See the 42 recovery programs set out in the TTAC and conducted by Renova Foundation and the stage they are at:
Doce River in the region of the municipality of Rio Doce, Minas Gerais by Alexandre Battibugli
This census seeks to identify losses and define social parameters to be measured over time. We estimate this involves between 15,000 and 16,000 families. By March some 14,000 people had been registered (10,000 were submitted to the IFC for verification), mainly in the region along the Doce river. A new campaign is taking place between April and September 2017 to find anyone not yet registered.
The re-registration of roughly one thousand affected people in the municipalities of Mariana and Barra Longa awaits an agreement with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which questioned the contents of the questionnaire.
This program is geared towards compensating and indemnify for damages caused by the dam collapse. It depends on registration process, as the amount is determined based on an estimate of each family’s losses. Technical institutions nominated by the population built a matrix of values to be utilized and its use was overseen by the Public Prosecution Office.
A transparent and fair settlement was sought, thereby avoiding a slow court battle. Services began to be provided to those registered in the cities of Barra Longa and Colatina. The pain and suffering compensation program to address the damages resulting from the interruption of the water supply has started already and is estimated to cover 400,000 people. Services began to be provided in Governador Valadares (51,000 contacted and 15,000 payments) and Colatina (28,000 contacted and 8,000 payments) in October.
This program is for three tribes located in the affected area: Krenak, in Resplendor (MG), and Tupiniquim and Guarani, in Aracruz (ES). Coming into effect after the emergency services, the program will implement structural socio-environmental initiatives with the participation of the communities themselves. Based on the guidance of Funai and Sesai (indigenous health care department), the criteria were determined to source a socio-environmental consultancy firm with the mission of understanding the impacts on and requirements of these people. This study includes a plan of engagement to find local solutions to problems in the region.
A study conducted by consultancy firm Polifônicas and Fundação Palmares identified the impact on quilombola community of Degredo in Linhares (ES). The study is now being further developed to determine which socioeconomic programs should be adopted. A partnership with the state commission for the sustainable development of traditional peoples and communities in the state intends to locate other affected communities in Minas Gerais state.
Focused on bolstering the social welfare structure to look after the vulnerable sections of society and provide psychological support services to the municipalities of Mariana and Barra Longa. At first, we provided support so that municipalities could reinforce their public structures with social workers and psychologists in the Social Welfare Reference Centers (CRAS), responsible for providing psychosocial services to this affected population. Car services were also provided to help people at home. The emergency actions began to be replaced by other more structuring actions, such as the provision of community services for the elderly, young people and adolescents, in addition to occupational therapy activities, requested by the community. Another initiative is the assessment of the social vulnerabilities that may have been aggravated by the dam collapse in the region. A consultancy firm will work on this survey which includes the 40 municipalities, identifying which types of vulnerabilities exist, where they are and who is affected. In the course of March and April 2017 workshops will be held with municipal health and social welfare departments to survey and collect the information. Another objective is to build a new program scope, assisted by the local administration.
We should ensure the participation of the affected population and those indirectly affected when devising the content of the programs. Engagement is at the center of our modus operandi to ensure people have access to comprehensive, transparent, complete and publicly available information, in plain language that is appropriate and understandable by all stakeholders, supporting informed public participation. There are a series of hotlines: 0800 Call Center, 12 Service Centers, the Ombudsman, e-mail, Facebook (from May 2017), the Speak to us section on the Foundation’s website and informative information. A total of 64,245 contacts were received in 2016. Through March 2017 the Engagement team had conducted 918 engagement events involving 31,547 people.
After an initial stage of rescuing and treating animals, this program cares for the animals until they can be released or their owners found. Large animals (swine, horses and bulls): are treated in two leased ranches in Acaiaca (MG) and will be returned as soon as the properties are ready to receive them. Similarly, small animals (cats and dogs): are also under the care of Renova Foundation at the temporary animal shelter (Cata). The program also aims to find homes for lost animals through adoption campaigns – more than 110 cats and dogs have already been adopted.
This involves the reconstruction of three locations: Bento Rodrigues, Paracatu de Baixo and Gesteira. Around 70 meetings have been held with the community to in order to define what the new Bento Rodrigues will look like.
The first project suggested was turned down by residents, who actively participated in the new approved version. Engineering calculations and urban planning and environmental studies are taking place. In this manner, the environmental license will be secured so that the infrastructure implementation stages can commence in the latter half of the year. In Paracatu, a general meeting is expected to decide on the community’s project by May, which involves some 120 families. In the smaller village of Gesteira, which has eight homes, 11 plots, a square and a church, we will have to re-visit the situation with the local community, because the owner of the first plot chosen has said he no longer wishes to sell. The Gustavo Capanema Municipal School, also in Gesteira, was delivered in the beginning of the year.
