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Pemex abandoned 4,500 oil spills, denying responsibility for clean-up

Supreme Court had ruled that Pemex was not responsible for cleaning up spills resulting from illegal activity

A probe by the federal auditor’s office (ASF) has found that state oil company Pemex abandoned over 4,500 oil spills, denying any responsibility to mitigate their impact on the environment.

The investigation revealed that Pemex stopped cleaning up oil spills in May 2016. A total of 4,509 fuel spills were recorded between that date and December 31.

Pemex based the decision on a ruling by the Supreme Court that said it was not required to mitigate the effects of spills when they are the result of a crime, in this case illegal pipeline tapping.

The ASF charged that Pemex had failed to verify that the oil spills and ensuing contamination were the result of criminal acts, and observed that the Supreme Court’s ruling was only valid for a single specific case.

The company also failed to failed to conduct mandatory tests of contaminated sites, meaning that public health and that of plants and wildlife could be at risk.

According to the Energy Secretariat, there were 14,894 illegal pipeline taps in 2018, a 43.72% increase over 2017.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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