The safety of dams, especially those used to dispose of solid waste generated by mining, is becoming increasingly important in light of recent episodes that indicate the need for reviewing the regulatory framework and improving inspection procedures, duties of the public bodies that have the legal competence to implement changes in this area.
For example, of the 29 dams in the state of Rio de Janeiro, five were considered to have a High Associated Potential Damage ("DPA")the dams of Juturnaíba, Saracuruna, Rio Imbuí-UT Triunfo, Lago Javary and Gericinó.
In this regard, on January 22, 2019, Resolution No. 165/2018 (the "Resolution") of the State Environmental Institute ("INEA") was published in Rio de Janeiro's Official Gazette. The purpose of the Resolution is to regulate the safety of dams, within the state's sphere of competence, the National and State Dam Security Policies, by introducing new procedures of the Dam Safety Plan ("PSB").
According to Article 17 of the Supplementary Law No. 140/2011, INEA has the authority to inspect the dams located in the state rivers whose licenses have been issued by the state environmental body itself.
Moreover, Article 5, item I, of the Federal Law No. 12344/2010, which governs the National Dam Policy, confers INEA the power to inspect the dams for which it has granted rights for the use of hydric resources when the object is water accumulation, with the exception of dams for hydroelectric use.
Article 4 of the Resolution establishes that the environmental body will classify the dams according to the Matrix of Risk Category and Associated Potential Damage contained in Annex I of the normative act.
Article 5 of the Resolution concerns the theme and depth of the PSB, which should be composed of up to five volumes. Annex II of the Resolution determines the minimum content of the volumes as defined below:
Volume I. General Information and Technical Documentation of the Enterprise Volume II. Plans, Procedures, Records and Monitoring Volume III. Periodic Review of Dam Safety Volume IV. Emergency Action Plan Volume V. Executive Summary of the Dam Safety Plan Pursuant to Article 7 of the Resolution, the PSB must be prepared and submitted to INEA before the first filling. However, in cases where the first filling of the dam has already occurred, the PSB must be prepared within one year of the publication of the legal instrument.
In regard to the periodicity and deadline for the preparation of the...