Mexico’s president announced that he expects to have a new action plan in the next couple of weeks to better address a toxic spill that fouled a river nine years ago and was blamed on one of the country’s top mining and transportation companies.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters at a regular government press conference that funds allocated by conglomerate Grupo Mexico for cleanup and remediation appeared to be insufficient, adding that meetings over the next few days should yield a new “proposal” that officials will present to the company.
“We’re resolving it, looking for options and alternatives,” he said.
Later on Wednesday, Grupo Mexico said in a statement that remediation work in the river succeeded and is backed by scientific studies.
Last week, Lopez Obrador’s environment ministry called the company’s remediation efforts insufficient and stated that the Sonora River, located in northern Mexico, still showed the presence of contaminants from the spill, nearly a decade after what many consider to be one of the country’s worst ecological disasters.
Grupo Mexico, the country’s top copper producer, dismissed the ministry’s assertions as false.
“The alleged findings from tests presented last week have no link to the 2014 event. They omit current sources of pollution such as illegal mining (and) the discharge of untreated sewage,” according to the company statement.
The company also pointed to a government resolution from last May that it said showed that the river’s water quality had already returned to its pre-spill levels.