MPF/MS: Suspended installation of new dams in the Pantanal

MPF/MS: Suspended installation of new dams in the Pantanal

— last modified 8/23/2012 17:25

Justice welcomes arguments of MP and environmental licensing will be paralyzed until the cumulative impact study

MPF/MS: Suspensa instalação de novas hidrelétricas no Pantanal Stone Bridge mill, on the River currents, in Sonora/MS

The Federal Court cushion/MS, at the request of Federal Prosecutors and State of Mato Grosso do Sul, granted injunction that halts the issuance of environmental licences for hydropower projects in the basin of Alto Paraguay (BAP), which includes the Pantanal Plains and covers the States of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso.

The Court determines that the environmental organs licensors suspend all ongoing environmental licensing processes and no longer grant new licenses-whether they advance, installation or operation-until the strategic environmental assessment of all BAP is performed.

In this way, hydroelectric developments already in place will continue operating, but their licenses cannot be renewed. With regard to developing hydropower installation, its activities should be stopped until the completion of the study of cumulative impact.

According to the Court decision, there is “clear evidence” that the developments are being installed without the observance of basic protective standards, which includes the prior environmental impact study in the entire basin of Alto Paraguay.

“Before legislative framework aimed so clear to environmental preservation, only a spirit attached to sophistry and illusions could subtract the pretense of applicants”, emphasizes the decision, which adds “there is no reason to continue subjecting, by one more day, the Pantanal environment as considerable risks”.

If the Court decision is descumprida, the fine for license issued is 100 thousand dollars.

The Pantanal is considered National Heritage by the Brazilian Constitution of 1988 and world heritage site and biosphere reserve by the United Nations Organization for education, science and culture-UNESCO, since 2000.

Public civil action

Earlier this month, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and State (MPE) of Mato Grosso do Sul have joined with civil public action in the 1st Federal Stick Cushion/MS to suspend the installation of 126 hydroelectric developments around the Pantanal.

Based on scientific research, the action sought to carry out a strategic environmental assessment across the basin of Alto Paraguay to scale the impact and risks of hydroelectric plants in the Pantanal Plains. According to researchers, if all enterprises were installed, the cycle of floods in the Pantanal would be changed, causing damage throughout the biome, which depends on the natural pulse of floods.

The lawsuit was filed against the Federal Government, the States of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso, the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), energy research company (EPE), Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (Ibama) and the Institute of Environment of Mato Grosso do Sul (Imasul).

Environmental permits

Environmental permits were provided to each individually hydroelectric venture. However, for the prosecution, in a complex biome and sensitive as the Pantanal, not just add up the individual impacts, it is necessary to analyze them together, considering the entire basin of Alto Paraguay.

For the simultaneous impacts were considered, the MP asked then to justice, that the environmental agencies were required to carry out a strategic environmental assessment (sea) in all the BAP, including the States of Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso. The study should be based on specialized bibliography and count with the participation of scientific sectors and of organised civil society.

The effective realization of the strategic environmental assessment has yet to be determined by the Federal Court, which called for those responsible for all projects installed or in the process of installation to present their defenses.

Procedural reference in Federal Court cushion: 000052124.2012.4.03.6007

 

Media Advisory Federal prosecutors in Mato Grosso do Sul (67) 3312-7265/9297-1903 (67) 3312-7283/9142-3976

www.prms.mpf.gov.br

ascom@prms.mpf.gov.br

www.twitter.com/mpf_ms

http://www.prms.mpf.gov.br/servicos/sala-de-imprensa/noticias/2012/08/mpf-ms-suspensa-instalacao-de-novas-hidreletricas-no-pantanal

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