Oil & Gas Exploration Permits Halted After 2400 Animals Died During Last Month’s Tragic Oil Spill In Colombia

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maritimeherald.com

Colombia’s attorney general’s office launched an investigation last week to determine whether officials from the country’s largest petroleum company, Ecopetrol, can be legally held responsible for the massive oil spill into the Lizama River that occurred early last month.

Horrifically, according to Colombia Reports, the leak has claimed the lives of an estimated 2,400 animals including fish, birds, cattle, and reptiles.

As per Telesurtv, Ecopetrol is responsible for letting 24,000 barrels of crude oil spill into the Lizama River, which is close to the Magdalena River, the largest river in Colombia.

Claudia Gonzalez from the National Authority of Environmental Licensing (ANLA) also told the news outlet that up to 70 families had to be relocated and treated for medical complications due to the spill.

The oil spill was reportedly contained a staggering four weeks after the initial reports of its leaking from the mining operation which was in the process of being shut down.

ANLA officials, who do not know how long it will take for the region to recover, have claimed that the cleanup effort was “botched” due to poor emergency planning by Ecopetrol.

This week, ANLA also announced that it has halted several permit processes for oil and gas exploration fields following the spill in northern Santander.

According to BN Americas, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resources, Luis Murillo, said on Saturday that the United Nations is monitoring the government’s handling of the accident.

With two massive oils spills in the span of two months, it is urgent that significant improvements be made at energy companies. There should be no excuse for these types of avoidable “accidents” happening ever again.

The people, the animals, and the ecosystem deserve better.

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