THE Ibama made partial use of information from a technical report prepared by its own servers, in order to authorize the emergency purchase, and without bidding, of 20 thousand liters of fire retardant not to be used Pantanal.
THE Estadão found that, in the last five days, the material purchase plan went through several administrative departments of Ibama, with the purpose of obtaining clearance for the purchase without public competition. The favorable opinions for the acquisition were based on a technical opinion from June 2018. This document affirms that the studies of the product presented by the manufacturer “indicate that the product is biodegradable and has low toxicity for humans and for some representative species of the aquatic ecosystem ”.
Ibama ignores other statements in this same document, which draws attention to risks, preventive measures, testing needs and lack of regulation in the country, as these are products “whose data on ecotoxicity are still incipient”. agents should only use the retardant as a last resort, when other means of fighting fires are inefficient ”, the opinion brings a list of precautions. The main one asks to “institute the suspension of water consumption, fishing, hunting and consumption of fruits and vegetables in the region exposed to the product for a period of 40 days, considering that the products degrade by 80-90% in 28 days. ”.
The document contains the request that, in case of application of the product in indigenous lands or close to populous places, that the local population be informed “about the possible risks of consumption of water and food from the place within 40 days after the application of the flame retardant ”. The Ministry of the Environment and Ibama did not say whether this prior communication was made.
Another recommendation calls for avoiding application of the product in Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), “thus reducing the risk of contamination of aquatic ecosystems and possible places for capturing water or fishing for human consumption”. The Chapada dos Veadeiros Park, for example, is a region marked by an infinity of APPs, with rivers and waterfalls that spread throughout the region.
The document is also clear in recommending that georeferencing be carried out in all places where the flame retardant is applied, with date of application, quantity of product used, size of the area applied (in hectares).
If Ibama applies what its own technical staff requests, it will have to “promote the monitoring of georeferenced sites for at least six months, in order to identify any environmental damage resulting from the application of flame retardant”, in addition to doing the “analysis chemistry to investigate the levels of the retardant in environmental matrices, such as surface water, soil, sediment, fish and fruits, with collections made after 30 days of application of the product ”.
Ignoring all these recommendations from its own technicians, Ibama stated that “they refer to general information, and were elaborated in an abstract analysis”. The agency did not say why some of the report’s statements are objective and clear for the purpose of purchasing the product, but others would be “abstract”.
The agency stated that, based on “technical information”, “the Fire Limit product was considered to have a profile that is not very toxic to the environment and human health, as mentioned in the aforementioned opinion, in addition to being little persistent, ie degrade quickly, and do not have in its composition substances that bring concern to the environment, such as Persistent Organic Pollutants and heavy metals ”.
“At the time, Ibama established general recommendations in a context in which it had not been defined which product would be used or in which places exactly,” he said.