Crisis in Venezuela: a new oil spill sets off alarms for environmental damage

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Oil company PDVSA confirmed two leaks at a refinery in Falcón state. A similar episode was recorded in the same area in July.

A new oil spill is causing environmental damage in northwestern Venezuela, in a new example of the deterioration in refineries in the context of the deep crisis that the country is experiencing.

The state oil company PDVSA confirmed this on Saturday, and pointed out that in recent days there were two leaks that were already controlled in the Falcón state area.

“PDVSA carries out environmental sanitation in the area affected by the oil leak that arose on line 1 Ulé-Amuay and in the sublacustre gas pipeline of the same corridor, near the Golfete de Coro area,” the company said in a statement.

The state company explained that it confirmed the spill “via aerial inspection” and immediately proceeded to correct the leaks to “thus minimize the impact on the ecosystem.”

“Currently a sanitation plan is being developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Popular Power for Ecosocialism and a highly specialized team in the care of this type of operational event,” remarks the statement, which highlights the work of local fishermen in these tasks of decontamination.

PDVSA indicates that it was possible to guarantee continuity in the supply of crude to the Paraguaná Refining Center, as well as the continuity of work in this oil complex, one of the largest in America.

The spill occurs at a time when the crisis is aggravated by the fuel shortage in all the country.

In addition, the note says, an “operational technical committee was activated that will have the task of carrying out, together with the relevant agencies, a thorough investigation and determine the causes of this eventuality “.

Different non-governmental organizations, activists and deputies of the Venezuelan Parliament -with an opposition majority- warned of the environmental risk facing the coasts of the central states of Carabobo and Falcón due to another oil spill of which the government of Nicolás Maduro has barely offered information and which was visible for at least two weeks, last July.

According to the Fundación Azul Ambientalistas, a slick of approximately 260 kilometers of hydrocarbons discharged by the El Palito Refinery, the largest in the country, has affected the beaches of Carabobo and the Morrocoy National Park in Falcón, one of the most popular resorts in the country. country.

In mid-August, the Venezuelan opposition denounced that this spill was due to “the ineffectiveness, inexperience, and non-observance of the PDVSA authorities.”

A technical report carried out by the Simón Bolívar University and presented by the deputy and president of the National Assembly’s Commission for the Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, María Gabriela Hernández, specified that the spill, which occurred between 19 and 22 July, is equivalent to 26,730 barrels of oil.

According to Hernández, the investigation carried out “contains aerial images that show that there is no indication of containment of the spill, neither near the refinery nor on the coast,” tasks that correspond to the government.

In addition, he added that workers in the area “are intimidated to prevent them from issuing opinions, disseminating videos or information about what is happening in damaged natural areas” by the president of the National Parks Institute, Josué Lorca, who, in turn, receives According to the deputy, guidelines from the Ministry of Ecosocialism for hide the mess.

Julia Álvarez, a member of the Venezuelan Ecology Society, pointed out that the spill “has immediate short, medium and long-term effects through scientific studies, and it is predicted that the negative consequences on the ecosystem and its natural components may affect up to 50 years or more. “

Source: EFE

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