Environmental health officials plan Marañón water tests

Peru’s environmental health office Digesa will take water tests at the Marañón river with the Loreto’s regional health office Diresa to test for contamination from an oil spill caused last June, state news agency Andina reported.

The agencies are scheduled to take the samples on Nov. 15 and transport them to experts who will determine water quality in the Marañón, according to the Digesa’s general director, Edward Cruz Sanchez.

The oil spill in June was the result of an accident by a ship owned by Argentinean oil company Pluspetrol.

Earlier this week, indigenous residents held protests by blocking parts of the river to demand the oil company fulfill social commitments it made following the spill.

The blockade was lifted following a meeting with regional authorities and water traffic is functioning normal on the Marañón.

The demonstrators had a list of demands that included cleaning the river and the construction of a hospital specializing in pollution issues, among others.

Authorities plan to meet on November 3 to discuss the issues in further detail.

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