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Remote Amazon Area in State of Environmental Emergency Following Years of Oil Spills

Peru says inhabitants are in "imminent danger" from high levels of crude contamination

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The Peruvian government has declared a state of environmental emergency in a remote Amazon region following years of oil extraction and spills that have left an "alarming" level of contamination, and the people in the area in "imminent danger."

Oil fills a river in the Loreto region (Screenshot from Panamericana Televisión) The 90-day status was given on Monday for the area along the Pastaza river in the Loreto region, Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said, because while Argentine company Pluspetrol, which has operated in the area since 2001, may have done some remediation in the area, it was not done adequately, and added that "we know that bad environmental behavior by the company exists."

Congressperson Marisol Pérez Tello says Pluspetrol has a license that allows it to pollute every kilo of earth with 30 grams of oil, but even one gram would be above standards, Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reports.

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