Published March 25, 2013
LIMA, Peru – Peru's government has declared an environmental state of emergency in an Amazon jungle region due to years of contamination from oil drilling it blames on Pluspetrol, the country's biggest oil and natural gas producer.
Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal deemed inadequate Argentine-owned Pluspetrol's cleanup of oil spills in the Pastaza river region bordering Ecuador.
Local indigenous groups have been complaining for years about the contamination and the government's failure to address it.
Pulgar-Vidal said Pluspetrol would be obliged to clean up contaminated jungle. He did not describe the extent of the contamination.
The government announced the 90-day emergency on Monday, a week after a congressional commission toured the region.
Pluspetrol has been operating there since 2001. Previously, Occidental Petroleum operated there.
Pluspetrol did not immediately respond to requests for comment.