Dam holding mining waste collapses in Brazil

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon The collapse of a dam in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil on Jan. 25 left at least 58 people dead and hundreds missing.The dam held the waste by-product of iron ore mining from a nearby mine run by a company called Vale.Vale was involved in another dam collapse in 2015 — called Brazil’s worst environmental disaster — that resulted in criminal charges for several of the company’s leaders and nearly $100 million in fines.Critics of mining practices say that the recent failure of the dam shows that authorities should step up the enforcement of regulations in Brazil. The collapse of a dam in southeastern Brazil has killed at least 58 people and left hundreds more missing as they were buried by a wave of toxic mud.The dam, which held the waste by-products, or tailings, from the extraction of iron ore at the Córrego do Feijão mine, was set to be decommissioned soon, according to news reports. But when it failed on the afternoon of Jan. 25, the resulting rush of muddy sludge caught workers off guard, many of whom are still reportedly missing. The cascade swallowed structures and roads, as well as a bus full of people, according to Al Jazeera, before skirting the town of Brumadinho and surging into the Paropeba River where there are early reports of severe environmental damage.It’s the second such disaster for Vale, the company that runs the Córrego do Feijão mine, in a little over three years. In November 2015, 19 people were killed when another tailings dam burst near the town of Mariana, also in the state of Minas Gerais. The resulting contamination of the Doce River from the release of potentially harmful heavy metals found in iron ore tailings had been called Brazil’s worst environmental disaster; 19 died.Now, critics of the company and mining industry practices say the recent breakdown near Brumadinho demonstrates that the industry has not corrected course, despite criminal charges brought against Vale’s leaders and $92.5 million in fines.The onrush of muddy water after the dam broke destroyed structures and swallowed roads and vehicles. Image by Jeso Carneiro via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).Avimar de Melo Barcelos, the mayor of Brumadinho, told the BBC that Vale was “careless and incompetent.”“This tragedy destroyed our city,” de Melo Barcelos said.Fabio Schvartsman, who has led Vale since 2017, apologized for the dam’s failure in a television interview, but he stopped short of accepting blame, the Guardian newspaper reported.“I don’t know who is responsible, but you can be sure we’ll do our part,” Schvartsman. Two days after the collapse, the company and rescuers said that 305 people were still missing.A car swallowed after the collapse of a dam near Mariana in 2015. Image by Senado Federal via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).Schvartsman told a Brazilian television station that experts had signed off on the 43-year-old structure’s stability.“I’m not a mining technician,” he said on television, according to the BBC. “I followed the technicians’ advice and you see what happened. It didn’t work.”Greenpeace laid the blame for the incident on companies like Vale, as well as the Brazilian government. Nilo D’Ávila, campaigns director for Greenpeace Brazil, called the crumbling of the dam “a sad consequence of the lessons not learned.”Satellite imagery shows the contaminant plume flowing from the Doce River into the Atlantic Ocean after the collapse of a Vale-run dam in 2015. Image by Gunnar Ries via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).“Unfortunately, economic groups with strong lobby among Brazilian Congress insist on loosening the rules of environmental licensing,” D’Ávila said in a statement. “Cases like this, therefore, are not accidents but environmental crimes that must be investigated [and] punished.”Paulo Sotero, who directs the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, told Al Jazeera that, while Brazil’s regulations can be onerous, he expected the country to respond to the disaster. Sotero said that enforcement remains an issue.“[T]he laws are pretty good,” he said, “but they are not enforced and we see once again a demonstration of this kind of irresponsibility.”Banner image of the mudslide near Brumadinho via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).CitationGleekia, A. M., & Sahu, H. B. IMPACTS OF IRON ORE MINING ON WATER QUALITY–A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF INDIA AND LIBERIA.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Conservation, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporations, Dams, Disasters, Environment, Environmental Law, Infrastructure, Law, Law Enforcement, Mining, NGOs, Nutrient Pollution, Pollution, Regulations, Rivers, Satellite Imagery, Tropical Rivers, Waste, Water, Water Pollution last_img

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