day “environmental emergency” in the affected coastal areas on Saturday.

According to Peruvian officials, this step will allow for “long-term management of the impacted regions” via “restoration and remediation” efforts.

Emergency responders in white biosafety suits are removing the oily sand with shovels before transporting it to hazardous waste sites.

The oil spilled from a ship owned by Repsol, a Spanish energy company. The event happened at the La Pampilla refinery in the Ventanilla area of the coastal city of Callao, some 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Lima, Peru’s capital.

The leak, according to the refinery, was triggered by abnormal waves generated by the explosion of a volcano in Tonga.

When the “Mare Doricum,” an Italian-flagged tanker, was attacked, it was hauling 965,000 barrels of crude oil.

According to Peru’s Health Ministry, currents transported the oil to distances of more than 40 kilometres from the facility, tarring 21 beaches. The government advises people to stay away from these “unhealthy” regions.

The spill has resulted in the death of marine life and raised concerns about local fishermen’s livelihoods and the economic consequences of lost tourism.

The leak contaminated 2,384 cubic metres (84,190 cubic feet) of sand, according to Repsol. The firm said that it had gathered around 1,350 personnel for the cleaning activities, with another 224 on the way.

Peru asked that Repsol pay for the harm caused by the leak on Wednesday.

Peruvian officials said they were looking into the leak as a possible case of environmental contamination.

Repsol said it was not at fault for the leak since Peruvian maritime authorities had not issued any warnings about an expected rise in waves.


Source: The Indian Express

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