Pollution from the refinery negatively affects the environment and a community of 20,000 people, including 5,000 children. Aside from the pungent smell, the refinery emits large amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2),
sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrous oxide (NOx), which are all extremely damaging to the environment and public health. In August 2012 PDVSA spilled tons of crude oil, contaminating nearby fragile reefs. The feeding grounds for flamingos will take years to recover.