USCGC STORIS Life and Death of a Queen

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The Port of Ensenada is located 78 miles south of San Diego, in Baja California, Mexico. It is the only deep-water port in the state of Baja California.The port is part of standard shipping routes that directly link with San Diego, Long Beach, and Los Angeles in the United States; La Paz, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Acapulco and Lázaro Cárdenas in Mexico; Yokahama, Japan and Hong Kong, China.

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Other Company Curiel Controversy in Cove, BC (In Spanish)

Interesting blog focusing on the environmental issues of scrapping in Ensenada. OTHER COMPANY CURIEL CONTROVERSY IN COVE, BC (loose translation)

Scrap could contaminate beaches, environmentalists warn Ensenada

While the federal and state authority, besides the last council, authorized the installation of a port terminal, valued at 329 million pesos, to dismantle ships and facilitate transfer of various materials, environmental groups have denounced the damages SEMARNAT this will have on the surrounding beaches, which will also have a negative impact on tourism.

Javier Aguirre Cruz

Against the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants of Ensenada, the company Amaya Curiel and Company, represented by architect Roberto Curiel Ortega, received authorization from the federal, state and municipal governments to install a port terminal for ship dismantling, gathering and shipment of bulk cargo of iron ore, scrap and steel.

The opposition from various sectors of society, including the new City of Ensenada, stems from the possible highly polluting activity of a project announced an investment of 329 million pesos, which will export to the U.S. and Asia large amounts of mineral extracted from the iron mines of Erendira, and transported in a second step million tons of scrap steel smelters installed off the coast of Michoacan.

Currently the City of Ensenada XX announced it will not grant any land use permit to the company, and its Department of Ecology filed a complaint with the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa), because the company began operating the influential architect ship breaking even without the permission of change of activity of the Port Administration (API) of Ensenada.

In fact, the Advisory Committee of the Port, quarterly interacting with the general direction of the API without a guarantor power, although by representatives of various sectors of Ensenada assets and government are incorporated, decided to face the project and ask the manager office, the engineer Carlos Jáuregui González, that does not grant the company the change of activity in the concession gave in 2005.

Meanwhile the engineer Eduardo Enrique González Hernández, head of the General Directorate of Environmental Impact and Risk (DGIRA) SEMARNAT, this year gave an environmental operative for the company Amaya Curiel and Company where he settled not generate environmental impacts or cause significant ecological imbalance in its area of influence (the mouth of the creek El Gallo, in the southern portion of the port of Ensenada).

"It violates the regulations of the region and its effects (environmental damage) can be mitigated and / or compensated and technically viable preventive measures", as was stated in its opinion.

Therefore conditionally authorized the construction and operation of ship dismantling and storage of bulk cargo, and provides a year of grace for project construction.

Roberto Curiel scored the same official permits 30 years to operate and maintain the site, making it possible to be authorized an extension for a period not determined in operative Gonzalez Hernandez.

The project

The surface of the transfer consists of an area of 878.69 square meters 251 000 and is distributed as follows: for mineral bulk cargo: 17 thousand 937 square meters, for scrap, scrap, administrative and waste management areas: 118 000 643; One for the spring, 11 000 137, for the spring Two (part for the second phase of the project): three thousand 390, and to the area in water: 100 000 770 square meters.

According to the businessman, the project consists of two distinct activities: the first is the collection and shipment of scrap metal and mineral bulks, the second is the dismantling of ships in dry dock.

To do this the company seeks to adapt existing at the dock multipurpose facilities located south of the port infrastructure that six years ago was concessioned by the API to Amaya Curiel, partners and international subletters to build the necessary material in the breakwater port concession to Energia Costa Azul, a Mexican subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell and Sempra Energy multinationals.

Professional, a former partner of former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo Appel in many large investment projects, recalled that ships are mobile structures of considerable size, made mostly of steel.

"At the end of their active life become a valued source of scrap iron. This material

provides an alternative to non-renewable mineral resources and is especially suited to the production of articles of simple steel, "he said.

He said that obsolete ships destined for dismantling, can also become a useful source of equipment and components of resale.

"Most of the current waste generated by the dismantling process, 'he said, can be recovered largely Equipment and usable components, electrical devices (radios, computers, televisions, etc.), the salvage team (life buoys, survival suits and rafts), sanitary equipment, compressors, pumps, motors, valves and generators can be reused in other applications, while scrap steel structures is reprocessed. "

So, for the entrepreneur steel production from scrap as compared with that resulting from minerals, represents a considerable saving in energy consumption and, from that perspective, we can say that the dismantling of ships comply with the principles of sustainability .

