"As soon as we learned that there was this hydrocarbon deposit, Eletricidade da Madeira, in a prompt, rigorous and determined manner, took responsibility for resolving the situation", declared Rui Rebelo, in a hearing at the Commission for Natural Resources and Environment, in the regional parliament.

The waste deposit was detected in June at the mouth of the Socorridos stream, close to the Vitória Central Power Station, in the west of the municipality, a situation that led to the sole deputy of the PCP, Ricardo Lume, to request the hearing of the EEM administrator.

Rui Rebelo explained that there is a waste purification box on the site, which was emptied and sealed in 1992, so the hydrocarbon deposit may have resulted from a rupture in the ducts during its operation.

"Faced with this situation, Eletricidade da Madeira acted energetically. Our focus, our priority, is to solve that", he said, stressing that a company was immediately hired to assess the degree of contamination and determine the best solution, a job that still continues.

Rui Rebelo said that if EEM had prior knowledge of that "environmental liability", it would have solved it before the land transaction, stressing that carbon neutrality is a company priority, with renewable energies already representing 30 percent on the archipelago.

The official also stressed that the investment plan for the coming years, budgeted at 162 million Euros, will channel 142 million towards carbon neutrality.