The main purpose of this program is to dredge and desilt the reservoir of the Risoleta Neves Hydroelectrically Power Plant and recover its operation capability. This unit has been under Samarco’s responsibility until March 2017, after which it was assigned to Renova Foundation. The engineering, environmental, project management and planning teams are monitoring the execution of activities to avoid any delays or discontinuity of the knowledge acquired. A meeting on March 22 brought together the technical teams to determine the new strategies to complete stage 1 established in the TTAC (dredging the first 400 meters of the plant’s reservoir) as quickly as possible.
This program focused on the municipality of Barra Longa, whose town hall was directly hit. The entire recovery took place in 2016: all roads were resurfaced (including those that were indirectly impacted), we recovered the square, the Alameda Beira-Rio avenue, rebuilt seven bridges, carried out containment works along the Carmo river, refurbished 95 of the 99 homes, 34 stores and removed 157,000 cubic meters of tailings that had made their way into the town. In 2017 we are going to rebuild the exhibition hall, the year’s major project, which will probably be completed in 2018, and are also working on the elevation of the football pitch.
The focus was shifted to the reintegration of the school communities in Bento Rodrigues, Paracatu and Gesteira. In collaboration with the municipal education departments of Mariana and Barra Longa, schools were relocated to temporarily host the students and teachers until permanent facilities have been built. The Gustavo Capanema Municipal School in Gesteira has been delivered and by the beginning of 2017, students already started to attend classes at the new school. Other schools are still waiting for the implementation of the village rebuilding program. Students receive psychological support to help them settle into the new school environment.
To preserve the historical and cultural heritage of Mariana (Bento Rodrigues and Paracatu) and Barra Longa (Gesteira), an emergency action was agreed upon with the Public Prosecutor’s Office to recover sacred art items affected by the mudslide and protect the four chapels and churches affected by the dam collapse: Nossa Senhora da Mercês and São Bento, in Bento Rodrigues; Santo Antônio Church, in Paracatu; and Nossa Senhora da Conceição, in Gesteira. We have also supported religious and cultural festivities in these communities. The decision whether to restore or rebuild the buildings, however, is out of the Foundation’s hands. This decision will result from an understanding between the leaders of the Catholic Church, IPHAM, IEPA, the Public Prosecution Office, the Municipal Heritage Council and the local residents.
In March 2017 specialist consultants concluded the first version of an analysis of the Doce river streambed in all municipalities, to ascertain the impacts on sport, culture, leisure and tourism. This analysis will be enhanced by cross-referencing it with other programs and will lead to the production of a plan of action. The most evident cultural centres are Mariana, Resplendor and Linhares. It found that tourism was relatively underdeveloped in the region, which provides an opportunity for the future. We are also sponsoring the resumption of typical regional festivities, in addition to sports and leisure activities.
With more of a clinical approach, this program’s structure is very similar to program 5, social protection. From the very onset we have sought to bolster the presence of the National Health Service (SUS) in the municipalities of Mariana and Barra Longa, with physicians, nurses and materials in the basic health care units (UBS). Vehicles were also provided for the home service. The next step is to conduct an epidemiological and toxicological study throughout the affected region to determine the magnitude of the impact on health care, guide actions and establish the parameters to measure progress over time.
This will sponsor research and development into technologies that can use tailings for economic purposes, in addition to other technologies and products arising in the course of the repair and restoration of the Doce river streambed. The program is seeking patented certified products which can boost the local economy. Partnerships to this end have been made with Fapemig – Research Support Foundation of Minas Gerais – and Fapes – Research and innovation Support Foundation of Espírito Santo –, intermediated in by the integrated Development institute of Minas Gerais (iNDi). We should allocate more funds for research through grants to Masters and PhD students. This will also embrace projects entailing new means of handling and cultivating pastures and innovating in the recovery of degraded areas. A number of pilot plants are developing blocks for civil construction and servicing, but the most effective results will begin to emerge in 2018.
This embraces the entire streambed of the Doce river and the Regência and Provação marine areas in Espírito Santo. The program is geared towards the full environmental recovery of the basin and clearance for fishing which is currently banned. The first studies into water quality and fish stocks were discrepant and inconclusive. Two panels were therefore held with the main research institutions in the region to determine the criteria for a new study. Temporarily we are fostering alternative river-based employment, such as cleaning and monitoring, in addition to strengthening fishermen colonies and associations.
