5578952121_c9ef2d6f3e_zColombian uthorities have declared an environmental emergency in a portion of Cartagena Bay, citing the risk posed to local inhabitants by solid-waste pollution.

The measure was adopted on Friday by Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Luz Helena Sarmiento and National Authority on Environmental Licenses Director Nubia Orozco.

It was taken due to poor management by the company Carman Internacional of solid waste produced by fish-processing companies, as well as the possible presence of hydrocarbons in 10 pools where Carman deposited that waste, Sarmiento said.

“We take responsible environmental and social measures and actions and that’s why (on Friday) we declared an environmental emergency over the activity carried out by the company Carman Internacional before there’s a catastrophe,” she added.

The Environment and Sustainable Development Ministry took over Carman’s waste-management activities after a storage-tank spill on September 5 that affected Cartagena Bay.

A dark, oily and putrid substance contaminated bodies of water, soil, vegetation and some animals and affected the health of inhabitants of the town of Turbana, according to a report by the Autonomous Regional Corporation of the Canal del Dique, which links Cartagena Bay and the Magdalena River in northern Colombia.

The report said the slick had spread to the bay.