Norsk Hydro owned company is accused of pollution in Brazil
A company owned by Norsk Hydro is accused of poisoning the drinking water of thousands of people at Belém in northern Brazil.
Hydro Alunorte, the world’s largest alumina refinery, for almost a week denied that there had been any toxins released from their plant.
But on Friday, experts from the Brazilian Ministry of Health confirmed that the wastewater pools at the plant has overflowed, writes the Rio Times. The incident was first mentioned by the Brazilan web site diarioonline.
Residents in the area say that the waste water pools around the industrial areas in Belém, including Hydro Alunortes, flowed over due to heavy rainfalls. Now they fear for a major environmental disaster.
Polluted Drinking Water
According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, high levels of lead, aluminum, sodium and other harmful substances have been detected, and drinking water up to two kilometers away from the plant is affected.
Hydro at first rejected the accusations, but after the Brazilian authorities confirmed that there were harmful substances found in the drinking water, the company told BBC Brazil that they will rectify all the problems they might have caused, writes Aftenposten.
Information director in Hydro, Halvor Mollan, says that:
– the process has run more or less as normal during the heavy rain, all effluent is collected by the water treatment system and the samples made in the nearby village found elevated levels of substances, also those not part of our processes, underlining that there are other industrial companies in the same area.
He says that they will nevertheless appoint an expert committee to come to the bottom of the matter.
According to Norway Today’s local sources, Hydro Alunorte has been fined several times for breaching environmental laws, but have not yet paid a single Brazilian Real of those fines. Even the Norwegian Royal family and Government has previously been accused of being involved in the deforestation of the Amazonas.
Toxic Water Seeps From Norwegian Mining Site in Brazil’s Amazonhttps://t.co/y8Nb1f925W
— The Rio Times (@TheRioTimes) February 23, 2018