Sunday, September 20, 2009
This one just about floored me
Trafigura must pay for clean up of Irory Coast dump. The company paid the government $200 million for the clean up and is now required to pay 30,000 residents of the area $1500 each for their injuries. The companies contention in the settlement was that this waste did no more damage to these people than "flu like symtoms". In looking at just was reported here I can tell you that what was dumped can cause more than just temporary symptoms. Caustic wash waters can permenantly burn skin. the components from gasoline can cause cancer, nerve and kidney damage. And if this stuff was so harmless why are the guys in the photo wearing level B protection?
I checked the company. Trafigura is a bunch of paper shufflers. Their claim to fame is risk management i.e. cutting the costs and lessening the financial risks for companies in the oil, metals, and materials business. So in this case some oil company hired them to get rid of waste. They put it out for bid. The lowest bid gets the contract and it doesn't matter if that's some fly by night outfit because by that time the costs are so low that any fines would be nothing compared to the profits to be made and the insurance covers it. I could just about calculate how much waste was dumped by how long it took them to dump it.
Nothing like using Africa as a toilet