Chevron's Legacy

Chevron's Legacy
The Pollution Chevron Left Behind...Shushufindi pit 38. Chevron's scientists found no contamination at this pit.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Next Time Chevron Tells You Texaco Cleaned Its Share Of The Pits, Ask Them About Atacapi 5.

The next time Chevron tells you Texaco cleaned its share of the pits, ask them about Atacapi 5.

Chevron’s main defense in a $27 billion lawsuit for oil contamination is the 1995 remediation agreement with the government of Ecuador that released Texaco from government claims in exchange for cleaning up oil pits built by Texaco to store the toxic sludge left over from drilling.

What Chevron doesn’t tell you is that Texaco failed to live up to its side of the agreement. The pits Texaco “cleaned” tested as high or even higher for contamination than the pits Texaco did not clean. At many pits, Texaco only poured dirt into the pits, without cleaning them out and lining the pits first.

Here’s a photo of dirt laden with oil, dug only three inches deep from the pit at the well site, Atacapi 5. Contamination tests taken by the court-appointed expert at this site found a total petroleum hydrocarbon level of 21,976 parts per million — 21 times over the legal limit of 1,000 TPH.




The chart below lists other so-called “cleaned” pits that Texaco said it remediated, but clearly did not based on the illegal levels of TPH.

SITE

CHEVRON’S CLAIM

TPH

NUMBER OF TIMES

OVER LEGAL LIMIT

1

Sacha 18

Complete Remediation

35,380

35.3

2

Sacha 65

Complete Remediation

32,444

32.4

3

Shushufindi 27

Complete Remediation

26,413

26.4

4

Atacapi 5

Complete Remediation

21,976

21.9

5

Sacha 21

Complete Remediation

17,000

17

6

Shushufindi 21

Complete Remediation

16,033

16

7

Shushufindi 67

Complete Remediation

13,587

13.5

8

Shushufindi 45A

Complete Remediation

13,290

13.2

9

Shushufindi 48

Complete Remediation

13,000

13

10

Shushufindi 7

Complete Remediation

12,715

12.7

11

Shushufindi 25

Complete Remediation

10,956

10.9

12

Shushufindi 27

Complete Remediation

10,452

10.4

13

Ron 1

Complete Remediation

9,632

9.6

14

Lago Agrio 5

Complete Remediation

8,830

8.8

15

Sacha 94

Complete Remediation

8,700

8.7

16

Aguarico 8

Complete Remediation

8,183

8.1

17

Sacha 57

Complete Remediation

8,100

8.1

18

Sacha 65

Complete Remediation

7,519

7.5

19

Sacha 53

Complete Remediation

7,430

7.4

20

Shushufindi 13

Complete Remediation

7,415

7.4

21

Sacha 51

Complete Remediation

7,200

7.2

22

Shushufindi 45A

Complete Remediation

5,721

5.7

23

Sacha 94

Complete Remediation

5,600

5.6

24

Shushufindi 25

Complete Remediation

5,574

5.5

25

Guanta 4

Complete Remediation

5,510

5.5

26

Shushufindi 7

Complete Remediation

5,334

5.3

27

Shushufindi 48

Complete Remediation

5,000

5

28

Shushufindi 18

Complete Remediation

4,881

4.8

29

Lago Agrio 2

Complete Remediation

4,777

4.7

30

Auca 19

Complete Remediation

4,014

4

31

Yuca 28

Complete Remediation

3,876

3.8

32

Shushufindi 46

Complete Remediation

3,697

3.6

33

Sacha 56

Complete Remediation

3,600

3.6

34

Sacha 6

Complete Remediation

3,300

3.3

35

Shushufindi 21

Complete Remediation

3,133

3.1

36

Sacha 51

Complete Remediation

3,100

3.1

37

Shushufindi 48

Complete Remediation

3,000

3

38

Sacha 10

Complete Remediation

2,802

2.8

39

Shushufindi 48

Complete Remediation

2,700

2.7

40

Sacha 57

Complete Remediation

2,400

2.4

41

Shushufindi 24

Complete Remediation

2,180

2.1

42

Parahuacu 3

Complete Remediation

2,065.12

2.065

43

Shushufindi 24

Complete Remediation

2,000

2

44

Shushufindi 8

Complete Remediation

1,600

1.6

45

Lago Agrio 6

Complete Remediation

1,300

1.3

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cancer Leads To Woman’s Death After Living Near Chevron Oil Site For 30 Years


Modesta Briones



The Chevron Pit is featuring the first of many personal stories about how the oil contamination left behind by Texaco has impacted the people living near the oil company’s former oil sites. Chevron purchased Texaco in 2001.

Our first story is about Modesta Briones, who passed away not long after she and her husband, Segundo Salinas, gave an interview to authors Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak for their book Crude Reflections. Other stories can be found in this book and can be obtained here:


http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100896180

Modesta Briones and her husband Segundo Salinas
Texaco Parahuaco Oil Well #2/ Parahuaco

Modesta Briones: It started with a little sore on my toe, which grew a bit larger. The water near my house, where I washed clothes, was full of crude and the sore grew bigger, as if the flesh were rotting. It didn’t hurt, but I couldn’t stand its stink. I had a fever and chills.

Segundo Salinas: In Quito they said it was a cancerous tumor, and they had to amputate her leg, or the cancer would spread throughout her body and she could die.

Modesta Briones: When the doctor told me he was cutting off my leg, I was so sick that I thought I was going to die.



He amputated, and the doctor said I should return for a checkup, but I haven’t gone back because I don’t have the money.

I’m having a hard time getting used to living without my foot. I can’t walk with crutches. My husband, daughter and son help me, but it’s a hardship for them. Now, I no longer leave the house. Since the operation, I’ve only left my house once, to request an I.D. card. After losing my leg, I regret moving to the Amazon, but what can one do?

