Published On: Fri, Aug 31st, 2012

PDVSA must pay for costs

WILLEMSTAD – PDVSA has to pay for the costs of the oil spill at Jan Kok, according to demissionary Minister Jacinta Constancia (Environment and Nature). "A fine of 5000 guilders is not enough, PDVSA has to pay for the cleaning, hiring of experts and so on."

Constancia stated that PDVSA is not jumping to pay for these costs. "PDVSA is of the opinion that the costs are high, but it is still on their plate," says the minister. She will not rule legal actions out. "There is tremendous damage done  to the corals and the salt flats of Jan Kok, that you don’t fix with a 5000 guilders fine." At this time, an outdated environmental legislation is in force, whereby a fine of 5000 guilders is imposed on PDVSA in the case of oil pollution.

Since last week, Jan Kok is considered an oil disaster area, after oil from a tank in  Bullenbaai flowed from the sea into the area. While the leak was already discovered on 18 August by Isla Refinery, the Minister was  informed until last Saturday. "I'm took action right away and contacted the refinery",  said Constancia. The Minister stressed during a press conference at Fort Amsterdam that she is on top of the situation.

"This must not happen again. PDVSA has his experts but we use our own experts too", says Constancia. One of those experts is Mark Vermeij of Carmabi, who meanwhile has published two reports on the consequences of the disaster for our nature. "The government focuses on prevention and minimizing the damage. This must never happen again. "The Minister said that the people will be informed after the experts have finished with their research. Constancia also recognizes that there is no emergency plan and there was a late reaction following the discovery of the leak. "We will do everything that is possible to prevent this in the future".

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