Colombia’s environmental authority fined US coal giant Drummond for $3.5 million on Thursday for the miner’s dumping of more than 2000 tons of coal in the Caribbean Sea near the city of Santa Marta.
Additionally, Drummond was forced to clean up the waters and beaches that were affected by the illegal coal dumping in January.
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Colombia’s environment minister, Luz Helena Sarmiento, told press that the government is seeking “that with the amplification of this sanction — the first of its kind in our country — this will not happen again, all corrections and made and all risks associated with production activities” are minimized.
Drummond will have a year to extract the dumped coal from the Caribbean sea floor and clean up the beaches stained by coal.
The US coal company initially tried to cover up the massive coal dump, but was photographed by a local environmental activist and journalist. According to Drummond, it was forced to dump the coal as the ship carrying the load was sinking.