U.S. Water News Online
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- A dam burst at a mine in
southeastern Brazil recently, dumping tons of possibly toxic runoff
into rivers that supply water for cities in Rio de Janeiro and Minas
Gerais states, the government reported.
The Rio Pomba company mines bauxite and calcium, and the runoff of
polluted mud contaminated the rivers around Mirai, about 180 miles
(290 kilometers) northeast of Rio de Janeiro, the government news
agency Agencia Brasil said.
The head of the state water and drainage company Cedae, Wagner
Victer, said drinking water would be trucked into nearby cities.
Victer recalled that the same company had 100 million gallons of
toxic mud leak into the Mirai River in 2003.
"It's absurd that this company is still operating," Victer was
quoted as saying.
The Minas Gerais state government said it had shut down the
The environmental departments of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro
states sent a joint team to the site to assess the damage.
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