Quantcast

More Than 2,400 Animals Killed by Oil Spill in Colombia

Animals
Miles of waterways contaminated by the oil spill in Santander, Colombia. El Tiempo / YouTube

An oil spill of approximately 550 barrels (23,100 gallons) has killed more than 2,400 fish, birds and reptiles near the city of Barrancabermeja, Colombia, RCN Radio reported.

Oil started spilling from the Lizama 158 oil field in early March and spread down 15 miles of the Lizama river and 12.4 miles of the Sogamoso river.


According to local media, it took Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol three weeks to respond to the environmental disaster.

Colombia Reports noted that the crude started escaping the oil field on March 3 but it was only this past Saturday that Ecopetrol vowed to send heavy equipment that could stop the spill.

The company said Tuesday that the spill is fully controlled and workers are carrying out environmental monitoring of the rivers. The cause of the spill is currently unclear but an investigation is underway.

In addition to the 2,400 animals who died, Claudia Gonzalez, director of the National Agency of Environmental Licenses (ANLA) told RCN Radio that 1,300 animals were rescued alive.

About 1,080 trees of different species were also affected by the spill and about 70 people had to be relocated from the area, with some people reporting health problems.

"I have practically nothing to eat, we have lived through the river all our lives and the contamination has already reached the Magdalena," area residet Elkin Cala told the Colombian television station Noticias Uno.

Barrancabermeja, located off the shore of the Magdalena river in the department of Santander, is home to the largest oil refinery in the South American country.

Santander Governor Didier Tavera Amado has criticized the oil company for being incompetent and incapable of responding to the environmental emergency.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new study shows that half of all Arctic warming and corresponding sea-loss during the late 20th century was caused by ozone-depleting substances. Here, icebergs discharged from Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier. Kevin Krajick / Earth Institute / EurekAlert!

The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.

Read More
Diane Wilson holds up a bag full of nurdles she collected from one of Formosa's outfall areas on Jan. 15. Julie Dermansky / DeSmogBlog

By Julie Dermansky

On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.

After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa in 2017, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.

Read More
Sponsored

By Simon Coghlan and Kobi Leins

A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world's first "living robots."

Read More
Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin (front 2nd L) and officials inspect a container containing plastic waste shipment on Jan. 20, 2020 before sending back to the countries of origin. AFP via Getty Images

The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.

Read More
Trump leaves after delivering a speech at the Congress Centre during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 21, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns of environmental activists as "pessimism" in a speech to political and business leaders at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.

Read More