Sanction against Chevron for environmental violations maintained

(foresthints.news) - In mid-May this year, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, which operates in Sumatra’s Riau province, was hit with a strict environmental sanction by Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, having been proven to have committed 25 environmental violations.

The imposition of this government-enforced administrative sanction on Chevron compelled the New York-listed company to fulfill legal compliance with regard to the series of environmental violations it had perpetrated, which were uncovered on the spot by the ministry’s law enforcement team.

“The strict sanction against Chevron was intended to ensure that its operations are at a level of full legal compliance. This forms part of the ministry’s efforts to make sure the corporate sector is operating on the right legal track,” explained Rasio “Roy” Ridho Sani, the Ministry’s Law Enforcement Director General.

Roy, who signed the administrative sanction against Chevron on behalf of Minister Siti Nurbaya, recently conveyed this key point to foresthints.news at the ministry building (Dec 4).

“As of now, the administrative sanction has yet to be lifted, meaning that Chevron has not fully implemented the 25 orders from the minister correlating to the 25 environmental violations they were proven to have committed,” Roy asserted.

The director general gave an example of one of the environmental violations perpetrated by Chevron, outlining how the American multinational energy corporation had failed to comply with regulations on the handling of toxic and hazardous waste, involving its water treatment plant among other things. 

The two photographs below, taken by the ministry’s law enforcement team during its inspection in early September last year, demonstrate some examples of the bad environmental practices in which Chevron was engaged.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that 25 orders were issued to the company demanding that it take environmental improvement and recovery measures.

16 legal bases

The ministry’s law enforcement team used 16 legal bases as references in confirming that Chevron’s operations were non-compliant. 

“Instances of water, waste, soil and air pollution were among the key environmental violations committed by Chevron in its operations,” Roy pointed out.

The following two photographs, also taken in early September 2016, highlight the relevance of the severe environmental sanction imposed on Chevron by the ministry. By early this month, as noted by Roy, there was no sign of full legal compliance on Chevron’s part and thus no chance of the sanction being lifted.

The ministry’s director general pointed to another example whereby the soil of a residential settlement and its surrounding environment had been contaminated by oil due to Chevron’s poor operations.

“13 of the 25 environmental violations committed by Chevron are related to its failure in fulfilling legal compliance with respect to waste management,” Roy lamented. 

On its website, Chevron states that “In Indonesia and around the globe, we operate our oil and gas operations in accordance with applicable environmental laws and regulations”.

The Chevron’s statement, however, is essentially baseless given the environmental sanction imposed on the company by the Indonesian government, and the fact that it has yet to be lifted because of an ongoing lack of compliance.

As previously reported by foresthints.news (Dec 4), another multinational US corporation, Freeport, has also been proven to have committed environmental violations, in this case 48 separate items, thereby also incurring sanctions from Minister Siti Nurbaya.