Ibama points out serious irregularities in complying with conditions of Belo Monte and not pune Norte Energia

Ibama points out serious irregularities in complying with conditions of Belo Monte and not pune Norte Energia

[2/18/2013 18:51]

Of the total of environmental restrictions that the North Energy should have fulfilled due to the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant only 19% of them were complied with, according to information from the Brazilian Institute of environment and renewable natural resources (Ibama). The data was published on the website of the Agency in January 30, 2013. A day before, (29/1) the environmental agency notified the North Energy

The technical opinion issued by Ibama is the analysis of the 2° half-yearly report of progress of the basic environmental project (PBA) and the installation license Restrictions 795/2011, Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant which is being built on the Xingu River, in para. The 128 pages analyse in detail the report delivered to Licensor by Norte Energia S.A. six months ago.

Ibama’s recommendations proved to be lenient with the delays of the North energy, responsible for the work, in the implementation of the basic environmental project (PBA) and other environmental restrictions for the construction of the power plant, to point out serious irregularities in compliance and not to punish the company.

One of the main problems listed by the Agency to analyse the enterprise report are: significant delays in the schedule of basic sanitation and urban infrastructure in the cities of Altamira, Vitória do Xingu and Belo Monte dam sites and Belo Monte do Pontal; delay in completion of the Socioeconomic Register, which guarantees the rights of the population directly affected and the total non-compliance with the obligation to inform the destination of wood extracted during the work. In the survey conducted in November 2012, Ibama found a huge build-up of wood without the measurement of logs in the correct time (schedule), improperly stored and rotting in the flower beds and storage points.

Delays and irregular branch

The opinion of Ibama, in spite of recognizing the severity of the environmental damage arising from non-compliance with the plan of suppression and Vegetation suppression permits issued by the Agency, does not determine the tax assessment of the entrepreneur to imposition of a fine or suspension (or sections) of the work aiming to remedy the deficiencies identified during the audit.

In addition to the delays of environmental works schedules, the opinion says that the Consórcio Construtor Belo Monte (CCBM) built a branch of derivation (RD), leading the region’s electricity to the construction site. The new RD represents the breach of the express requirement of the license installation 2.4 etching (LI), which had blocked the construction of the extension to the explicit permission of the licensor. Norte Energia omitted this information to Ibama on reports already delivered, including the latter, January 31, 2013 (see report published on the website of Ibama).

The Ibama condescension with North in this second opinion Energy contrasts with the imposition of a fine of $ 7 million that inflicted to the company a year earlier, in February 2012, when issued the first opinion on the environmental restrictions to the installation of the plant. Now, the Ibama only notified the company (see the details below).

The deficiencies identified by the environmental agency in the latest report were similar to those noted in the first opinion, that in its conclusion determines the imposition of a fine to the entrepreneur.

Ibama also did not include in its assessment the technical opinion of Funai for Indian conditions. The environmental agency made no reference to the process of monitoring and supervision that Funai makes about the PBA and specific restrictions relating to indigenous peoples.

Opinion of Funai is not included

In December 2012, Funai has expressed publicly, in response to a request for information made by the ISA, the existence of significant delays in meeting conditions and in the implementation of the PBA, which had not yet been hired in December 2012 (read more).

“There is efficiency in the implementation of the schedule of work is reflected in the implementation of social, environmental and economic constraints assumed by North energy, when Belo Monte auction scooped promoted by the Government in March 2010. The gap increases extremely worrying increasingly degrading living conditions in the region. Allied to this mismatch, the Government seems to have no pulse to confront the issue, “says the Executive Secretary of the ISA, André Villas-Boas.

The socio-environmental Institute has prepared a comparative table of the opinions of the restrictions accompanying the installation license (LI). The table has three columns: the first contains the main observations of Ibama regarding the 1° half-yearly report of progress of the basic environmental project and the installation license Conditions assessed in November 2011; as a result, the same comments as for the 2° report issued in December 2012. The last column is relevant observations made by lawyers and experts of the ISA. (See table here)

Notification can turn recommendation

In January 29, 2013, more than a month after the issue of the technical opinion 168/2012, the licensor notified the North Energy body demanding the completion and readjustment of some of the outstanding activities considered in the opinion and the need for adjustments, relating to the resettlement of the affected and the sanitation infrastructure in the region.

Ibama demanded the early deployment of the village workers (in 60 days); the purchase of immovable property intended for the Urban Resettlement (150 days), with extensive collective discussion; the taking of provisional measures for solid waste disposal in Vitória do Xingu, given the delay in the deployment schedule of the landfill; the solution to the rural community that had their homes demolished, given the proximity to the works, without having been resettlement of affected; and the conclusion, in 60 days, the sanitary sewage of two rural communities directly affected-work that should have been completed almost a year ago.

However, the environmental agency has not delivered an opinion with regard to other inadequacies, breaches of conditions and delays in schedules-even the most serious and clear, as irregular construction of Extensions of derivation or disrespect to Vegetation suppression Plan (check out Ibama notification in its entirety).

Anyway, the notification does not expressly the possibility of that is imposed any sanction on the North energy, in the case of non-compliance with the time limits. There is, therefore, the chance that this notification will become a mere recommendation.

