By JEFF FICK
RIO DE JANEIRO -- State-run energy giant Petroleo
Brasileiro, or Petrobras, and two managers have been charged
with environmental crimes related to an
oil spill at the company's Reduc refinery, the federal
prosecutor's office said Monday.
The oil leak contaminated the Iguacu River, Guanabara Bay
and swamps surrounding the refinery with oil, residues and
chemicals, the prosecutor's office said.
Petrobras; Antonio Cesar de Aragao Paiva, the refinery's water and waste treatment
manager; and Carla Muniz Gamboa, the refinery's environmental protection manager,
were also charged with interfering with an investigation
conducted by Rio de Janeiro state environmental regulators.
Petrobras didn't immediately respond to requests for
Earlier this month, the head of the federal police environmental crimes unit in Rio de
Janeiro, Fabio Scliar, said in an interview that he had
completed an investigation into wastewater discharge at the refinery.
The months-long investigation uncovered evidence that water
contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants had been
released into the river.
At the time, Petrobras denied the allegations. All
contaminated water produced during the refining process is treated and
discarded according to law, the company said on Sept. 6.
Mr. Scliar also said his investigation raised questions
about how Petrobras treats and discards water produced along
with oil at offshore platforms.
Evidence of potential irregularities with treatment of the
wastewater was also forwarded to the federal prosecutor's
office, which plans to open a civil inquiry, Mr. Scliar said at
Petrobras said at the time that wastewater produced on
platforms is treated and discarded in accordance with Brazilian
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