Justice reverses decision and allows the opening of floodgates at Balbina Hydroelectric Plant, in Amazonas

The decision was made after an agreement between Eletrobras/Eletronorte and the town hall, signed in a conciliatory hearing (Reproduction)

Bruno Pacheco – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The Amazonas State Court revoked the decision that suspended the opening of the spillway gates of Balbina Hydroelectric Power Plant, in Presidente Figueiredo (125 kilometers from Manaus). The measure was taken on Monday, 11, by Judge Roger Luiz Paz de Almeida, after an agreement between Eletrobras/Eletronorte and the town hall, signed in a conciliatory hearing.

The opening of the floodgates had been denied, still on Monday, 11, by the Justice of the State of Amazonas. The judge considered the allegation of the Mayor’s Office of Presidente Figueiredo that the action could cause damage to families living in the communities near the Uatumã River, where the power plant is located. The magistrate also requested that Eletrobras present a plan to reduce the socio-environmental impact.


In the new decision, the judge pointed out that an agreement was signed for the plant. According to him, the conciliatory hearing was requested by the Public Ministry, because of the concern about the dam bursting and the safety of the residents who live around the plant.

“In this agreement, the hydroelectric plant committed itself, in addition to safeguarding the issue of reparation to eventual environmental damage, to provide basic food baskets and boats for the mobility of the people who live there. All this was adjusted in the term and a homologating sentence was issued so that it can be fulfilled and have legal force for the fulfillment of all these negotiations that were held throughout this hearing”, declared Judge Roger de Almeida.

Judge Roger said that the hydroelectric plant has committed to safeguard the issue of reparation to eventual environmental damage caused by the plant (Reproduction)

According to the sentence, the agreement signed was for the concession of 90 liters of fuel per day to transport supplies and community members by the available boats, while the opening of the spillways persists; the hiring of boats, within five days, that meet a minimum capacity of 72 people, to serve the residents affected by the flooding resulting from the opening of the floodgates.

The agreement also consists in the supply of 2,000 basic food baskets, in installments of 500 per demand, in the following order: 1st installment, in 24 hours; 2nd installment, in seven days; 3rd installment, in 15 days and so on, in the same manner, while the opening of the floodgates is necessary.

In addition, the agreement also includes the work, within 20 days, by the Concessionaire Company, of a contingency plan for definitive support and logistics of the public calamity situation foreseen with the opening of the spillways, to be presented to the municipality of Presidente Figueiredo, indicating the probable duration of the period of necessary opening of the spillways and the continuity of the logistical support established herein, as long as necessary.

According to the decision, failure to comply with the measures is subject to a daily fine of R$ 100 thousand. To CENARIUM MAGAZINE, the mayor of Presidente Figueiredo, Patricia Lopes, reported that she is closely monitoring the opening of the Balbina hydroelectric plant and that she will continue providing support to the population directly affected by the plant.

“We will continue giving support, as the city hall had already been doing, and now, added to Eletronorte’s efforts. We have set up a structure in the Morena branch, with a team on duty 24 hours a day to provide the necessary assistance throughout the days. We will always be working on behalf of the citizens, guaranteeing these residents their rights and trying to minimize as much as possible the damage that this flooding will cause in the lives of everyone who lives there”, declared the mayor Patrícia Lopes.

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