By RYAN DUBE
LIMA, Peru -- Peru's government has eased new environmental
standards in three cities following concerns that they could
shut down refineries that are unable to comply with the
The Environment Ministry issued a resolution over the
weekend that exempts the cities of Ilo, La Oroya and Arequipa
from tougher environmental standards aimed at
lowering the levels for sulfur-dioxide emissions.
The resolution, which was published in official gazette
El Peruano, says that an action plan should be created
to ensure a gradual decrease in the emissions of sulfur-dioxide in those
The southern city of Ilo is home to a copper refinery owned by Southern Copper.
The company recently sent a statement to its workers saying
that it may have to close the refinery if it had to comply with
the tougher environmental standards.
La Oroya, located in Peru's central highlands, is the site
of a poly-metallic smelter previously operated by Doe Run Peru,
which is owned by the US-based Renco Group.
Operations at the La Oroya plant, which has been known for
causing serious environmental pollution, were
suspended in 2009 due to financing troubles. The facility
restarted operations last year and are now being overseen by
the creditors of Doe Run Peru.
Dow Jones Newswires