THE environmental disaster that reaches the beaches of northeastern Brazil – with the arrival of oil slicks in the region – is an unprecedented case in the world and its end cannot yet be predicted.
The evaluation is from the Environmental Emergencies Coordinator of Ibama (Natural Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), Fernanda Pirillo, responsible for the cleaning operations of the affected areas.
Before criticism about the delay in the government response With the appearance of oil slicks, she argues that Ibama has been working on the beaches since the first records and today has 130 agents from the institute's environmental area on the work fronts.
According to Ibama's Environmental Emergencies coordinator, the combination of three factors makes this disaster a unique episode: the lack of knowledge of the person responsible for the pollution, the extent of the impact and the recurrence of oil arrival, which leads us to believe that it is a disaster. intermittent leakage.
The first oil records were confirmed by Ibama in Paraíba, on August 30th. Two days later, there were also records in beaches of Pernambuco and Sergipe. Since then, six other states in the Northeast have been affected, from Maranhão to Bahia. The extent of the impact already exceeds 2,000 kilometers.
According to the latest balance released by the agency, on Thursday (24) last week, are 238 affected locations in 88 municipalities of nine states.
“At first, we didn't imagine what would happen. Such an accident is unprecedented in the world, ”says Ibama's coordinator.
The government has been criticized for only triggering the National Contingency Plan, established in 2013 to deal with oil spills, 41 days after the first reports of the problem on the Brazilian coast.
There is also criticism regarding the lack of adequate oil containment and collection equipment.
Pirillo says the agency has been on the beaches since the first records and argued that the extinction of two National Contingency Plan committees by the Bolsonaro government in April has no impact on cleanup operations.
By decree, Bolsonaro extinguished councils, commissions, committees, boards and other entities created by decrees or lower administrative measures in the first half. Only those created under current management and those created by law were retained.
The Executive Committee's role is to develop simulations, train staff and maintain resources for emergency response. The Support Committee brings together ministries and government agencies to indicate the resources for each case and act on non-environmental fronts, such as the release of equipment entry in the country, for example.
“Those committees were not meant to function during the emergency,” says Pirillo.
The Evaluation and Monitoring Group, another body of the National Contingency Plan, composed of Ibama, Navy and National Petroleum Agency (ANP), began appearing in government statements only on October 14.
Investigations into the causes of the spill are concentrated in the Navy.
The extinction of the committees led, on Thursday (17), the Federal Public Prosecutor to file a lawsuit against the federal government for omission in the face of the largest environmental disaster on the Brazilian coast and asked the Federal Court to oblige the Union to put the plan of contingency in action within 24 hours.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, the Union is not taking appropriate measures to respond to the emergency.
Without having responsibility for the leak, Petrobras has been contributing to the cleaning work and expects to be compensated by the government.
There is still no estimate of the costs of the operation and the accounting will be followed by the TCU (Federal Court of Accounts).
The Ibama coordinator says that the recurrence of oil arrival prevents projections about when the cleaning will be completed. She recalls that, at the beginning of the year, the cleaning of three Rio de Janeiro beaches hit by oil from Petrobras' platform took three months to complete.
(tagsToTranslate) environment (t) oil (t) environmental disaster (t) northeast (t) sheet