By Lisbeth Barboza Ruiz.
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.
A new hydrocarbon stain that seems to have come out of the El Palito refinery was shown by ecologist Eduardo Klein, the director of the Remote Sensing Laboratory of the Simon Bolivar University (USB).
The expert shared a publication of a satellite image from November 29, at 12:30 p.m. showing that the stain, at least 18 kilometers long, extends in a northeasterly direction, which would be, as he mentioned, the fifth spill in four months from the El Palito refinery.
A few weeks ago, El Palito – one of the largest Venezuelan refinery- was ground zero for the largest oil spill in Venezuelan history, one that affected beaches where protected varieties of turtles nest and vast extensions of mangrove.
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The information was verified on the eastern coast of Falcon by members of the environmentalist’s foundation, who also shared geo-referential images of the affected areas of November, so they exposed that the affectation in all the external keys continues without a pronouncement by PDVSA.
Victoria Gonzalez, the representative in Falcón state of Azul Ambientalistas, lamented this new spill that continues affecting Morrocoy National Park. In her opinion, the situation indicates that neither the Ministry of Ecosocialism nor PDVSA itself has been able to control the oil spills that occur from El Palito. She considered that they must prepare for an environmental disaster because the state oil company is not complying with the safety protocols required for the containment of hydrocarbons.
He argued that PDVSA has never assumed the responsibility, which also lacks, she said, trained personnel or resources to permanently solve the constant spills that from El Palito are bringing environmental problems to the Falcon coast.
The Nicolas Maduro regime is busy trying to get people to partake in the polemical December 6th vote than safeguarding beaches and the environment, the activist said. “Now, they are in the campaign and are more worried about elections than about the environmental problems derived from the spills that have occurred since the end of July,” Gonzalez said.
Maria Gabriela Hernández, the president of the Environmental Commission of the National Assembly (NA), has been investigating the oil spills since August. She criticized the conditions in which this refinery maintains operations after a new oil spill got known to have occurred in the Golfo Triste on November 22.