The Puerto Cabello-Morón coastal area of Venezuela is an ideal location for industries that require large land areas, water, marine transportation, minimum habitation, cooling water and waste disposal options both on land and sea. However, mercury spills between 1957 and 1976 have produced concern in the entire coastal zone from Puerto Cabello to Chichiriviche (70 kilometres of coastline) and the National Park area.

MARNR, the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources in Venezuelarequested Bechtel to evaluate the impact of the majorindustries in this area.

Bechtel's investigation included chemical, biological and toxicity analysis of the rivers, and key locations along the coast and the sea and industrial effluents. In addition, a literature search was made of any previous work to assist in the evaluation and recommendations for any necessary corrective action.

The investigation identified negative impacts due to the effluent discharge of the major industries. Recommendations for wastewater management included installation of wastewater stabilization lagoons for treatment and ocean outfalls for final effluent disposal.