"With the dismantling is possible to remove the port and international waters, without delay, the tonnage that is already obsolete."

Reported that scrapping in a dry dock, which is the system that Amaya Curiel intends to operate in the concession area, it offers greater protection to workers and the environment to have the infrastructure and services needed for this activity, as is the connection of electricity, garbage collection, water, and telephone service crane, outside lighting, access for heavy vehicles, fire service, scaffolding system and spill control.

"In this project, said, 'all possible steps to ensure that hazardous wastes and other wastes are managed in a manner that protects the environment against the adverse effects which may result from such waste in accordance will be adopted to restrictions and guidelines set by the appropriate authority. "

Regarding mineral bulks, they will be taken to port multipurpose land by tractor, as the iron mines are located south of town, specifically in municipal delegation Erendira, located about 100 kilometers south of Ensenada .

Currently the company holds talks with various mining companies to begin this activity. Among the mines that are traded Fortune I, II and III; Yesenia and Picale, and Queen of Steel. They are mainly iron ore crushing with a maximum size of 10 inches.

The company planned to arrive in five years (2016) to handle a total volume of 1.5 million tons per year. This according to the following work plan: In the first year move up to 600 thousand tons, 720 thousand in the second, in the third 840 thousand, 960 thousand in the fourth, and the fifth one million 200 thousand tons. In the courtyards of the terminal concession, Amaya Curiel store a maximum estimated volume of 120 thousand tons.

As for the movement of scrap, the company generate poses from ship dismantling large

(up to 35 thousand tons of lightship weight).

This aims to initiate trade with the port of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan effect of shipping scrap to smelters in the region demanding the product.

The mineral bulk cargo shipment will be made by a conveyor belt and the volume to be shipped may vary depending on the size of the boat.

"Minimum volumes of 30 thousand tons and 100 thousand tons maximum, with destinations to potential customers in the U.S., Asia and Mexico are estimated. Much of this product shall be mobilized by barge in shipments of 3000-5000 tons for Lazaro Cardenas to take advantage and bring completed by the same route (cabotage) product "reported.

The company said Curiel has not contemplated mobilization scrap by land.

The employer finally spoke of building the channeling of Arroyo El Gallo in a channel hydraulic concrete, work closely linked to the buffer zone, which will have 3.50 meters wide and a total length of 320 meters along the channel.

"The idea, said the architect, is building two rows of trees interspersed. This work will add to the currently being undertaken with the support of the API Amaya Curiel and Cemex, consisting of a green area at the entrance to the terminal. "

For the realization of the whole project the company plans an investment of 329 million 355 thousand pesos, which will be distributed as follows:

A. - Dredging of the harbor and navigation channel at least 14 meters from the sea: 45 million 500 thousand pesos. B. - Construction of Pier 1 cargo area for bulk cargo, steel scrap and 65 million pesos. C. - Construction of spring 2 (Phase 2, is not included in this project): 45 million 500 thousand pesos. D. - Patios for bulk collection of Minerals: 19 million 500 thousand pesos. E. - Padding and protective breakwater for scrap loading dock (Step 2, is not included in this project): 26 million pesos.

The opposition

There are various sectors that oppose the construction of the port terminal for ship dismantling, storage and shipment of bulk cargo of iron ore, scrap and steel.

In fact several antagonists Amaya Curiel submitted written arguments to the SEMARNAT in the public consultation process done at the end of last year was not agreed to conduct a public information meeting project-but none was attended by the federal agency.

The science teacher Ruth Gómez Rosas, a member of the civil organization doing what

is needed, said the project is contrary to planning and sustainable city Ensenada that determines the Urban Development Plan of 2007-2030 Ensenada Population Center, the Plan Municipal Development and Agenda 21 Ensenada Ensenada 2008.

Considered that the hazardous waste management company, will affect workers in the company, the environment and the community in general, placing Mexico at the head of the underdeveloped nations by low wages, disorganization, low levels labor protection laws and their lax environmental protection, online companies such as do countries such as Bangladesh, India, Turkey and Pakistan.

He stated that he is a project evaluated half, since only within the first stage of the project, so that limits its integrated environmental assessment.

"The project does not reveal what will happen to the activities of the company shipyard performed in a second step, and does not take into account the prevailing winds of the city, which are from north to south, and does not consider closure activities in their operations" she said.

He added: "Nor evaluates noise levels and has found less than 500 meters from the site the municipal beach of Ensenada and the Naval Hospital is located, and less than a mile away is a private hospital, facilities of the Second Naval Zone, and various residential, commercial and tourist "areas.

