“During that period Texaco dumped 18.5 billion gallons of formation waters, a toxic byproduct of the drilling process, directly into a vast uninhabited area of the northern Ecuadorian Amazon in contravention of industry standards of the time.” – Amazon Watch Press Release: 6/4/07
Texaco Petroleum always properly treated this naturally occurring “produced water” that comes to the surface during oil production before discharging it.
Moreover, Texaco Petroleum’s practice of releasing treated produced water into the environment was legal in Ecuador and in other countries like Venezuela and Colombia. Stream and river samples collected during the Judicial Inspections show that all of the water meets USEPA drinking water standards for hydrocarbons or metals except for those locations where Petroecuador had recently had a major spill. Notably, Mr. Cabrera did not take a single sample of water from a river, creek or stream. In 1998 the World Bank called the treatment and discharge of produced water an acceptable practice, and as recently as 2003, 800 million barrels of produced water were discharged worldwide (OGP, 2004) – 100 million in South America alone. Much of the 30 million barrels of produced water discharged in the Western U.S. was actually used in agricultural irrigation and wildlife watering holes.