Hydro Alunorte is the world's largest alumina refinery and is located in Barcarena province, north of Brazil. The company is now receiving strong criticism from both environmental organizations and Brazilian authorities. Hydro Alunorte is owned by state-owned Hydro.
According to Reuters, which indicates the Ministry of Health in Brazil as a source, several of the waste water pools at the refinery have been cleaned in the event of a heavy rainfall last weekend, so that toxic liquids have leaked into the environment.
Accused by Brazilian Health Authorities
Hydro has for several days denied that there have been any leaks from the plant. But Brazilian health authorities believe that the emissions have been carried out in both rivers and soils. The release is currently the main report of the English-language newspaper Rio Times, entitled: "Toxic water drains from the Norwegian mining area out of Brazil's Amazon."
According to the Evandro Chagas Institute, part of the Brazilian health department, the locals will be as far as two kilometers from the farm be affected by the discharge ..
Marcelo Lima, one of the researchers at the Institute, said the institute has images showing that poisonous waste 17th and 19th February floats over and flows into local waterways.
The people affected are dependent on spring water, and the institute is now calling for a crisis plan to provide local people with water. They also ask that the health of people in the area be monitored.
Eyewitnesses have described the water as colored and malignant.
Lima says that the fluid to be leaked can cause serious damage when it comes into contact with skin. 19659002] – When we went to the village of Bom Futuro, we saw that the wells were built all the way down the river bank, saying Lima to Reuters.
Hydro distributes water to locals
Hydro rejects a short message on its international websites that it have found some gift leaks from Hydro Alunorte and that they cooperate with local authorities.
However, after the Brazilian authorities criticized, the company responded in a statement to BBC Brazil that they were prepared to correct all the problems they might have caused by its activities.
"Hydro Alunorte, in cooperation with the civil defense, will immediately supply the villages of Vila Nova and Bom Futuro with water," the statement said.
According to BBC Brazil, Hydro will also have used "secret" pipelines to release uncleaned emissions into the Muripi River. After initially denying this, Hydro has admitted to the scientists that such a pipe exists but has not been used.
– But when it came to a large amount of rain, we became aware of the pipe that escaped and plugged it , says Halvor Mollan, Hydro's Information Director.
Saying they have no indications of leaks
He says that Hydro has no indication that something has happened at their facilities.
– We have not found traces of leakage from Hydro Alunorte, he says, pointing out that the refinery is in an industrial area with several companies that could have caused the emissions.
– But since there are now various statements about what has happened, we will set up an expert committee that can be found in this. There is very large access to rumors, less access to facts.
– We are open about what is happening and now wishes to find out what has actually happened.