Brazil fines Chevron for oil spill

November 22nd, 2011 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio De Janeiro, Nov 22 (IANS) Brazilian authorities said Monday that US oil giant Chevron would pay a maximum environmental damage fine of $27.78 million for a large spill off the southeast coast.

The amount could not be higher under the current rules of government environmental agency Ibama, but Rio state’s environment chief Carlos Minc said it is not enough, reported Xinhua.

Minc said half of the fine will be used to repair the environmental damage caused by the oil spill, and that he would require an audit on all Chevron’s facilities in Rio, and later on all oil companies operating in the state.

In addition, he said that Rio state would sue Chevron for the damages caused by the spill to marine life.

According to Chevron, the leak has already been halted and there are only residues of the original spill. But Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said Sunday that the oil is still leaking, albeit at a lower rate.

The Brazilian Federal Police’s environment office is investigating the incident to determine the extent of Chevron’s responsibility, as well as allegations that Chevron used environmentally-damaging techniques to clean the oil spill.

If the accusations proved to be true, Chevron may be forbidden to participate in public bidding processes for up to five years.

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