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By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Federal Police are investigating Petrobras’ Duque de Caxias Refinery (Reduc), located just on the edge of metropolitan Rio de Janeiro to the north of the city, for accusations of environmental crimes.

Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The Petrobras building in downtown Rio, photo by Rodrigo Soldon/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Fabio Scliar, from the Federal Police Department of Environment and Heritage, explained that tests carried out by technicians from the State Environmental Institute (INEA) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ) on the River Iguaçu in Baixada Fluminense, had found high levels of pollutants during December 2010 and in August of this year.

Scliar said, “The tests proved that the material dumped in the River Iguaçu was pollutant, and violated the limits set by environmental law. The effluent included levels of oil and grease which were far higher than the regulations permit. Levels of phenols, solids and sediments were also above the allowed limit. Everything was wrong.”

He continued, “There is no doubt that I will indict the people at Reduc. An environmental crime has been committed. There are people there who must be held responsible.

Petrobras, which is the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue and headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, denies the charges and the case has been referred to the Public Prosecutors Office (MPF).

Read more (in Portuguese).

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