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Authorities request urgent steps against four firms

Bnamericas Published: Friday, April 25, 2003
The environmental authority of southeast Brazil's Minas Gerais state, known as Feam, has asked prosecutors to take action against four mining companies, according to a statement from Minas Gerais' environmental department Semad. Feam performed an environmental audit of 10 companies located in the iron ore quadrangle near state capital of Belo Horizonte. Of this group, seven companies no longer were in operation, but authorities said the waste pools of four of these needed immediate attention to avoid an accident. "The companies Mineracao Santanense, Emicon Mineracao e Terraplanagem, Empresa de Mineracao Esperanca Emesa and Ponto Verde Mineracao had their activities suspended by the Council on Environmental Policy, Copam, for not taking the necessary measures regarding the remediation of environmental damage caused by the undertaking, maintenance of barriers to secure waste material and the final disposal of waste piles," said Jose Carlos Carvalho, head of Semad. State environmental authorities have been cracking down on companies with precarious environmental standards after waste from paper and pulp firm Cataguazes spilled and polluted a major river in Minas Gerais. Feam has called on companies that have waste pools and residue deposits to do a risk analysis detailing contingency plans in the case of accidents.

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