Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 22:28 GMT
Grim report into oil spill




By Stephen Cviic in Sao Paulo

Brazilian authorities say the bay of Guanabara in Rio de Janiero could take more than 10 years to recover from last week's massive leak from an oil pipeline.

In a report released on Thursday, the environmental agency IBAMA says the spill has seriously damaged the bay's ecosystems and many plants in the mangrove swamps are dying.

Meanwhile the oil company responsible for the spill, Petrobras, has paid a fine of more then $25m.

The report, released more than a week after 1,300 tons of oil leaked into Guanabara Bay, makes grim reading.


1,300 tons leaked into the bay
According to the government's environmental agency, seabirds coated in oil have lost the heat insulation from their feathers, crabs and fish have been poisoned and may no longer be safe to eat. And larvae and fish eggs have also been affected.

The report says the entire food chain in Brazil's most famous bay has been damaged and it may take more than 10 years for the area to recover.

For the people of Rio de Janiero the only consolation is that the spill has not affected the city's famous ocean beaches.

No environmental disaster has ever caused such a big public reaction in Brazil and Petrobras is feeling the pressure.

Image damaged

Prosecutors at federal and state level are investigating the refinery in Guanabara Bay where the leak took place.

It is already clear that it was operating without an evironmental licence.

The beleagured Petrobras President, Phillipe Reichstul, is trying hard to reassure the public that the company is changing its ways.

But this once proud state run enterprise has had its image seriously damaged.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Americas Contents

Country profiles

See also:
24 Jan 00 |  Americas
Brazil fights tide of oil
20 Jan 00 |  Americas
Brazil oil giant blasted over leak

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories