The refinery site in Tabasco. The refinery site in Tabasco.

Company fined for environmental damage at new refinery site

The firm was fined 13 million pesos and ordered to implement a wildlife preservation program

The National Security, Energy, and Environmental Agency (ASEA) has fined a company responsible for clearing land for the new Pemex refinery in Paraíso, Tabasco, for environmental damage.

In addition to the 13-million-peso fine (US $685,000), the ASEA ordered the reforestation of 82.8 hectares of land and a wildlife preservation program with a minimum investment consistent with the damages caused by the firm.

The Paraíso refinery was a major project for President López Obrador during his election campaign. He announced the 155-billion-peso plant on December 9.

The Mexican Environmental Law Center (CEMDA) filed an official complaint with the ASEA implicating Pemex and the private contractor on November 21 for the clear-cutting of 260 hectares to begin work on the refinery.

Adán Augusto López Hernández, who was then governor-elect, responded to the complaint by saying it represented the efforts of people who wanted to block progress in the state of Tabasco.

In levying the fine, the ASEA said: “The probable offender was fined an amount consistent with the damages done and ordered to cease clearing activities. It was also ordered to present an environmental damage study and to proceed with wildlife preservation measures in the region.”

Source: El Universal (sp)

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