Brazil to impose more fines on Chevron for oil spill

November 30th, 2011 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio De Janeiro, Nov 30 (IANS) Brazil’s environment protection agency Ibama said Tuesday that US oil giant Chevron may be fined an additional 60 million reais ($32.6 million) for the spill off the country’s southeastern coast.

Ibama would make a final decision on the matter by the end of the week, said Ibama President Curt Trennpohl.

The eventual fines would be related to the environmental damage caused by the spill (50 million reais) and to the company not enforcing its emergency plan after the accident (10 million reais), reported Xinhua.

Chevron has already been fined 50 million reais for the spill. In addition to fines by Ibama, Chevron may have to pay fines to the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) and the Rio de Janeiro state government as well.

Trennpohl complained that the maximum fine for environmental damage provided for in the Brazilian law, which is 50 million reais, is too low for a company such as Chevron.

On the same day, Chevron denied any negligence in the episode of the oil spill. In a Senate hearing on the incident, Chevron’s representative Luiz Alberto Pimenta Borges Bastos said the company’s response to the spill was fast.

“We acted quickly and we were able to kill the source of the spill in four days. It is an excellent result,” he said.

Bastos added that Chevron will work to prevent other spills and stressed that the company is acting with transparency.

The spill occurred in early November, during the drilling of a well in the Campo do Frade area, some 120 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

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