Segundo Salinas: We’ve lived here some 30 years. We moved here looking for a better future because there was unoccupied land for sale at a good price.

Texaco had already drilled five oil wells. In those days, the oil companies didn’t respect any laws. Nor did they respect us. They would say, “This is government land and we’ve made a deal with the government. And it doesn’t include you, so leave.” They would arrive, decide they wanted to drill somewhere, and then drill. They brought in machines and crushed our crops.

There are three toxic waste pits near my house, so many animals died. When my horses and chickens fell in, I pulled them out, but they stopped eating and died.

Some of the oil wells here have flares that burn off gas. The smoke rises, and when the rains come, black rain with a rusty smell falls back to earth, contaminating the land and the water.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Father of Six Moved To Find A Good Job With Texaco, Died of Cancer After Living Near Oil Well

The Chevron Pit is featuring a series of personal stories about how the oil contamination left behind by Chevron has impacted the people living near Texaco’s former oil sites.

This story is about Luz Maria Martin and her deceased husband Angel Toala, who died of stomach cancer. Senora Martin gave an interview to authors Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak for their book Crude Reflections. Other stories and a copy of the book can be obtained here:


Angel Toala

Luz Maria Martin, widow of Angel Toala, who died of stomach cancer
Texaco Shushufindi Oil Field/ Shushufindi

My husband, Angel Toala, and I came here to the Amazon 23 years ago from the mountains of San Domingo. We came because he was told you could earn good money with the [oil] companies here. We have six children.

Angel worked on the pipeline for Texaco for five years, and that’s how we’ve been able to buy this farm. Mostly we grew coffee, plantains, yucca, some cacao.

There’s [Texaco] pumping station near our house and a [Texaco] oil well 200 yards from our house, and downstream is a lake where the crude oil they dumped gathers. We never let the animals drink the water. A lot of times we found dead fish in it. Our coffee plants there turned yellow and died.

We got our drinking water from the rain, and, when it didn’t rain, from the stream. It had a funny taste and sometimes you could see oil floating on top. We bathed there and washed our clothes there. We knew the water was bad for our health, but what could we do? There wasn’t water anywhere else.

I don’t think the oil company (Texaco) worried if they contaminated the water. We farmers didn't realize the water was contaminated, and certainly it was not in oil company’s interest to tell us that.

About three years ago, my husband started having stomach pains, slight pains when he ate. He couldn’t eat as much as he used to. (Crying) Certain foods made him feel bad, and he couldn’t eat meat, or fish. About a year ago he started losing weight.

(Crying) Then his back began hurting, and his muscles. He felt tired. At the end, he couldn’t take the sun. He was so tired; he didn’t have any energy.

In Quito he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. We took him to the Eugenio Espejo Hospital but the doctors said that it was too late; nothing could be done.

(Crying) The last three months before he died, he couldn’t do anything. He just lay in the hammock.


Angel Toala

Friday, March 5, 2010

California Legislators Plan To Travel To Ecuador To See Chevron’s Contamination


After meeting with members of the California State Legislature, tribal leader Emergildo Criollo and officials with the Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch report that several state legislators said they would travel to see the oil contamination in Ecuador’s rainforest, left by Texaco which Chevron purchased in 2001. One of the state legislators, State Senator Loni Hancock, represents the district where Chevron is headquartered. Below is RAN’s blog about the meeting.



CA Lawmakers want to help make Chevron clean up Ecuador

posted by Brianna in RAN General on March 4th, 2010


Last night, Emergildo Criollo, the Indigenous leader from Ecuador, met with California legislators and asked for their support in the 16+ year campaign to demand Chevron remediate massive oil contamination affecting over 30,000 people. Along with supporters from Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network, Emergildo spoke with lawmakers about the impact of California’s largest company in Ecuador, and what they can do to support his community’s call for environmental cleanup and action to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Senator Fran Pavley and Assemblymember Jared Huffman hosted the reception in Sacramento entitled, “From Ecuador to California: California’s largest corporation, one of the world’s worst oil related disasters, and what California’s legislators can do.”



Despite the pouring rain, the reception was packed with Senators, Assemblymembers, and their staff. Lawmakers in attendance included Senator Fran Pavley, Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblyman Manny Perez, Assemblyman Paul Fong, Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, and Assemblyman Jared Huffman. These key leaders from both the Environmental and Latino Caucuses not only listened to Emergildo’s story, but spoke of their desire to support the people of Ecuador who are suffering and dying because of Chevron’s operations.

Assemblymember Jared Huffmand spoke of the need “to remedy a very serious environmental and human tragedy.”

At the reception, Emergildo shared his story. He told the lawmakers about how he was only 6 years old when Chevron (then Texaco) began oil drilling in his community. He spoke of how his family was forced to relocate because of the contamination. About he had to part centimeters of oil off of the river to drink the water. About how he has lost two sons and nursed a wife through uterine cancer because of the contamination. His family drank, bathed, and fished in water that was poisoned by oil dumping.

After telling his story, Emergilod asked all of the Assemblymembers and Senators for their help and invited them to visit his home and see for themselves the devastation Chevron’s behavior has caused.

Senator Loni Hancock, from the Contra Costa district where Chevron is headquartered, said she “would like to come and visit. This is an international issue and an issue here as well.”

Assemblymember Manny Perez had a heartfelt exchange with Emergildo in Spanish and lawmaker after lawmaker stood up and said they wanted to learn more and to see what action they could take.

We are excited about the possibilities moving forward and look forward to working closely with California’s legislators to make sure California’s largest corporation is held responsible for cleaning up one of the largest environmental disasters of all time.