Vaca Muerta: 24-hour blockade of the toxic oil dump

Vaca Muerta: 24-hour blockade of the toxic oil dump

After 24 hours, Greenpeace continues to block the toxic and illegal landfill in Vaca Muerta. There are more than 40 activists at the Treater S.A plant, in Neuquén, who are calling for the closure of this illegal dump in which oil companies such as Shell, Total and YPF dump polluting waste. The population of Añelo, the nearby agricultural fields and the Neuquén River could be exposed to contamination due to the irregularities of the installation.

“We chose to keep our protest overnight to show that the pollution is constant; the ecosystem is in danger, the oil companies that dump their toxic waste in this garbage dump are the executioner of northern Patagonia. This is one more example of how the oil industry operates in the field: Vaca Muerta cannot continue to be a sacrifice zone, ”said Leonel MIngo, a member of Greenpeace's Climate and Energy program.

The investigation of the case published last December by Greenpeace revealed the illegalities of the 13.6-hectare toxic landfill, equivalent to 15 soccer fields, with hazardous waste that is not treated with the corresponding regulations required by the Neuquén Provincial Law No. 1875 (one). According to the scientific report of the environmental organization, the toxic discharge is not only being deposited directly on the ground without a proper drainage ditch and without waterproofing lining, but Treater does not consider the safety of the workers.

In addition, this landfill is located just 5 km from the city of Añelo, 4.9 km from agricultural fields and 3.7 km from the Neuquén River, violating Decree No. 2263 of the Neuquén Provincial Law (2), and the General Law of Environment N ° 24051 (3).

During the investigation, in addition, Greenpeace took samples of the waste in which high levels of pollution were found that show the lack of protection and direct contamination in the soils and potentially in the layers. Hydrocarbons and volatile components were found in the waste that could reach communities near the landfill (4).

In support of the environmental organization, the Mapuche Confederation of Neuquén accompanied the claim and last November they filed a complaint with the objective of having the Public Prosecutor's Office initiate an investigation to determine possible criminal responsibilities (5).


1- The landfill does not have an adequate drainage channel, it is full and overflowing, and the bottom and the walls are not covered with a waterproofing system (in contravention of Art. 23; Chapter III of the General Directorate of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Draft regulation of Law No. 1,875 [4]).

2- The plant is located less than 8 km from homes and less than 5 km from crops (in contravention of Art. 39 of Provincial Decree No. 2,263 of Neuquén)

3- Waste is undoubtedly dangerous, and the National Law on Hazardous Waste 24.051 [1] defines it as “all waste that can cause damage, directly or indirectly, to living beings or contaminate the soil, water, atmosphere or environment. in general". Article 27 of the General Environmental Law [2] defines environmental damage as "any relevant alteration that negatively modifies the environment, its resources, the balance of ecosystems, or collective assets or values."

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