The Navy will investigate information about a “possible” oil spill 438 km off the coast of Amapá, after receiving a letter from the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) with a request for analysis of the presence of vessels in the area where a leak had occurred.
“The information will be carefully analyzed and appropriate actions will be taken,” said the Navy, in a statement early this Monday evening (5). According to Força, the letter from Ibama was received late in the afternoon. “All information and complaints about environmental pollution will always be investigated by the Navy, in collaboration with other competent bodies”cites the note.
The document from the environmental agency was prepared on Friday (2), with a request to the Navy to analyze the presence of vessels where the spill had occurred. The area is outside the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), the strip that goes beyond the territorial sea and over which Brazil exercises sovereignty.
“The Navy regularly monitors and orders waterway traffic in inland waters and in Brazilian jurisdictional waters, a maritime space known as the Blue Amazon, in order to guarantee the safety of navigation, the protection of human life at sea and the prevention of environmental pollution. caused by vessels”said Força in the note.
The warning about the possibility of an oil spill was made by the Arayara institute, an NGO (non-governmental organization) that works against fossil fuels. The institute informed Ibama about a “possible” leak 438 km off the coast of Amapá. According to the NGO, the possibility is that the leak originated from a vessel. The letter was sent to Ibama on Tuesday (30). ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation) and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change were also notified.
There is no confirmation as to whether or not an oil leak exists, which would only be possible through an on-site check, according to the institute. This verification would also encounter difficulties, as the satellite image used for the suspected leak is from September 2023.
There are doubts about who should act in the event of an oil spill at a point outside the exclusive zone. The area is claimed by the country to extend the ZEE, according to the NGO.
The spot detected would be 170 km2, as stated in the letter from the Arayara institute. “So a relevant incident,” he said.
The institute used images from the Sentinel-1 satellite, processed by a monitoring system from the Skytruth organization. The chance that it is an oil slick is 70%, depending on the system used.
“We highlight the need for attention to the movement of oil vessels in the region and the detection of leak spots in neighboring countries”cites the letter. “This finding reinforces the urgency of more comprehensive monitoring and inspection, in order to prevent recurrences of this kind in the future.”
Closer to the coast of Amapá, at a distance of 160 to 179 km, is the so-called block 59, in which Petrobras and the Lula (PT) government want to prospect for oil in 2024. Ibama denied the venture a license in May 2023 , and the state-owned company appeals.
In 2019, oil slicks flooded beaches in the nine states of the Northeast, Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro, in the biggest environmental disaster to hit the Brazilian coast. Since the first detection of slicks, in August 2019, 5,300 tons of oil have been collected in 1,013 locations.
The spill reached 2,000 km of the Brazilian coast, and impacted the lives of fishermen, communities and those who depend on tourism. Fourteen conservation units were affected.
Federal Police investigations pointed to the Greek-flagged oil tanker NM Bouboulina as responsible for the oil release.
Source: O Tempo and Folha de S. Paulo
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