For the academic, the project also determines what the company will do with the traffic chaos that will cause the trucks that circulated heavily through the streets and main avenues of the city.

Meanwhile science teacher Dora Alma Morelos, environmental company Lorax Consultores, SA de CV, stressed that Amaya Curiel provided no information about how many ships dismantled a year and what their operational capacity, so it is not possible to a complete and accurate assessment of the impact that these residues created in the site, its surroundings and in the port community.

Considered that the Environmental Impact Assessment (MIA) did not have enough technical support to justify the construction of rain in the stream channel El Gallo, and no information what to do with the 825 000 724 cubic meters of dredging waste.

"No mention of silt levels of the port area and also presents information coordination wave, while having outdated information littoral sediment transport. Neither mentioned or related scientific information, which shows their total ignorance of the subject, "he said.

The same outdated data are used to identify the flora and fauna of the study site and risk no field work, limited to use overview of the Bay of All Saints.

"Nor landscape features are analyzed and presented confused and disordered information regarding risks for accidents, besides not binding official rules on health and

occupational risk for danger in the use of asbestos fibers in the topic that either has a disease control program and management measures, and therefore violates the NOM-125-SSA1-1994. "

He noted that other works made in the past by Amaya Curiel in the area such as the breakwater El Gallo, it changed the behavior of the waves inside the port harbor of Ensenada, which decreased functionality of the port completely, without the authorities sanctioned this irregularity.

Meanwhile, the Proturismo Ensenada municipal collaboration decentralized body, Deliberative Council expressed its "strong opposition" to the permissions of the port project because the company violated provisions of the Urban Development Program of the Center for Population Ensenada, which clearly decrees that the Ensenada must change their activities to the tourist and recreational activity.

"Besides, he adds in a trade-, the project affects the efforts of tourism in Ensenada to attract more cruise, more investments in the municipal beach of the city and the area surrounding festivities in the area, deteriorating the visual image and the landscape Bay of All Saints. "

In turn, the Advisory Committee noted that the Port has sought to strengthen the Ensenada harbor area for tourism, trying to beautify, clean, sort and plan your beach recreation activities for native and foreign.

"But the activities of the company (Amaya Curiel and Company) will generate a loud noise, hazardous and non-hazardous waste and air pollution, sea water, flora and fauna and the landscape negative impacts."

In its position paper, the consultants said the port that the work of Ortega yes Curiel affect tourism and endanger users of the municipal beach and the surrounding commercial and residential area at the terminal, so that "we definitely oppose this project. "

This topic engineer Andres Armenta Gonzalez, former president of the National Chamber of the Fishing Industry in Baja California and coordinator of the committee that was created in the Economic Advisory Council of Ensenada (Check) for that matter, revealed that most Member of the Advisory Committee of the Puerto oppose the draft Roberto Curiel as contrary to the guidelines of the urban area.

"In addition, according to the contract Curiel signed with the API, you can not implement your project unless he is to be something commercial or tourist, the other way around it would be out another contract, but in that case there will enjoy the residual value of the investment that the company made six years ago because, when you finish the first contract, that is already owned by the federal government of us Mexicans. So I'm going to pay via a partial assignment of rights, but I will charge a provision according to what that's worth. Out will give you a cap. "

Also revealed that, unlike what made the XIX City of Ensenada, at this time the will is that the municipality will not approve the project. "The City of Ensenada has to give his final consent. If not obtained, the project does not go. How are they going to put a high- risk activity, noisy, polluting the environment, once the development of the Municipal Beach? Good God! "

Reported that Amaya Curiel already working on shipbreaking-bought three old ferries in the Vancouver area, Canada-even if not has the permission of the API, which to date has not imposed a penalty on the company despite that the contract clearly says that a lack of this kind warrants the annulment of the award.

"The truth is that boats are boning despite not having granting API that neither fined nor nothing has stopped because the company has in its favor the political will of federal and state authority."

- Who can stop them?

"The municipality, which now seems to be the only authority to see the situation in its proper perspective."

- Who will support the council?

"The Constitution and the company you want to adhere to the council, which is definitely isolated to the two other government agencies and the media, which does not stop at checking land, misinforming and manipulating public opinion."

There is also controversy between authorities

Armenta Gonzalez charged that the state government, through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Urban Development (SIDUE), speaking on a matter that falls only to the locals because it corresponds to the council to determine land uses.

The owner referred specifically to the job number 006142, dated November 11, 2010, which turned the Directorate of Land Management SIDUE, where the state agency says environmental regulations and consistency of the project.