This program embraces 237 rural properties between Mariana and the Candonga reservoir, which were physically impacted by the volume of tailings, with the best pastures being lost. – in addition to the properties ranging from Candonga to Regência (ES) primarily impacted by restrictions on using water from the Doce river for irrigation and raising livestock. Emergency works included re-erecting knocked-down fences, ring-fencing areas containing mud to prevent livestock getting bogged down and protecting substitute crops, totalling 246 kilometres offenses. We planted 180 hectares of pastures with greater productivity and distributed more than 12,000 tonnes of silage to feed livestock. in March 2017 the permanent stage of the program commenced, which will analyse each property in terms of balancing economic activity and environmental conservation. it is embedded in program 40 (implementation of CAR and PRA) to jointly define solutions.
This program focuses on Mariana, which is the only mining activity dependant municipality in the region. This program is based on Mariana 2030, a project involving the municipal government and community leaders which outlines long-term social and economic development trajectories. Renamed Mariana Present and Future, this revision process included two workshops which made it possible to determine the core target to be achieved by 2030: Mariana is ranked amongst the top ten cities in Brazil in terms of HDI (human development index). It is currently ranked 52nd in Minas Gerais.
This aims to recover and restore small businesses directly affected by mudslide, by rebuilding and renewing the equipment affected, including freelancers and service providers who lost their working materials. We are also benefiting tourism activities in Regência and Povoação. The core principle is that activities be resumed in a better condition than before the collapse. A new stage starts in 2017: we want to incentivize entrepreneurship and the emergence of businesses that have a positive social impact, primarily benefiting low-income communities (at the bottom of the social pyramid).
The funds used by the Foundation in recovery programs can also nurture the local economy. This program has become a systematic process between the Foundation and the companies providing services. Our target is to have more than 60% of the workforce sourced from the impacted region. We had met the 61% by December 2016, with 1,759 local professionals hired. We are now seeking to foresee the requirements of the other programs to prepare the community through training partnerships with entities like SENAI and Instituto Terra, for example. A consultancy firm is also analysing local labour potential.
Those considered within the so called affected population which demonstrates their earnings were compromised due to the interruption to production activities are entitled to monthly financial aid until they can get back to work. By March 2017, 8,159 people had received such aid, which can be withdrawn using a debit card. New applications continue to be analysed.
This monitors the process of determining activities, information systems, databases, result measurement benchmarks, approval according to the governance model and budget allocation, all to ensure efficiency and full compliance with the settlement agreement (TTAC).
In 2016, geochemical and geomorphological environmental studies were carried out to assess the composition of tailings and impacts, such as erosion of banks, the main areas where the tailings are deposited or could return to the river with the rain. Three events at the start of 2017, with the participation of environmental agencies, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, consultants and experts, resulted in the preparation of a Management Plan, which will be sent to the regulatory agencies and then to the IFC Technical Chamber. The plan contains guidelines, concepts, methods, techniques, governance structure and tools to decide on the best approach to managing each river section. At the end of May we will apply the proposed methodology and will have the first Plan of Action implemented.
The task of building and operating emergency sediment containment structures in the area between the Fundão dam and Risoleta Neves HPP is still under Samarco’s responsibility. The transition plan has been prepared to assign a number of obligations to Renova Foundation from March 31, 2017 onwards. In the Germano region, we are working in two different areas: Axis 1 and Dike S4. In Axis 1, we are responsible for sourcing the company to carry out the works, to acquire materials and to implement construction plans until their final elevation. In the region of Dike S4, we will decommission dike S4 (forecast for 2019), built as the last sediment containment barrier before the Gualaxo do Norte River and which is currently inundating a part of Bento Rodrigues. Renova Foundation will also be responsible for any new dike requirements due to the future definitions of tailing management programs and the recovery of the Risoleta Neves power plant. The operation of the Nova Santarém dam and dike S3, located in an area owned by Samarco, remain under the company’s responsibility.
This program consists of cleaning the river main channel and free it from trees, branches and sediments, as to physically stabilize the 600 hectares of banks in the initial section running through Risoleta Neves Power Plant, and planting vegetation with 15 species of grasses and legumes to avoid soil erosion. In 2018 we will begin planting native forest species to recover the riparian vegetation. This will be especially helpful in recovering areas where the mudslide resulted in erosion of riverbanks. River meanders are being reinforced by rock armouring, which is the placement of small pieces of rock on the sides of the river, to stop water from destroying the riverbanks. The TTAC originally estimated an operational area of 2,000 hectares. New measurements will determine more accurately the impacted areas.
