Oil spill triggers regulatory action in Brazil


The recent oil spill that coated much of Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay has prompted the state’s environmental secretariat to crack down on Petrobras, the national oil company, and on other businesses believed to be polluting the famed estuary. Meanwhile, federal authorities, invoking Brazil’s new Environmental Crimes Law, have fined Petrobras $27.8 million—the country’s largest environmental penalty ever—for causing the Jan. 18 spill. The accident occurred when a pipeline that runs from a Petrobras refinery just outside Rio to an island storage terminal ruptured near the point where it enters the bay. Some 340,000 gallons (1.3 million liters) of fuel oil spewed out, creating a 15-square-mile (40-sq-km) slick in what ranks as Rio state’s most serious environmental accident in... [Log in to read more]

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