Perenco guilty for environmental liabilities, Ecuador

Description

The oil rig Payamino 22 was operated by the French oil company Perenco in the Province of Orellana in Ecuador. Part of its infrastructure encroached upon the peasant Jose Daniel Jungal land property. This landholding as well as other properties are highly polluted. It affected the local inhabitants health as well as their livelihoods. In 2005 Jose Daniel Jungal along with other peasants reported the situation to the National Direction of Environmental Protection (DINAPA). After several inspections, this institution concluded that the two properties as well as the surrounded rivers had high levels of contamination. Moreover, it stated that the levels of noise in the area exceeded the legal limit. As such, it exhorted the oil company to remedy the two properties and compensate their owners. Perenco rejected the DINAPAs decision, so both peasants filed a lawsuit against Perenco. Finally in 2010 the Court ruled in favor of them and Perenco was obliged to remedy the area and compensate them. The significance of the case lies in the application of a principle of environmental liability in oil extraction damage in Ecuador, where there would be potentially so many other cases related to compnies like POetroecuador, Chevron-Texo, Repsol etc.

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Basic Data
NamePerenco guilty for environmental liabilities, Ecuador
CountryEcuador
ProvinceOrellana
SiteSan Luis Armenia
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesPerenco Ecuador Limited
Relevant government actorsNational Direction of Environmental Protection , Ministry of Energy and Mines
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFundacion Regional Asesora en Derechos Humanos-Inredh (Regional Human Rights Advisory Foundation)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.It is one of few cases in which a transnational oil company is found guilty of ecological damage and it is obliged to remedy the area.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Ecuadorian Constitution

Law on hydrocarbon

Law of Prevention and Control of Environmental Contamination

References

Guaranda Mendoza, Wilton. Acciones judiciales por derrames de petrleo. Anlisis de casos de justicialidad ambiental. In:
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Links

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Meta Information
ContributorSara Latorre
Last update08/04/2014
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