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After withdrawing PL, Virgílio Guimarães (PT) presents a new project to make Mar de Mud Never Again more flexible

02/11/2022

Deputy insists on defending the interests of large mining companies and tries to take advantage of faster processing rule for matters related to Covid-19

Less than a week after  withdraw from the process  in the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais (ALMG) the Bill (PL) 3,209, which makes the Mar de Mud Never Again Law more flexible, state deputy Virgílio Guimarães (PT) presented another proposal with the same purpose. PL 3,497, presented at ALMG this Friday morning, has the same definitions as its predecessor, removed from the agenda after a wave of indignation and widespread opposition, but it is even worse. In this false retreat, considerations about the pandemic that have nothing to do with the topic were included, taking advantage of the faster procedure rule for matters related to Covid-19, and different situations are foreseen in which the state waives regulatory processes in relation to to dams.

Law 23,291, known as Mar de Mud Never Again, instituted the State Policy on Dam Safety and created fundamental provisions such as the prohibition of upstream dams; established the deadline for the decommissioning of dams of this type until 2023, demanded more rigor for the decommissioning of dams and prohibited the presence of people in the so-called Self-Rescue Zone (ZAS), the one in which there is not enough time for the intervention of services and protection agents civil in the event of a breach.

But not all your points were regulated  and the state  already broke the law  by approving the expansion of a dam upstream of Anglo American, in Conceição do Mato Dentro.

The deputy's proposal insists on defending the interests of large mining companies to the detriment of the safety of the mining population, especially communities that live near these numerous structures and workers in the mining activity. Claiming to provide more “rigor and clarity in dam safety”, the proposal aims, for example, to extend the deadline for decharacterization of upstream tailings dams. In practice, the extension of the term leaves room for them to never be decommissioned.

It also continues to allow mining projects with dry treatment to go through the Concurrent Environmental Licensing (LAC), in which the preliminary, installation and operation licenses are granted to the entrepreneur at once, without there being time for the due inspection and monitoring of the activities. In cases of dry disposal of tailings, a method that supposedly replaces dams with sterile piles or pits, and the use of these tailings, a new article also authorizes the granting of an environmental license in the LAC modality.

The article is valid until December 31, 2023 or while the Covid-19 pandemic lasts. In addition to using the pandemic for the ALMG rite, as mentioned, the date of 2023 may be related to the attempt to  licensing of Vale's Apollo Project , a huge undertaking that threatens the Serra do Gandarela.

One  public note  against the first bill presented by deputy Virgílio Guimarães was signed by more than 120 organizations, movements and mandates and 2,500 people. The mobilization of all was a clear response from society that it will not allow Mar de Mud Never Again, won with hard pains and regrettable losses, to suffer (even more) setbacks. Now, the PL is being analyzed by specialists to ascertain the extent of the setback that Virgílio Guimarães tries to pass at ALMG.

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