Major oil spill is latest environmental disaster to hit Brazil

An oil spill of unspecified and mysterious origins have hit the Northeastern coasts of Brazil. Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has publicly commented that he the spill likely originated from criminals, but have not indicated further who may be responsible.

If it was a shipwreck, oil would still be coming up. It is more probable that something was dumped there criminally

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil

While Bolsonaro did not rule out that the spill was caused by a country, he refrained from making any direct accusations.

I can’t accuse a country. If it turns out it’s not that country I don’t want to create problems with other countries.

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil

Reuters reported today that the CEO of Brazil’s oil company Petrobas denied that the cause of the spill was due to a tanker cleaning operation from Petrobas. A study from Petrobas confirms that the spill is made of crude oil, but it does not originate from Brazil. Furthermore, the CEO of Petrobas said that he does not believe it is the role of Petrobas to investigate the origin of the spill, and that this should be done by the police.

The extent of the spill is being investigated by the Minister of Environment, Ricardo Salles, who flew over the coast of Sergipe to assess the impact. The oil spill had at that point already reached 132 beaches in 61 municipalities and due to the extent of the spill the government of Sergipe declared a state of emergency. So far the clean up operation has managed to collect around 100 tons of material.