On Wednesday (13), the Senate established a parliamentary commission of inquiry (CPI) to investigate the environmental damage caused in Maceió (AL) by the petrochemical company Braskem. Currently, there are structural damages to streets and buildings in several districts of the city. By acclamation, the collegiate members approved Senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM) as president and Senator Jorge Kajuru (PSB-GO) as vice president.

Senator Otto Alencar (PSD-BA), who chaired the meeting, stated that the CPI would start work only after February 2024. According to him, the names of Omar and Kajuru were chosen during an earlier meeting with the leaders.

CPI responds to the request (RQS 952/2023) presented by Senator Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL), signed by 46 senators and read in plenary on October 24. The 11-member board will have 120 days to complete the work and its budget will be R$ 120,000.

Relator

Parliamentarians differed on the choice of the future CPI rapporteur. Senator Eduardo Gomes (PL-TO) stated that he expected an autonomous and dismissed rapporteur from the position of CPI president. According to Senator Rodrigo Cunha (Podemos-AL), choosing a name not from his state will increase the credibility of the investigation.

— As part of the discussion within four walls, I would like it to be publicly clear that the rapporteur will not be any senator from the state. In search of an exception so as not to undermine the credibility of the conduct of this CPI (…). I will leave here very dissatisfied unless everyone here formally and completely states that Renan Calheiros will not be rapporteur, he said.

Senators Aziz and Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL) rejected the condition proposed by Rodrigo.

— I cannot agree to a reduction in my mandate (…) And I am sure that President Omar Aziz will, in due course, select a rapporteur and the person who will be best able to assist with the investigation, which must be carried out urgently. Problem [em Maceió] Continue,” Renan said.

According to Otto, a rapporteur can be fired even if he comes from the state of Alagoas. He also pacified the discussion by ensuring the opinion of all members of the collegiate church.

“It's a technicality, knowing how it happened [referindo-se aos danos ambientais no solo de Maceió]. Who was the technician who allowed excessive underground mining? (…) The rapporteur will be selected with the consent of all members of the parliamentary inquiry committee, Otto said.

Damage in Maceió

Extraction of rock salt minerals has been carried out since the 1970s on the outskirts of Lagoa Mundaú, in the capital of Alagoas. Since 2018, structural damage to streets and buildings, including ground subsidence and craters, has been reported in the districts of Pinheiro, Mutange and Bom Parto, which are close to the operation site. More than 14,000 properties have been affected and condemned, and these incidents have already forced the expulsion of approximately 55,000 people from the region. Mining operations stopped in 2019, but the damage could take years to stabilize.

According to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), research by the Brazilian Geological Survey (SGB/CPRM) shows that the petrochemical company Braskem was responsible for the damage that occurred since 2018. The MPF is pursuing four legal proceedings on the matter, in addition to issuing dozens of extrajudicial proceedings to ensure that the necessary measures are adopted to protect affected citizens.

Agência Senado (reproduction authorized based on the quote from Agência Senado)

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