Friday, December 1, 2023

Environmental agency shuts down Grupo México terminal in Guaymas

A Port of Guaymas terminal where a sulfuric acid spill took place on July 9 will be temporarily shuttered, the environmental protection agency Profepa announced Saturday.

According to a Profepa press release, the terminal owned by Grupo México will be closed because the mining company did not have environmental authorization from the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

Profepa carried out two inspections of the terminal after the spill, the first on July 10 and the second on July 16. Although it found that the company was lacking the required documentation, the agency has not determined the scale of the environmental impact of the accident.

The closure applies to all Grupo México facilities in the Port of Guaymas used for the storage and loading of sulfuric acid. Other company facilities will remain open.

According to Grupo México, a report by the navy found that the spill did not cause serious environmental damage because the 3,000 liters of acid were rapidly diluted and neutralized when it spilled into the sea.

“The spill was inoffensive, and it was determined that there was no effect on the flora or fauna in the port area, according to the navy report,” a company statement read.

The report referred has not been made public and the navy did not respond to a request for comment.

On Tuesday, Semarnat announced that it will investigate Grupo México’s history of environmental accidents, although Secretary Víctor Manuel Toledo said it was likely the July 9 spill has not had a serious environmental impact.

Source: El Economista (sp), El Financiero (sp)

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