LIMA – Peru’s government will require Argentine oil firm Pluspetrol to rehabilitate a contaminated area in the Amazonian region of Loreto, the Andean nation’s environment minister said Monday.
“We are already drafting an order to initiate work of comprehensive and permanent restoration,” Manuel Pulgar-Vidal told RPP radio.
The government declared an environmental state of emergency in the Pastaza basin, located in the Pacaya Samiria reserve, after reports of contamination from the indigenous groups who live in the area, the minister said.
“Pluspetrol took over oil exploration in this zone in 2001, yet we know there is environmental misbehavior by the firm. While a rehabilitation program was done at some point, it was not done correctly, and to this was added the inappropriate conduct of the authorities between 2003 and 2005,” he said.
The Peruvian government upheld in January an $11.37 million fine the Oefa watchdog agency levied on Pluspetrol for violating environmental regulations in the Pacaya Samiria reserve.
Oefa fined Pluspetrol for failing to comply with a plan that called for remediation of damage to around 7 hectares (15 acres). EFE