Correspondent in Lima
The spill of six thousand barrels of crude occurred off the coast of Lima in Ventanilla after the volcanic eruption on the island of Tonga. According to the Peruvian environmental control agency (OEFA), the spill of six thousand barrels of oil affected 1.7 square kilometers of 20 beaches and the oil slick covers about 2 square kilometers.
The Peruvian government ordered the impediment to set sail to the Italian ship 'Mare Doricum' that caused the spill of crude oil while it was being poured into the La Pampilla refinery on the coast of Ventanilla in Lima and demanded from the Spanish company Repsol a bail letter of 150 million soles (more than 34 million euros) to be able to leave the refinery. Peruvian coast.
The President of the Council of Ministers, Mirtha Vásquezannounced that the Peruvian Navythrough the General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guards (Dicapi)will execute the impediment so that the ship does not leave the Peruvian coasts.
“As a State we are going to ensure the mitigation and repair of the damage by the Repsol company, since we have to ensure that this work is carried out diligently; We will also carry out investigative actions to determine responsibilities and possible sanctions going forward," he said. Vasquez, while adding, “this State is not going to leave unpunished a damage as great as this; and we are going to seek reparations and fair compensation.”
For its part, Repsol lamented in a statement that they were not clear to convey "adequately" all their commitments and actions taken to address the impact generated by the oil spill in Ventanilla.
“As is known, the oil spill was caused by a maritime phenomenon unforeseeable for the company, caused by the volcanic eruption in Tonga. During the entire time that the current situation continues, the company will have the advice of technical experts in the field and will provide all the necessary resources”, they referred. In its first statement, the Spanish company indicated that the spill amounted to 7 barrels and not 6,000 barrels of crude oil. In addition, Repsol blamed the Navy for not having carried out a tsunami warning after the volcanic eruption that occurred in Tonga and that due to this, the oil spill occurred.
“We deeply regret the effects of the oil spill that occurred in a protected area of the coastline of Callao involving a Spanish company. We stand in solidarity with those affected. The priority now is to recover that coast and its ecosystem and, in parallel, carry out an investigation of all the circumstances in the face of such a sad accident, as well as learn from it so that it does not happen again," he said. the embassy of Spain in Peru through a statement.
On his twitter account, President Pedro Castillo condemned the environmental disaster caused by the La Pampilla refinery, run by Repsol.
“The ecological damage to our coastline is inadmissible. From the Condition, criminal, civil and administrative actions have been arranged in order to protect the sovereignty and well-being of the country. We are facing one of the largest ecocides that have occurred on our coasts and sea.
“The Government assumes the role of sanctioning those responsible for the damage that tragically affects the flora, fauna and communities endangered and deprived of their daily sustenance," he concluded.
The former Minister of the Environment, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, said that what Repsol has done is “an ecological crime” and that “the excuse that Repsol uses is blaming the navy and it is not supported. The investigation will show what is obvious: the personnel on the ship did not know how to apply the safety plan to stop the pumping and contain the spill of crude oil into the sea.
“We must avoid the impunity of the Repsol company. This company has to be fined, this company has to indemnify the damage, pay the lost profits and continuously monitor it so that it does not happen again », he added.
«The government did not have any capacity to supervise the Repsol company after the disaster: there is an inability and an incompetence to supervise that the company solve the tragedy. The Condition and the company was quarantined, and that can never happen," he concluded. Thumb Vidal.
The National Forest and Wildlife Service (Serfor) He asked Peruvians living near the affected area and environmental activists "not to wash with water or feed the species they find, because they could die from stress or hypothermia." Animals contaminated with crude oil need special treatment and that is why they will need specialists to prevent their sudden death.
The Environmental Prosecutor initiated an investigation against the officials who are responsible for the spill that affects the coast of the La Pampilla refinery, managed by the Repsol company. In addition, the entity indicated that "the high amount of oil in the sea, which is being obtained by suction in polyethylene sleeves, differs from the preliminary information obtained by Repsol, which indicates that 7 gallons of oil were spilled."