Samarco, Vale, and BHP—the companies held accountable for the burst of a dam in the town of Mariana, Minas Gerais, causing the biggest environmental disaster in the country's history—are to deposit $1.12 billion to mitigate the social, environmental and economic damages arising from the tragedy. The total amount earmarked for the recovery of the river Doce basin under the deal is estimated at $5.11 billion.
Brazil's Attorney-General Luis Inácio Adams celebrated the deal forged this Wednesday (Mar. 2) in Brasília: “It's a milestone, as it involves the Federal Prosecution Office, the companies, the environmental as well as mining agencies, the Public Defender's Office at both state and federal levels, several government departments, and also those affected by the tragedy. It shows that Brazil, when it manages to reach dialogue and build solutions, is a country capable of outdoing itself and coming up with solutions that serve as an example to the world,” Adams said during the signing ceremony.
He said it was not easy to close the deal, but noted that the participation of the firms involved was key, along with the CEOs of the mining companies, who attended the event in person.
Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said there is still a lot of work to be done. “We have to implement the deal. It's necessary to acknowledge that companies can go beyond court disputes, as they've come here to come up with a solution.”
Espírito Santo Governor Paulo Hartung believes a major step is being taken in the commitment to the recovery of the region around Mariana and the river Doce basin. “We're still facing challenges along the way—posed by the government, the companies, the civil society. We're calling all mayors involved in both Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo states to urge them to start the dialogue and hold the first meeting in Minas Gerais. We've carved a good path, but we mustn't slacken off. The most difficult part still lies ahead of us,” Hartung added.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.