MPF triggers Ibama and Pará secretariat over dark water in Alter do Chão

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The Federal Public Ministry (MPF) of Pará sent requests for information to the Brazilian Institute for the Environment (Ibama) and to the State Secretariat for the Environment of Pará about the darkening observed in the waters of Alter do Chão, a tourist resort in the Santarém region ( PAN).

The waters of the region known as the “Amazon Caribbean” are not as translucent as usual, and experts point out possible impacts from illegal mining, deforestation and fires – whose sediments are washed away by rains along the rivers of the Tapajós Basin.

In a note, the MPF stated that it also sent a request to the Federal University of Western Pará (Ufopa) to find out if there are “studies on the turbidity of the waters and on cases of mercury contamination in the human and animal population of the region”.

On Thursday (20), the MPF sent a demonstration to the Federal Court questioning a possible failure to comply with the sentence by the public administration of the resort, which should carry out “periodic bathing tests in the region of the beaches of the district of Alter do Chão”.

“In a lawsuit filed in 2019 to ask the Justice for measures against the complete precariousness in the control of the economic chain of gold in the country, the MPF warned that only in the amount of sediment released into the waters of the Tapajós, for example, illegal gold mining dumps seven million tons per year, according to a report prepared by the Federal Police (PF) and Ufopa”, says the MPF.

The institution will also “invite researchers, public agencies and entities and organized civil society to discuss measures to contain the advance of pollution in the Tapajós river bed”, added the agency.

“Global scale” impact

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, researcher Tommaso Giarrizzo, coordinator of the Aquatic Ecology Group at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA), assessed that the “muddy” water may be the result of “a cumulative effect of impacts that are occurring” in the region.

“It’s no use worrying about ensuring environmental quality in Santarém if the municipalities and states that drain the river do not have environmental management. This water also reaches the ocean. The effects are being diluted and dispersed on a geographic scale that is not even national, it is really global”, he said.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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