On January 15, an oil spill occurred on the coast north of the city of Lima, Peru. The ecological disaster, responsible for a Repsol refinery, caused the death of several species.
As reported by the Peruvian government, after the disaster and until March 4, more than 420 birds were rescued, but 349 of them had already died. The spill of nearly 12,000 barrels of oil (1.9 million liters) affected two natural areas on the coast of Ventanillas.
“More than 420 birds affected by the oil spill in the area of two protected natural areas located in the district of Ancón (north of Lima), have been recovered and rescued in the last six weeks“Said in a press release the National Service for Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp), an agency attached to the Ministry of the Environment.
Young volunteers from different universities in Lima participated in the rescue.
In short, just, “78 birds were rescued (alive), which were transferred and delivered to the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (Serfor) for veterinary care and subsequent recoveryin a zoo in Lima.
The main species affected by the oil spill were birds such as the piqutereos, the guanay and the Humboldt penguin, which is in danger of extinction.
These birds have been found nesting in the Ancón Reserved Area and the group of fishing islets of the Guaneras Islands, Islets and Points National Reserve System on the north coast of Lima. This is one of the largest colonies of these species.
The spill affected some 50 kilometers of coastline, from Ventanilla, to Callao, to the town of Chancay, in the north of the department of Lima, affecting 11.9 square kilometers between the beaches and the water.
The ship responsible
A tanker named “Mare Doricum”, which carried an Italian flag, was responsible for the disaster.
While unloading barrels at the La Pampilla refinery in Ventanilla, 30 km north of Lima, owned by Repsol, the spill occurred.
The company argued that the vessel began to move uncontrollably following the waves caused by the eruption of the Tonga volcano.
According to the prosecution, the black oil stain was carried by ocean currents to the north up to 140 km from the refinery, causing the death of an unknown number of fish, birds and marine mammals. Also leaving hundreds of artisanal fishermen out of work.
Repsol announced on Saturday March 5 that to date it has made 89% progress in its cleanup schedule and initial spill response actions.
By order of the country’s authorities, the company must, after completely removing the crude oil, begin a sampling process.
“These samples are taken by independent and accredited laboratories. The results of these analyzes will give us reliable information on the state of the water and the bottom.explained company spokesperson José Reyes.
In addition, Repsol must pay, as agreed with the government, an advance compensation to the approximately 5,000 fishermen and traders affected by the spill of an amount equivalent to 805 USD.
Repsol’s experience in the region
So far, the Spanish company has already accumulated some $358,000 in coercive fines for failing to comply with three measures imposed by the public body in charge of environmental control.
In addition, the Environmental Assessment and Enforcement Agency (OEFA) has launched three other administrative penalty proceedings against Repsol, which could lead to three more penalties for some $14.3 million.
In parallel, a game ordenó el impedimento de salida del país durant 18 meses a cuatro directivos de la petrolera, entre ellos el director ejecutivo de Repsol en Perú, Jaime Fernández Cuesta, as part of the investigation that is sigue por el presunto delito de environmental pollution.