Regulatory News

The bursting of two mineral waste dams in the city of Mariana, Minas Gerais put environmentalists and authorities who care for the Abrolhos National Marine Park on alert. The park is a sanctuary for humpback whales, dolphins and 500 other species. The reason for the alert is that the Doce River, which flows into Abrolhos in the Atlantic Ocean, is now being filled with a torrent of mud mixed with contaminated material which had been held back by the dams.

Humpback whales, porpoises (the most endangered dolphin in Brazil), estuarine dolphins, rare turtles and fish such as the goldfish, mere and blankets rays live near the mouth of the Doce River. The turbid water is forecasted to reach the area next weekend. "We do not know the magnitude of the impact, as we are not sure of the amount of mud that will come," said Jose Carlos Thome from the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity (ICMBio).

An environmental task force has already moved two dozen turtle nests as a preventive measure.

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