People cover their noses claiming contamination, but legally there is not a crime.
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By Luis Correa Castillo and Nelson Peñaherrera Castillo
Vía, that divides Sullana and bellavista Cities (just the border on the
photograph, actually), built after Cieneguillo Creek searched its
ancient course during El Niño of 1983. The work allows to evacuate the
rain water of the whole metropolitan area, but it works as a waste
water canal when it is dry.
Photo by Estany Tineo / FACTORTIERRA.NET
SULLANA, Peru - The second largest metropolitan area in Piura Region seems to be attacked by stench from everywhere: vinasse steam from
the west, processes of hydrobiological products from its Industrial
Zone, waste water inside the city especially along the known Canal Vía,
and even the Chira River's reservoir created by the Sullana
The people claim air contamination, but technically there is not an imputable crime and legal tools are very limited.
In other countries, the crime is called odoriferous or olfactory contamination, when certain odors affect our rights to a clean environment, what does not appear highly defined in Peruvian legislation.
Without Legal Base
existent national laws regulating many environmental crimes, no
one disposition sets up a ruling about odoriferous
contamination; they only rules around "... the one infringing
upon laws, rules, or allowed top limits, provocates or makes
downloads, emissions, emissions of toxic gases, emissions of noise,
leakings, pouring, or polluting radiations in the atmosphere,...
will be repressed with privative punishment of freedom not less
than four years, not more than six years, and 100 to 600 day fine."
(Penal Code's 304th article)
We maybe could
typify the polluting odor into the polluting emissions crime, and that
would not be something wild unless both concepts were consequence of
one each other but different on assumption. In other words, if it
were true that the source generates polluting emissions, the
consequence is it would generate bad odor, and the legal trick comes
emission can contain several molecules those not necessarily
generate polluting odor, and how do you identify them? The answer is
that Peru does not have the necessary technology to identify the
polluting molecules or odoriferous molecules,
as some issue's scholars point out. Consequently, we know the bad odor
exists, but as we can not identify scientifically them and much
less framing them into a legal type, , there is no crime.
Regarding and as
much as FACTORTIERRA.NET has researched, it seems there is unavailable
equipment in Peru to analyze odoriferous molecules, what does happen in
many European ccountries like Netherlands, France, and Belgium, Japan
in Asia, and not going so far in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and
Chile in Americas.
In those countries, the Olfactometry has consolidated its technical basis to measure the odor in quantity, what gets real through an olfactometric study, which provides data about concentration, odor intensity, and sensation that produces across the people.
As much as
FACTORTIERRA.NET has researched, there are not scientific studies
aboarding the odoriferous contamination in Sullana, so there are not
reference tools for tempting a local regulation even, beyond the claims
of the neighborhood and some news reports.
The closer cases those the social demand made the lawmakers proposed a new reform in environmental policy happened in Coronel
Commune, Chile, due to the emissions of its fish industry,
and also because of the stench produced by the pork
pouring in many sectors at O'Higgins region, or the one lived by the neighbors of La Farfana's Waste Water Treatment Plant in Maipú Commune, Santiago Metropolitan Region.
The law project
that typifies the atmospheric contamination by bad odors or olfactive
contamination fundamentally looks for getting the protection of
the people before the olfactory contamination, having as main
guarantee the life quality of the people and the right to live in
an environment free of contamination through the regulation of
2) To Give an
answer to the existent social demand for regulating the
environmental contamination by bad odor or olfactive contamination;
3) To get the protection of the people before the olfactive contamination through legal instruments .
The new big
question is why did Chile and other countries get focused their
efforts on this problem and Peru did not? Simply because before the
lack of laws regulating the odor issue, we have the impression that
this kind of contamination will not reach the whole nation, and much
less it was the motivation of a national claim from citizenship. A
successful example of social demand was the fight against nocive
noises or animal mistreatment, those led to their regulation.
Sullana seems to be hands-tied, or just covering its nose said
otherwise, but that does not block the citizenship defends its right to
a quiet life and a totallyclean environment, even stench-free.
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