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Ibama and Pernambuco government differ on strategy to combat oil

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Representatives of Ibama and government of Pernambuco exposed on Sunday (20) technical differences on how to combat the oil that has been polluting since early September the northeast coast.
The pivot of the divergence is the use of containment buoys to prevent the arrival of material to beaches and river mouths.

Pernambuco's Environment Secretary Jose Bertotti criticized the fact that the Ministry of the Environment did not respond to a request to send 3.5 kilometers of containment buoys to protect part of the state's coast.

Ibama's director of environmental protection, Olivaldi Azevedo, said the equipment "has not been effective at all."

"In most places, they (buoys) have no positive technical effect. It is important to understand that, at this moment, we want to find a different technology, something unusual, something that solves the problem. The problem is to monitor and remove this material, "said Azevedo.

Ibama's director stated that the federal government's strategy is remove the oil when it reaches the sands.
"Withdrawing after it arrives is a technical certainty that we have," he said, who said he was endorsed by an international advisory.

Bertotti, in turn, advocated trying to block the arrival of oil while still at sea. He cited as an example the action made on Thursday (17) on the coast between Alagoas and Pernambuco in which a ton of waste was removed before reaching the beach.

"If the barriers are not efficient, they can alleviate the problem. There is a technical divergence here. Pernambuco will continue to pursue its position. Technically we do what we can," said Bertotti.

In a note, Ibama states that "containment barriers are composed of a floating part and a submerged part, called skirt, which has the function of containing the surface oil (substance with density lower than that of water), but the pollutant that reaches the northeast of the country focuses on the subsurface layer. "

The divergence is due to the properties of the oil that reaches the Brazilian coast. More dense than usual, it does not move across the surface – where the buoys have the most effect – but a few feet below the waterline.

"It's a totally unheard of accident in Brazil, probably also in the western world," said Navy Naval Operations Commander Admiral Leonardo Puntel.

Bertotti also criticized the lack of shipment by the federal government of equipment to remove the waste that reached the beaches. Puntel said the federal government will reimburse the states for these expenses.

The Secretary of the Environment also criticized the delay in the execution of the National Contingency Plan for Oil Pollution Incidents in Water. According to him, there was little coordination with the states at the beginning of the accident. Federal government officials have said they have been monitoring the oil since September 2.

Until Friday (18), 187 locations in 77 municipalities of the Northeast were hit by oil slicks, according to Ibama. The Federal Prosecutor's Office states that 2,100 km in the nine states in the region have been affected since late August, when the first oil slicks were sighted in Paraíba.

Azevedo said Ibama has already identified 67 animals hit by the oil, with 14 turtles killed. "Given what is expected, and the amount of days, we would imagine it would be worse. Any dead animals or fauna hit are worrying. But the damage for fauna, so far, is not what could happen, "said the director of Ibama.

. (tagsToTranslate) oil (t) environment (t) oil spill (t) oil on beach (t) northeast (t) environmental disaster (t) sheet

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