MPF prosecutor, José Adércio Sampaio, criticizes public power after Mariana's tragedy
José Adércio Leite Sampaio, coordinator of the task force of the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office created to determine the environmental disaster in Mariana, criticized the performance of public authorities and the measures adopted by Samarco after two years of the rupture of the Fundão dam, Central Region of Minas Gerais. "What we can say, two years in the past, there has been no lesson learned by the government, especially Executive and Legislative, and it seems that they expect another tragedy to happen, which is unfortunate," he said manual de auditoria ambiental.
The statement was made during an interview with TV Globo Minas on the morning of Monday (6). Sampaio also questioned the power of government control. "We have about 23 thousand dams in Brazil, of these 23, three thousand are registered and three thousand registered, about 18% have complete information. In other words, the Executive is not aware of the reality of the risks that these dams present" , he added.
The environmental disaster that occurred on November 5, 2015 is the largest in Brazil's history and left 19 dead, in addition to damage to nature. See photos of the district of Bento Rodrigues, which was devastated by the breakup. The Fundão dam belongs to mining company Samarco - whose parent companies are Vale and BHP.
The prosecutor said that current legislation protects the entrepreneur and that there is "a great disappointment" when it comes to dam safety. "The legislation that made possible the occurrence of the tragedy has not been modified, it is a lax, flawed legislation that gives too much power to the entrepreneur.At the same time, the monitoring system remains scrapped, there has been a change of DNPM [National Department of Mineral Production ], which is the body that inspects these dams from the point of view of the federal government.The department has been transformed into an agency, but the structure remains the same, "he criticized.
Aerial view of Bento Rodrigues, in the interior of Minas Gerais, the day after the rupture of tailings dams of the mining company Samarco (Photo: Ricardo Moraes / Reuters) tailings dams from mining company Samarco (Photo: Ricardo Moraes / Reuters)
Aerial view of Bento Rodrigues, in the interior of Minas Gerais, the day after the rupture of tailings dams of the mining company Samarco (Photo: Ricardo Moraes / Reuters)
In January 2016, the governor of Minas Gerais, Fernando Pimentel, enacted a law that flexibilizes environmental licensing in the state, taking away the independence of the State Environmental Policy Council (Copam).
"I would even say that if the government had applied the money that had already been foreseen for the DNPM in the structuring of the organ, the scenario could be different.I say this why? Because 95% of the royalties that are destined to the DNPM were contingent, The tax authorities are still very small, it's the same as we had in November 2015, "he said.
The G1 sought the DNPM, the federal government's agency, and awaits return.
Semad countered the prosecutor's statement and said that after the breakup of Fundão, several actions were taken both to reverse the impacts caused by the disaster and to change the process of legislation (See complete note at the end of the report).
The secretary cited as a public action in emergency terms "the presence of the Military Police, Fire Brigade and Civil Defense in order to locate bodies, preserve lives and monitor structures that had not broken"; the installation of the "Fundão Dam Task Force", which generated a report for an agreement (Transaction Term and Adjustment of Conduct - TTAC) with Samarco, Vale and BHP, Espírito Santo and the Federal Government; also cited actions that generated shorts and judicial deposits, as well as measures such as dam-break elaboration and population alert.
Regarding punishments, Semad stated that, "the environmental agencies of Minas Gerais have drawn up 37 indictments against Samarco, of an administrative nature, amounting to almost 307 million reais. The most important of them - the one of the rupture - has already been analyzed and it has become final and the payment is being made by the company. All in less than a year of his drawing up. "
For the recovery of Rio Doce, the secretariat pointed out that a dedicated board of directors was created for the case and monitoring operations.