Pernambuco State Environmental Agency has issued a report in which it recommends that beachgoers avoid Muro Alto beach. It was there that on Friday (25), Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio got his feet wet at sea and said he would take his family there.
According to the agency's laboratory, Muro Alto is one of 18 beaches where it is possible to visually detect the oil that hit the region a week ago. The famous Carneiros beach is also unsuitable for swimming, according to the report.
Muro Alto is on the southern coast of Pernambuco, neighboring Porto de Galinhas, the largest tourist destination in the state.
On Friday, wearing jeans, the minister took off his sneakers, dipped his feet in the seawater and said he would take the family to the place without problems.
He stated that beaches in the Northeast that have been cleaned of oil slicks are able to receive tourists. However, I could not say which technical criteria it used to support the statement.
In addition to Muro Alto and Carneiros, the other beaches that the agency recommends to avoid in the state, due to the presence of oil, are: Janga, Pau Amarelo, Pilar, Forte, Barra de Jangada, Pedra do Xaréu, Itapuama, Paraíso, Paiva, Gaibu, Coral Cove, Suape, Cupe, Barra de Sirinhaém, Tamandaré and São José da C. Grande.
On Friday, along with the Minister of Tourism, Pernambuco's Tourism Secretary, Rodrigo Novaes, even interrupted Álvaro Antônio's response to try to help him. He recalled that the Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, had declared on Thursday (24) that there would be no problem bathing in the sea where the oil was not visible. The government of Pernambuco made the same recommendation.
Already biologist Mariana Guenther, professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences of UPE (Federal University of Pernambuco), claims that even without visible spot, people should not enter the water.
She explains that the material is highly toxic and part of it is sedimented at the bottom of the sea. “The sites would need to be banned until a water analysis is done,” he says.
The researcher explained that the analysis that indicates the beach bathing index, commonly done by environmental agencies, does not apply to this case. These tests only take into account the contamination of water by sewage coliforms.
The State Department of Health reported that it was notified of the occurrence of 19 people on the south coast of the state in a state of intoxication who reported nausea, dizziness and burning eyes.
Researchers from CPRH (State Environmental Agency) in partnership with UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco) collected water samples from various parts of the coast. The result of the chemical diagnosis, however, should only be released next month because of the complexity of the analysis.
GOVERNED TO ACT ACCORDING TO THE STANDARDS
The walkthrough of the manual designed to determine whether or not the National Oil Incident Contingency Plan (PNC) should be activated shows that the government was slow to act, even with the daily aggravation of the stains.
The manual outlines 35 questions that help determine the magnitude of the problem and whether or not the plan should be continued.
Some of these are: Has the (oil) discharge source not been controlled? Is it possible to expand the impacted area (s)? Is there a possibility of oil causing environmental impacts of relevant social commotion? Is there a possibility of oil affecting an area of socioeconomic importance?
In case of oil spill that reaches the Northeast Since August 30 and has already affected more than 230 locations, the answers to these questions are yes. Not all questions need to have positive answers for the plan to be triggered.
Questions should be discussed by the so-called GAA (Monitoring and Evaluation Group). The details of the manual were revealed by the newspaper O Globo.
The document was approved by the national plan executive committee at a meeting in March 2018 and was attended by the Ministries of Environment (MMA), Defense, Mines and Energy, and the Navy, Ibama and the National Petroleum Agency, which comprise the GAA.
The Public Prosecution Service with the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) has requested the opening of an inspection to investigate the conduct of the federal government in oil spill on the northeast coast.
The representation is signed by Deputy Attorney General Lucas Rocha Furtado and was sent to the President of the Court, Minister José Mucio Monteiro, on Thursday (24).
In the document, Furtado questions the coordinated action of federal agencies to respond to the incident and minimize environmental damage. According to him, "What has been seen from the federal authorities is that they seem to have been disoriented or inert."
Since beginning of the arrival of the spots to the northeastern coast, on August 30, 14 federal conservation units were hit by the oil. Among the affected regions are national parks, environmental protection areas, extractive reserves, biological reserves and areas of ecological interest.
The regions are considered environmentally sensitive due to their biological diversity, as well as aesthetic and cultural aspects. Therefore, they have their occupation and use of natural resources disciplined by rules that aim to ensure their sustainability.
One of the areas hardest hit by the oil it was the Coral Coast, Brazil's second largest marine protected area. About ten days ago, a giant spot appeared in the region, which houses the main manatee sanctuary in the country, in Porto de Pedras (113 km from Maceió).
(tagsToTranslate) oil (t) northeast (t) environmental disaster (t) sheet