Authorities Identify 9,000 Polluted Sites, Mostly from Mining

Peru’s government reports it has identified almost 9,000 environmental liabilities, many of which are due to mining.

Mining director Edgardo Alva said that almost 1,200 of the contaminated sites are in the Ancash region, while 1,048 were in Puno and another 1,022 in Cajamarca. All three regions are important mining districts.

The inventory of the polluted sites was created this year, according to state news agency Andina.

In 2013, the government identified 203 sites that were considered high-risk due to the environmental damage. These sites are mainly located in Lima, Cajamarca, Puno, Ancash, Huancavelica, Pasco and Junin regions.

Congressman Josue Gutierrez said that authorities may look at providing mining companies with some benefits if they take on the responsibility of remediating the environmental damage.

Peru’s long history of mining, coupled with lax environmental controls during most of that period, resulted in the thousands of contaminated sites that were never cleaned up.

The sites are a concern for many rural communities as they can contaminate water supplies.

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