Chevron in Ecuador

The archive of the Clean Up Ecuador campaign website

Sacha-53 Inspection Results (Spanish)

By Ing. Edison Camino Castro

Built in 1974, this is a well site that ChevronTexaco often shows to journalists as a model of its remediation. The company covered the pits surrounding this well with dirt without first removing the toxins; the sites appear harmless, as they are now covered with vegetation that hides the danger underneath. Results of these analyses from samples taken from two pits on this site are as follows:

  • Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPHs), which include hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals derived from petroleum that also can produce genetic defects, was found at 1005 times the maximum levels permitted under Ecuadorian law;
  • Chromium 6, a carcinogen Texaco used to perforate and unclog its wells, was found six times the maximum levels permitted;
  • Cadmium and Phenol, both carcinogens, each were found at nine times the maximum levels permitted;
  • Lead, which in addition to being a carcinogen impacts the central nervous system and can affect the memory when ingested even at small levels, was found at three times the levels permitted.
  • ChevronTexaco's own results at SA-53 pits showed six samples contained TPHs at ten or more times the maximum allowed in Ecuador.
  • One soil sample taken by ChevronTexaco showed levels of TPHs at 19.18 times the maximum allowable amount permitted by Ecuadorian law; another showed levels at 15.15 above permissible norms.
  • A total of 22 samples taken by ChevronTexaco at the site indicated levels of toxins over Ecuadorian norms.