In a shocking twist, it turns out that the nastiest oil story of the week goes to a company called Trafigiura that, back in 2006, had the brilliant idea of transporting their illegal toxic sludge to the Ivory Coast where they could all forget about all about it and “get their lives back.” Meanwhile, in Africa, the sludge caused the deaths of 16 people, gave babies oozing sores, and sickened thousands, not least with its smell. (Think “rotten eggs, garlic, and petroleum.”)
Today, a Dutch court imposed the maximum fine, $1.28 million, upon the company, but given this bit reported by the New York Times, it sounds like the Ivory Coast deserves a little something more. Like maybe an apology, to start?
The court also found the company guilty of covering up the hazardous nature of the waste when it first tried to unload its unusually toxic slops, which included high levels of caustic soda, sulfur compounds and hydrogen sulfide, in the port of Amsterdam. The nauseating sludge was pumped back on board after the company balked at treatment costs, and the ship, the Probo Koala, left with its load.
BP is all, Whoo-hoo, Summer Friday!