Restoring 40,000 hectares of Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs) along the entire Doce river basin over ten years is an opportunity to strategically think about the territory as a whole. A company will be hired to identify where these plantations should occur, mainly aiming to recover the riparian vegetation, a topic also addressed in program 25. The inter-federative committee (IFC) is analysing a technical operating procedure detailing the actions. We also wish to identify where there are sapling nurseries along the Doce river to produce the native spaces of the forest biome to be planted. We are researching a forest management system (SGF), as the information needs to be collected in a standardized manner in the field to enable monitoring with managerial reports and indicators. A meeting has been organized in May with specialist entities to debate the best forest restoration practices for economic purposes, i.e. to evaluate systems that encourage farmers to combine economic use with forest restoration.
This program aims to recover 5,000 springs in ten years in the Doce river’s entire drainage basin, at a pace of 500 per year. The first step is to protect them, before working out what would be considered a recovered spring. On March 2, 2017 we completed the protection of the first 511 springs in conjunction with Instituto Terra, which mobilized 217 rural property owners. We provided the materials and hired the labour to set up a fence in a radius of 50 meters around the springs in the Rio Pancas, Suaçuí Grande and Santa Maria do Doce basins. The next step is to regenerate the vegetation, planting 1200 native plants per hectare. More than 500 will be protected by the end of 2017.
This program will study the aquatic fauna along the entire course of the Doce river and the watercourses that flow into it. A company has been contracted and the Work Plan was submitted to the IFC on March 31, 2017. The Rede Rio Doce Mar university consortium has also been hired to analyse the marine environment, water and sediment in Espírito Santo. While the studies are taking place, emergency actions are being discussed by the Biodiversity and Conservation Technical Chamber.
This program aims to install two Wildlife Screening and Rehabilitation centres (Cetas) along the Doce river. The Ibama offices in Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais requested that the location be changed due to logistical difficulties, which would require an amendment to the TTAC. The Biodiversity and Conservation Technical Chamber should refer this requirement for analysis and decision by the inter-federative committee by midway through 2017. The Foundation is responsible for building the facilities and operating them for a period of three years.
Details of the program are still being defined. We delivered a report assessing the environmental impacts on endangered fauna. A meeting in April, to take place in Brasília, will align the project with a plan of action for endangered species. Meetings with scientific specialists will then determine the methodologies and species to be monitored. Following completion, the Action Plan will be submitted to the IFC for analysis and subsequent implementation.
This program follows the destination of funds as determined by the IFC to the municipalities lying along the banks of the Doce river, from the Risoleta Neves power plant to Regência, in Espírito Santo, in order to design the basic sanitation plans, sewage system projects, the implementation of collection and treatment works, eradication of waste dumps and implementation of regional landfill sites. The prioritizing criteria and cap values to be transferred to municipalities have been set by the IFC. However, the requirements municipalities are supposed to meet in order to become eligible to get the funds are still being defined.
We should work to reduce the risk of water shortages in cities located along the Doce river and build sustainable solutions for alternative water supply systems. Water pipelines and artesian wells are being built to enhance the efficiency of directing water to water treatment stations and waste treatment stations. In Governador Valadares (MG) a 22-km water pipeline is planned to take water from the Suaçuí Grande river; in Resplendor (MG), a water pipeline of approximately 2.5 km will direct water to córrego Barroso; in Linhares (ES), a 9-km water pipeline will connect the treatment station to Lagoa Nova; in Baixo Guandu (ES) – 1-km water pipeline will connect to the Guandu river; and in Colatina (ES) – two water pipelines: one 4 km, connecting the Rio Santa Maria river to water treatment station 1, and one 5.5 km, connecting the Pancas river to water treatment station 2.
According to the TTAC terms, the environmental education focuses on the municipalities of Mariana, Barra Longa, Rio Doce and Santa Cruz do Escalvado. 41 activities were carried out between August 2016 and January 2017, including lectures, meetings and discussions, with the participation of 631 people. We are putting together an environmental education program encompassing the 39 municipalities alongside the Doce river, with the participation of research institutions, third sector institutions, basin committees and government agencies.