Other federal and municipal agencies also support the company. For example, on November 4, 2010 the Federal Competition Commission issued the job number SE-10-96-2010-490, which contains the opinion favorable to the project.

Also the job SAU/171/2010 dated June 22, 2010, which contains a favorable opinion ("by sticking to regulations") to the project on land use and conditioning of the Ministry of Municipal Urban Management.

Finally, the office CU/F1001/082/2010, dated November 29, 2010, on the feasibility for Land Use Compatibility Verification issued by the Municipal Department of Urban and Land Use Control when there was a day to the change of municipal government in


Indeed municipal authorization was given at breakneck speed, as Curiel Amaya filed for land use feasibility municipal government presided Pablo Alejo López Núñez, the same 29 November.

Three days ago, the Municipal Planning and Research Institute (IMIP) Ensenada issued 331/IMIP/2010 job number, where it meets the Urban Impact Study (EIU) project "can not be approved" under that the company violated provisions of Urban Development Center of Ensenada Population 2007-2030, in the sense that it does not allow high-risk activities in the area in which you want to install.

Also determined that the EIU does not specify the interactions and impacts that the proposed activity with the sea, "and in particular health issues with public beach located immediately to the area of the draft."

Another observation indicates that the surface of the dry dock will be imminently contacted with the surrounding seawater, and also be related to a number of toxic and hazardous "waste such as asbestos, TBT, SAO and sludge contained in the vessels to dismantle ".

Finally, the municipal planning institute stressed that nations with the service for dismantling ships, are identified by their "cheap labor and flexible regulatory criteria," features "with which you do not want to relate to Ensenada."

The document iMIP led to an office of the Department of Ecology of the Ministry of Urban Management, dated December 2, 2010, in which the dependence precludes the adoption of the draft later file a complaint with the Attorney Federal Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), warning of the risk of spills and other pollutants generated by industrial activity.

Meanwhile a network of environmental organizations in Ensenada-Red Quality of Life, announced that it is preparing a manifesto against the dismantling of ships, and held a peaceful protest outside the premises of Amaya Curiel and Company, as part of a series of actions that different sectors of society Ensenada held this year to prevent the implementation of the project.

(WEEKLY ZETA / Javier Cruz Aguirre / 04 FEBRUARY 2013)

Wait Time to dismantle ship
Cesar Cordova 3/11/2013
(loose translation)


Cove, Baja California (PH) registered after the fire yesterday morning at the pier of the company desmanteladora Amaya Curiel, a vessel of American origin, apparently equipped for maritime research, waiting their turn to be disrupted.

At first he had transcended that it was an ancient vessel used by the Coast Guard but clarified that it was a vessel used for research and is named Vila Queen.


The boat is equipped with various mechanical cranes to lower boats cover the sea, like other radio antennas installed on the bridge and the bow.

It also has different radars, echo sounders and barometers, and tools for survival at sea.

Federal authorities said the ship arrived in early October to be dismantled.

The vessel appears to be old, because a severe hull deterioration is observed, as well as bulkheads, railings, windows, and stairs.

The boat is moored next to the ship Bering Star, same that burned yesterday morning.

Presumption of mega-deals by boat radioactivity In chatarrear boat ready for the Coast Guard.
Article posted November 26, 2013
by Elizabeth Vargas

The Municipal Civil Protection Unit, participated in a raid on a ship in the Port of Ensenada after a report warned of contamination by radioactivity.

The operation carried out days ago, occurred on the premises of the company, Infrastructure and Port Services SA de CV Curiel Amaya group after a report indicating a risk for environmental radioactivity shipboard Vila Queen docked in place.

According to the Director of Civil Protection Municipal verification was made after a direct call by personnel of the Second Naval Zone of Ensenada, to participate in the review of a boat that was supposed radioactive material on board.

The boat called Queen Vila is a former Coast Guard vessel that arrived in Ensenada U.S. last October 29, 2013, to be dismantled in the facility Amaya Curiel and for which an environmental alert was received.

In addition the operating part of the Navy of Mexico, Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection, SEMARNAT, Customs, Port Captain and Semar, to review the boat that was done, both internally and externally.

With a Geiger counter staff evaluated the Mexico Navy vessel and found no traces of radioactivity, while civil defense personnel Explosive They performed measurements in tanks and cabins.

The Municipal Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Antonio Gutiérrez said that after Berriel verifiación risk, some of these problems was discarded but asked the company that purchased the boat the import document also credited the unit was clean.

