The executive director of Repsol Peru, Jaime Fernandez-Cuesta, appeared on the Punto Final program to explain what happened at the La Pampilla refinery and report on the work being done to recover the areas affected by the oil spill. “We have committed to having the beaches clean before the end of February”, he pointed out to the host of the program who reminded him that Miriam Alegría, president of the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement (Oefa), had given the company a period of 10 days for the cleanup work.
“We are assuming the responsibility of cleaning all the beaches, cleaning the entire coastline, caring for marine fauna and, of course, caring for all the affected communities.”, said Fernández-Cuesta who also pointed out that the images of the animals affected by the disaster recorded on January 15 “cause pain and consternation” for him. “We are sorry something like this happened”, he added.
During his presentation, Repsol Peru’s representative admitted that the company did not react quickly because “they were not aware” of the magnitude of the disaster until the oil reached the beaches. “The containment work has been done as soon as the magnitude of the event became known and when the hydrocarbon began to reach the beaches. From then on we began to mobilize to clean the beaches”, he expressed. In addition, He described his lack of knowledge about the magnitude of the disaster as an “error of perception”.
“Surely we have made mistakes, the issue of the amount reported in a preliminary report, not having been able to see that there were oil slicks in the sea until the next day”, Fernández-Cuesta indicated in reference to the initial report of seven gallons of spilled oil, which over the hours became 6,000 barrels.
ORIGIN OF THE DISASTER
The oil spill was recorded a few days after reporting a volcanic eruption in Tonga, the same one that caused abnormal waves in some areas of the Peruvian literal. Repsol attributed the possible origin of the disaster to this phenomenon; however, several citizens who were in the sea that day declared that in that area of the city no strange behavior was recorded in the waters.
“Something extraordinary had to happen for two pipes to break. Something strange was happening in the sea of Callao, because never has a sudden, extraordinary force been capable of ripping out two pipes by the roots” Fernández-Cuesta pointed out in the aforementioned interview. “We are demonstrating from the first moment that we are going to assume all the responsibilities that this entails and we will assume those responsibilities that the civil and judicial bodies determine.”, he added.
“At the moment we are in the cleaning work and attend to the affected populations “, pointed out the representative of Repsol. When asked if the number of those affected has been quantified, he said: “We’re on that. The fishing associations tell us about their needs, they explain to us what they need and we try to give them or we are giving them what they need, some in terms of food vouchers”.
When asked about the toxic remains that would remain in the Peruvian sea after the cleanup, Fernández-Cuesta pointed out that “we are proud that all the beaches are stained and we are working to clean them up. I believe that they are not metals and there is nothing that cannot be corrected or fixed environmentally”.