In order to alert the population in the case of another environmental emergency related to dams in the region extending to the Risoleta Neves power plant, a system with 31 sirens has been installed in the populated areas on an urgent basis. The Civil Defense can also use the system to warn people in the event the Gualaxo and Carmo basins are inundated, which now has instruments connected to an automatic system measuring the level of rivers and accumulated rainfall. In September 2016, an analysis was conducted on the structure and response capacity of the Civil Defense teams in the municipalities of Mariana, Barra Longa, Santa cruz do Escalvado and Rio Doce. The analysis and a plan of action for the next five years have been submitted to the IFC. There are three operating fronts: enhancing public risk management, creating civil defence community groups to empower the community in terms of risk management; and coaching young people in schools regarding risk perception.
In order to provide greater transparency for the population, the settlement includes the construction of three information centres, one in each macro region of the affected territory: Mariana and Barra Longa; in the Minas Gerais section of the Doce river; and in Espírito Santo. The centres will be maintained for ten years. There are currently 12 information and service centres, operating as access channels for the communities. We are fully aware that although they meet populations basic needs they haven’t been totally structured and we are planning to create three more didactic and interactive centres, which can supplement the work of the environmental education program.
This program consists of a website to ensure everybody can read about our activities with complete transparency. This electronic address (www. fundacaorenova.org) has been active since August 2016, as required by the TTAC. We want this website to be another instrument for engaging with society, also meeting the international demand for public information, which is available also in English. In January 2017, we began providing real-time coverage of public discussions, lectures and other activities to further expand the reach of these interactions with the communities. Along 2017 we will expand our presence in social networks and this development is currently being planned. We lastly hope this website will record the dialogue and the recovery of the Doce river over the course of time.
On March 2, 2017 we submitted to the inter-federative committee the analysis of environmental risks posed by Samarco facilities impacted by the collapse: the Germano and Santarém dams, the latter now immersed by the Nova Santarém dam reservoir, in addition to the slurry pipeline. This material will be presented to the Environmental Safety and Tailings Management Technical Chamber. The work was conducted based on a specific methodology and recommends controls and preventive actions that are already in place or will be adopted.
This program aims to monitor over time the recovery of the Doce river drainage basin and coastline and the effectiveness of permanent interventions made by systematically evaluating the quality of the water and sediment. To achieve this, we created the permanent, systematic qualitative and quantitative water and sediment monitoring program (PMQQS) in the Coastline and Estuaries, which the Water Quality and Water security Technical Chamber has been analysing since March 06. The sampling frequency depends on the substance being analysed, and can be hourly (automatic monitoring stations), monthly or quarterly. The basin’s automatic measurement network is divided into four sections: 18 sampling points between the Fundão dam and the Risoleta Neves power plant, including the Gualaxo do Norte and Carmo rivers and Santarém creek; 10 sampling points between the Risoleta Neves power plant and the Baguarí power plant, including the Piracicaba, Matipó and Santo Antônio rivers; 7 sampling points between the Baguarí and Aimorés power plants; and 4 sampling points between the Aimorés power plant and the mouth of the Doce river – there are also 36 sampling points in the estuaries and coastal zone of Espírito Santo.
The program was originally created to assess the impact and remediation actions in the Conservation Units affected: Parque Estadual do Rio Doce (MG), Reserva Biológica de Comboios (ES), Área de Proteção Ambiental Costa das Algas and Refúgio de Vida Silvestre de Santa Cruz (ES). This study will now encompass the 39 conservation units in the entire region impacted. The Biodiversity and Conservation Technical Chamber will send guidelines for the new engagement plan. We will simultaneously work on consolidating Parque Estadual do Rio Doce (MG) and Refúgio de Vida Silvestre de Santa Cruz (ES) and on implementing and building the head office of the new Environmental Protection Area (APA) at the mouth of the Doce river (ES), occupying an estimated 43,400 ha, which has yet to be created by the federal government.
Through the partnership with Emater and IEF (State Forestry institute), all the 237 rural properties between Mariana and the Risoleta Neves power plant will have their own Socioeconomic and Environmental Adaptation Plan – Pasea, which rectifies land ownership documents according to the requirements of the new Forestry code, with the rural environmental register (CAR) ready and prepared to have the environmental legalization plan (PRA), which is still undergoing regulatory compliance adaptations.
As is the case with program 22, this program coordinates the management of the socio-environmental programs, monitoring the process for defining activities, information systems, databases, result measurement benchmarks, approval according to the governance model and budget allocation, all to ensure efficiency and full compliance with the settlement agreement (TTAC).
In the course of 2017, a consultancy firm E&Y will conduct audits as part of the criteria for reimbursing federal, state and municipal government agencies, provided that all supporting documents are submitted. The TTAC establishes the amount of R$ 27,463,793.00 for the reimbursement of state and federal government, adjusted by the IPCA price index. The payments schedule will be defined until October 2017.