The company did not submit the document immediately finds the boat cleaning, degassing, however, later presented document the Coast Guard where he referred to the internal department of the same for the boat to be cleaned before delivering and indicated this to be clean of any fuel or contaminant, which was confirmed by the Coast Guard.

The boat brought to revise even meteorological equipment, and rescue boats, but he had no specific effects of the U.S. Coast Guard, such as weapons and other materials that had already been removed.

This ship scrap, was for decades part of the U.S. Coast Guard shows that the service was finished in 2007 and acquired by the company Curiel Amaya to become scrap.

It is not radioactive, but presume other contaminants.

The fire that was generated on board the factory ship Bering Star last prompting hundreds of photographs of the ship around the world and give one of Ensenada.Net, alerted a former crewmember of the Coast Guard boat Storis, who discovered the vessel which had lost track, moored on the docks of Port Infrastructure and Services Ltd. Amaya Curiel group by the fire boat was now to be the Queen Vila.

Jon Ottman a historian of the city of Detroit, Michigan, USA. UU. After the information in a extripulante Storis, made contact with Mexican authorities to explain that the boat had a latent health risk contaminating materials known to contain PCBs that could easily reach the sea.

The case being probed by Mexican authorities due to the alert that exists on this ship, and the potential risk to the environment.


They will check to another boat Vila Queen For dangerous materials
Article posted November 26, 2013
by Elizabeth Vargas

The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection will hold a second revision to the boat called Vila Queen docked at the premises of the company, Infrastructure and Port Services SA de CV Amaya Curiel group looking for a substance called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs for short in English), asbestos and asbestos.

Marco Antonio Campoy Arce Subdelegado Natural Resources PROFEPA in California reported that after the first verification in search of radioactive material was negative, there is a report of a U.S. citizen where information about that boat was sent.

The boat has not even begun to be dismantled and previously requested an analysis of the origins of the license, which permits continue to have effect.

The issue should be addressed by the specialized industrial PROFEPA issue area and another visit is scheduled a new check facilities and boat,

He said that the fact that no gas or radioactivity are found not to say that there is some risk and the task is Profepa this research and eliminate any risk.

Revealed that the material called polychlorinated biphenyls, are considered hazardous waste effect and part of the research to be conducted is to determine whether the ship's manifest, there are documents where the existence of dangerous waste and have stated, there must be a program immediate attention to address it or discard it.

Meanwhile Jon Ottman a historian of the city of Detroit, Michigan, USA. UU. He has maintained contact with SEMARNAT and PROFEPA to warn of this substance and the risk involved in their presence before Storis Vila Queen.

In the case of this vessel would PCBs aboard the vessel in the wiring of the ship, because it is a very old craft, dating back to 1942 and apparently the boat is still part of the wiring was not detected and reported in the cleaning process that is practiced in the country from which and where it operated as a Coast Guard boat.

This amount would exceed the allowed risk to the environment and to be dismantled without removing the PCBs.

Among the background Ottman Ensenada.Net sent, indicating that the October 29, 2013, the ship 'Storis' U.S. Coast Guard came to Ensenada, Baja California in Mexico to a local scrap company, where he is scheduled to dismantle.

The Storis ship was built in Toledo, Ohio, in 1941 and was sold by a U.S. agency General Services Administration called a company in the same country called U.S. Metals Recovery in late June 2013.

The government then allowed its export in October 2013, prompting another disagreement, because the Storis, is considered a historic boat, in the National Register of Historic Places and pretended museum again, something similar to the story of the ship that Catalina I finally ended up sunk in the port harbor of Ensenada.

Meanwhile the Chief of the Secretariat of the Amiente in Baja California Alfonso Blancafort confirmed that in fact the agency has received emails on the subject, and have pending as dependence information about the income of the boat, if you are scrapping materials has on board and be done with them.

This includes whether the material is exported for dismantling or treated definitively in Mexico, you have to go through authorization from SEMARNAT.

However, he said, could not only do it for the state delegation but by headquarters, although now no information has been entered this documentation.

He recalled that SEMARNAT is law, plaintiffs received requests to extend permission and must be involved if materials on board have some danger, you must obtain permission to enter the country.

Also if you want then export to any country, no single Mexican law but international treaties that prohibit any hazardous waste may be disposed in a final way other than the country of origin

Exemplified: If it contains hazardous waste and aims to be exported to China, China is not a signatory of the Treaty of Basel and was going back and would have to receive mandatory in Mexico.

In the case of this boat, a study of a laboratory to determine the dangerousness of the material it contains and pending receipt of information who are interested in the case is necessary.