Environment

Navy report exposes unpreparedness in oil spill investigation

A recently unsealed report highlights the Navy's lack of preparation to combat the environmental tragedy

oil spill brazil coast northeast
Oil barrel along the coast of Sergipe. Photo: SECOM/SE

On August 30, 2019, oil pellets of unknown origin began appearing along Brazil’s northeastern coast. In the days and weeks that followed, locals found pools of oil on countless beaches in the region. Satellite images detected damage along 200 kilometers of the coastline. 

Almost two years on, investigators have not found a culprit, and no one has been punished. 

But unsealed documents have given us more information on the Navy’s probe, concluded in October 2020. Investigators identified three potential culprits for what was the biggest oil spill in Brazilian history: tankers Bouboulina (from Greece), VL Nichioh (currently...

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