The complaint alleges that Doe Run Peru (DRP) and its parent company, the Renco Group, failed to meet environmental and human health standards set by Peruvian law and the OECD Guidelines at the La Oroya metallurgical complex, one of the worlds largest polymetallic processing facilities. When Renco/DRP acquired La Oroya the company committed to significantly reduce the its environmental impact but failed to meet these commitments.
The complainants maintain that when the DRP lead smelter is in operation, concentrations of lead, cadmium and sulphur dioxide strongly exceed WHO standards. Several studies have proven the negative health effects on the inhabitants of La Oroya, who do not have access to adequate health care or treatment for pollution-related diseases.
Moreover the complainants contend that the company failed to adequately disclose the consequences of the contamination to the La Oroya citizens and have continuously failed to abide by the obligatory Environmental Management and Mitigation Plan (PAMA).
The company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and smelting activities temporarily stopped, but were expected to start again in February 2011 as finance from Glencore was obtained. The complainants asked the NCPs to engage with the companies to make them comply with all the provisions in the PAMA.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Version 2000 Chapter II
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.1
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.2
- Version 2000 Chapter II Paragraph II.7
- Version 2000 Chapter III
- Version 2000 Chapter III Paragraph III.2
- Version 2000 Chapter III Paragraph III.4 Subparagraph III.4.E
- Version 2000 Chapter III Paragraph III.5 Subparagraph III.5.A
- Version 2000 Chapter III Paragraph III.5 Subparagraph III.5.B
- Version 2000 Chapter V
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.1 Subparagraph V.1.A
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.2
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.3
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.5
- Version 2000 Chapter V Paragraph V.8
Renco officially went bankrupt just a few months after the complaint was filed. In mid-2012, a new corporation started running the smelter again, without the required PAMA.
According to the Peruvian NCP’s later final statement, in June 2011, the Peruvian and US NCPs discussed the case and decided the Peruvian NCP should take the lead. The Peruvian NCP met with the complainants, but it didn’t notify the companies of the complaint until July 2011, five months after its submission. That September 2011, the NCP also met with the respondent companies.
The NCP then reports no further action on the case; it notes only that after it held the meetings, in which it offered its good offices, the case was paralyzed because none of the parties came forward again. This was apparently due to the fact that Renco had gone bankrupt, and Doe Run Perú had started a process of liquidation, including of its assets in the La Oroya metallurgical complex.
On 18 September 2019, eight years after receiving the complaint, the Peruvian NCP concluded it with no agreement. The NCP had failed to follow normal complaint processing procedures and indicative timelines. After holding meetings with parties in 2011, the responsibility was on the NCP formally to issue an initial assessment accepting the complaint and proposing a plan for discussion. Instead, the NCP passively waited, and eventually closed the complaint eight years later.
- Company in violation
- Affected people
- Other NCP's where the complaint was filed
- Date rejected / concluded
- 18 September 2019