In Ecuador, E-Tech works much of the time as visiting faculty of the Department of Geology and Petroleum Engineering at the hiypublic Escuela Politecnica Nacional (EPN) in Quito.  2016-17 field work includes both evaluation of petroleum impacts for the Prefecture of Pastaza and development of community environmental monitoring that when possible will include traditional indigenous knowledge as part of community monitoring along with technical monitoring (both citizen science tools including biological monitoring and utilizing laboratory analysis).  We continue to work with the Prefecture of Zamora Chinchipe and local communities to examine proposed large-scale, fast-tracked metal mining projects in the highly biodiverse Cordillera del Condor region in the Amazonian headwaters of southeastern Ecuador. Much of our work has focused on evaluating potential water quality impacts from the Chinese-owned Mirador open-pit copper project.  In the past, E-Tech conducted Spanish-language analyses, with independent funding, for a Shuar federation and local communities, the governor/prefect of the province of Zamora Chinchipe, and in the past the national ministry of the environment (MAE). At the request of indigenous federations and confederations and the province of Zamora Chinchipe, We are nvestigating how to establish independent, long-term water monitoring with the communities, if possible with EPN,  E-Tech evaluated "informal" smaller scale monitoring pollution impacts in Esmeralda. In the past, we also conducted technical evaluations for the Chevron-Texaco case and limited analysis of best oilfield practices in Block 31 near Yasuni National Park.

Projects

E Tech Ecuador Oct-Nov 2016:  Morona Santiago mining forum and Escuela Politecnica Nacional

 

 Mirador Project (Copper Mining)

Evaluation of the proposed Mirador copper project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and associated documents. 2011-2014.

On November 16 and 18, 2015, E-Tech International presented technical models of the impacts of a tailings dam failure downstream of the Chinese Ecuacorriente Mirador Mine in the Cordillera del Condor of Ecuador.  A tailings failure would impact the Rio Santiago that enters Peru and subsequently the Maranon River, main tributary in the region to the Amazon.    The studies by Dr. Steven Emerman were a component of seminars at the Universidad Tecnica de Loja in the Cordillera del Condor as well as the Escuela Politecnica Nacional in Quito.    Recent tailings and other mine waste failures at the Polley Mine in British Columbia, Cananea Sonora, Silverton Colorado and Mina Gerais, Brasil have made such models as instruments to prevent disaster very important.

Trainings and Presentations

E-Tech has provided training to members of Ecuador's ministry of environment, communities in El Pangui, and university professors in Quito. Here is an example of the material E-Tech uses in these presentations:

Esmeraldas (informal gold mining with mercury processing)

Evaluation of the suitability of water for human consumption and the health of aquatic biota

Chevron-Texaco Case (oil and gas development)

Evaluation of international operating practices and regulatory framework for oil & gas development

E-Tech International wrote multiple reports on environmental sampling, oilfield practices, regulatory requirements, and other issues in the Chevron Case. Due to the complexities of the highly controversial Chevron case, they do not currently appear on our website.

  • Vanity Fair, Jungle Law. By William Langeweische. May 2008.