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Brazilian court suspends licensing and construction of Belo Monte Dam

Criado em 29/10/13 12h43 e atualizado em 29/10/13 12h44
Por Sabrina Craide Fonte:Agência Brasil

Brasília – The Belo Monte Dam project has again been brought to a halt following a court ruling suspending the environmental licensing and construction works of the hydroelectric project in the Amazon state of Pará, north Brazil. The project won't be allowed to resume until all the requirements for the preliminary license have been fully satisfied. Meanwhile, “any existing or future installation and land clearing prior to the fulfillment of such conditions will remain null and void.”

The Federal Prosecutor's Office (“MPF”) reported that the permit to set up the construction site is pending the following conditions: ensuring water quality; building health, education, and sanitation facilities; ensuring navigability of the Xingu river; and additional conditions imposed by indigenous communities, such as land demarcation and eviction of non-indigenous people from demarcated land. A preliminary license had been granted by IBAMA, Brazil's environmental protection agency, even though these requirements were not fulfilled within the specified time limits.

The works will now remain suspended until all requirements for the environmental permit are satisfied. Any violations will be subject to $229,000 per day in fines. The court also ordered the country's development bank, BNDES, to cut off funding for the project. According to the court, IBAMA, BNDES, and Norte Energia – the project's managing utility – have all been notified of the decision.

Edited by Nádia Franco/ Lícia Marques
Translated by Mayra Borges

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