MAC: Mines and Communities

Representatives Of Civil Society Demand Declaration Of Emergency In La Oroya, Peru

Published by MAC on 2007-01-12
Source: Prensa Oroya


Report of a session of the Commission of Environment and Ecology of the Peruvian Congress

12th January 2007

In the face of the failures by the company Doe Run Peru (DRP) to meet committments and the lack of serious oversight by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, representatives of the Movement for the Health of La Oroya (MOSAO) have demanded the declaration of a state of emergency in La Oroya as well as immediate actions to reduce the lead and other heavy metals contamination in the region.

This request was formulated on January 12 in the Peruvian Congress, to the Parliament members of the Commission of Andean, Amazonian and Afroperuvian Peoples and Environment and Ecology, in an extraordinary session with representatives of Doe Run Peru, and representatives of the project 'Mantaro Revive' (Mantaro Lives Again) and the MOSAO. The minister of Energy and Mining, Juan Valdiva, was invited to the meeting, but he excused himself from participating because he was outside Lima inaugurating electrical works.

The director of the project 'Mantaro Revive', Paula Meza, reported that the amount of sulphur dioxide in the river is still rising; "Currently they are discharging 380 thousand tons of sulphur dioxide and 846 tons of lead into the Mantaro, and this is why in December of 2005, the CONAM placed responsibility on DRP as a macro-emitter of these contaminants," she said.

At the same time she emphasized that rising levels of sulphur dioxide in the environment have caused a rise in acute respiratory infections in human population. She stated tool that persons older than 18 years in La Oroya are accumulating cancer-causing cadmium in their bodies because of contaminated gases generated in La Oroya.

On their part, representatives of MOSAO, Rosa Amaro and Carlos Callupe denounced the non-compliance with the environmental committments made by DRP in December 2006, and the lack of transparency in the process of impartial oversight. They asked for the declaration of Environmental Emergency so that the Peruvian state would be committed to enforcing compliance with current laws to safeguard the population of La Oroya.

Alberto Barandian, MOSAO technical roundtable coordinator, deemed as false statements made by the Vice President of Environmental Affairs of Doe Run Peru;, Jose Mogrovejo, who told the parliamentary commission that the company had complied with eight of the nine committments of their PAMA.

Barandiarn emphasised that the plant for precipitation of sulphuric acid is not operating, nor has the company complied with the cutting of fugative emissions or reduction of emissions of lead and arsenic, among other aspects. At the same time, he warned that Doe Run Peru's intention is to not take on their responsibilities for the remediation of environmental damages, instead passing these responsibilities on to the Peruvian state. "The people of Peru cannot pay for the legacy of environmental damages caused by this company" he said.
Home | About Us | Companies | Countries | Minerals | Contact Us
© Mines and Communities 2013. Web site by Zippy Info