ISA, Instituto Socioambiental.

http://www.socioambiental.org/nsa/detalhe?id=3724

Indigenous lands protection plan affected by the Belo Monte dam is delayed in almost two years, Funai says

[1/18/2013 15:58]

Despite the importance of the indigenous question in the deployment process of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, nor the North energy, responsible for the work, nor the Government have managed to comply with the obligations set out in the environmental licensing

The implementation of the plan for the protection of indigenous lands (Tis) impacted by the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant in Altamira (PA), is delayed in almost two years, according to Funai (National Indian Foundation). Part of the actions envisaged should already have been held by the North energy and by the competent public agencies prior to issuance of the license, which took place in June 2011.

The information was officially confirmed by Funai in response to the request made by the ISA (see here), through the access to Information Act, and it is worrying when data on deforestation point to increased devastation in the area of influence of the power plant, with an emphasis on indigenous lands around the work.

In a study published by Imazon in 2012,~http://www.imazon.org.br/publicacoes/livros/areas-protegidas-criticas-na-amazonia-legal  the indigenous land dry Waterfall Iriri appears as the third indigenous land with greater absolute loss of original forest between 2009 and 2011 throughout the legal Amazon. The explosion and agrarian regularization of YOU dry Waterfall Iriri is part of conditions which should have been met prior to the commencement of the works, to avoid embrittlement of TI with the population density of the region.

The intensification of illegal timber extraction activities confirms the prediction of increased pressure on natural resources in the region, a fact that TIs had already been predicted by their own indigenous agency in the environmental impact assessment (EIA), giving rise to conditions relating to the explosion of indigenous lands and the protection plan and monitoring of TIs around the enterprise.

It is worth pointing out that the consent of Funai for the grant of the license of the plant is subject to the implementation of the plan of protection of TIs within 40 days after issued the licence, in which case it would be until July 15, 2011 (see craft in which Funai reports deadlines for compliance with the conditions imposed by it).~ http://www.socioambiental.org/banco_imagens/pdfs/2._Oficio_Funai-Ibama_sobre_prazo_de_condicionantes_-_Anexo_Proposta_FUNAI_oficio_126_Belo_monte.pdf

Among the obligations set out in the plan, was provided for the construction by December 2012, of 12 surveillance and supervisory posts in the impacted areas. According to Funai, however, so far only two provisional bases were handed over by the North energy, which does not meet the deadlines set by herself.

“Measures such as agrarian regularization of indigenous lands, and the explosion protection plan have been defined precisely in order to prevent and mitigate the impacts diagnosed, but the disproportionate delay causes them to lose their effectiveness and relevance. Thus, the damages are consolidating in the eyes of everyone without anything happening, “says the lawyer of ISA, Biviany Rojas.

Nor shadow of Indigenous PBA

Defined as the set of mitigation and compensation measures of impacts, the PBA-CI (basic environmental project of the Indigenous Component) should have been started with the deployment of the plant itself. The North’s proposal, however, was drawn up after the beginning of construction work and the Funai only approved in July 2012, even without being able to see all the impacted communities.

There is still no concrete forecast for hiring teams and initiation of activities in the field, because there is a dispute between the company and the Funai about who would be responsible for performing the activities provided for in the PBA-CI.

In July 2012, the North Energy has undertaken with the natives who occupied the construction site during 21 days ~ to perform the PBA until September, ensuring the presence of teams fielded from October 2012. However, the Operating Plan of the PBA-CI was still under review for approval in December 2012, according to Funai itself.

natives who occupied the construction site during 21 days

“There is no more compelling argument for the continued delay by the company in the implementation of PBA. This dilatory process begins to seem a gimmick of Norte Energia to save, not to spend the volume of resources that require monthly the actions provided for in the PBA that she drafted and that Funai has approved, “says the Coordinator and Executive Secretary from Xingu of the ISA Programme, André Villas-Boas. “A firmer position on the part of Funai and Ibama on the company to place Indigenous to the PBA work”.

Government bonds also did not advance

Among the conditions for the deployment of Belo Monte, Funai also established that different organs of the federal and State Governments should undertake additional obligations to their. Among them, the restructuring of the Special Indigenous Sanitary District of Altamira (Altamira DSEI), the formalization of a cooperation agreement between Funai and the Censipam (Centre and operational Manager of the Amazon protection system) for monitoring of the TIs by satellite images and suitability and modification of projects of highways BR-158 and the PA-167, so that they do not cross these areas.

“After 18 months of authorized the installation of the work, no advances in actions such as these, which mainly depend on political articulation within the federal Government, or between this and the State Government,” notes Biviany Rojas.

The year 2013 will be the peak year of construction of the hydroelectric plant, and the construction of the dam in agility contrasts with insecurity and disdain in meeting environmental obligations associated with the absence of effective oversight.

There are more than 14 months that Ibama does not manifest itself publicly on the supervision of the work on the monitoring of compliance with the conditions and implementation of PBA from the North. The last opinion of the licensor, is November 2011, which led to a fine of $ 7 million to the company for failure to comply with the commitments which affect the licenses of the enterprise. “Probably the delay from Ibama to publish an up-to-date assessment project is due to the continuity of the North’s Energy delinquencies in respect of conditions, which would oblige the Agency to new and more drastic penalties, which seems to be undesirable for the Government,” says Villas-Bôas.

Despite the lack of information on the North’s Energy commitments and surveillance work, the BNDES recently approved the largest loan in its history to ensure the construction of Belo Monte with taxpayer resources.

Here’s the picture of Indigenous Conditions updated by January 2013. http://www.socioambiental.org/banco_imagens/pdfs/3.Tabela_de_Condicionantes.pdf

http://www.socioambiental.org/nsa/detalhe?id=3718

ISA, Instituto Socioambiental.

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