Contingency Plans for Santa Bárbara, Cachoeirinha and Dique Lisa Dams in Minas Gerais

Contingency Plans for Santa Bárbara, Cachoeirinha and Dique Lisa Dams in Minas Gerais

In 2020, Synergia was responsible for the elaboration of contingency plans for three structures of the company Vallourec Tubos do Brasil: Cachoeirinha*, Dique Lisa and Santa Bárbara, dams located in the municipalities of Brumadinho and Nova Lima, in Minas Gerais.

Synergia was asked to carry out work that could meet expectations for the prevention of damage and the expansion of safety procedures in the regions around Vallourec’s enterprises.

To do so, a Dam Contingency Plan was created for the areas in question, based on the development of procedures complementary to the PAEBM (Emergency Action Plans for Dams), with the forecast of actions, resources and responsibilities in case of emergency situations, including the implementation of preventive measures.

During the work, Synergia mapped the resident population, equipment and establishments in the area of the Self-Rescue Zone (SRZ) and the Secondary Safety Zone (SSZ) concerning the project.

The mapping in the SSZ was not contemplated in the client’s initial scope, which requested the registration of people, buildings and equipment only within the SRZ. However, Synergia’s analysis identified the importance of incorporating the SSZ into the study, also considering the requirements of the new law (resolution number 32, dated 05/11/2020). Vallourec thus expanded the scope of the work to be done.

With the elaboration of the Contingency Plan for Dams, we seek to offer tranquility for both the customer and the communities around the enterprises, strengthening the understanding that the safety of the area would be duly based on the implementation of preventive measures and meticulous planning of the actions to be carried out in case of emergency situations, ensuring agility, facilitating the process and reducing the chances of occurrences.

To understand, analyze, and apply the best methodologies, Synergia conducted around 200 surveys among the potentially affected population, mapping public facilities, commercial and service establishments, and conducting a detailed study of land use and occupation, including environmental aspects, the existence of traditional communities and archaeological sites, historical and cultural heritage, available infrastructure, and suppliers of goods and services for the contingency.

Synergia also made use of its own technological platform for knowledge production and management in a Web environment, the SIS (Socio-environmental Intelligence System). This technological apparatus is based on data control and was able to support the technical and analytical production required for the preparation of contingency plans.

At the end of the process, Synergia was able to draw up a contingency plan that considered the accurate analysis of the data collected about the accommodation, assistance, and rescue infrastructures, and different types of services and resources to be activated in case of emergency response.

The experience in actions of registration and emergency assistance to families in accidents with dams and procedures for evacuation of areas was crucial for the client to choose Synergia to conduct this project.

In particular, the fact that Synergia already had strategic knowledge of the families, territories and local communities also contributed, a factor that allowed us to incorporate into the project, with agility, trained professionals who were already working in the territory and who worked in the area.

*It should be noted that the Cachoeirinha dam has not received tailings since 2015, the year in which Vallourec was the first company in the world to use filter presses for drained stacking of iron ore tailings, dispensing with the use of dams. The process, called zero dams, is being expanded in 2021. This solution has broken the paradigm of the technical and financial viability of implementing iron ore tailings drainage through filter presses as opposed to using conventional dams. For this reason, the company has no tailings dams in operation and does not need to install new dams or even raise existing ones.

Applied resources

  • Identification of social and environmental sensitivities in the study areas, and of the support structures and supply of goods and services available for emergency situations.
  • Quantitative and qualitative surveys.
  • Cartographic surveys and georeferenced information system.
  • Preparation of a panel with all registrations of residents, establishments, equipment, and suppliers.
  • Mapping of legislation.
  • Interlocution with key players.
  • Relationship with communities.
  • Validation with the Civil Defense.
Technical sheet

Business Sector: Mining, Steel and Petrochemical Industry

Location: Minas Gerais

Period: 2020

Client: Vallourec Tubos do Brasil

Scope: Municipalities of Brumadinho and Nova Lima / MG

Goal: To prepare a contingency plan with the forecast of actions, resources and responsibilities in case of emergency situations related to the Santa Bárbara, Cachoeirinha and Dique Lisa dams.

Results: Registration of resident population, establishments and equipment in the SRZ and SSZ; survey of data on housing infrastructure, assistance, rescue and different types of services and resources to be triggered in case of emergency response. Preparation of a customized contingency plan, based on the information obtained.

Solutions related to this case:

Words by who took part

The most complete and detailed work on this topic that we have ever had contact with
Brumadinho Civil Defense
Brumadinho Civil Defense
This is pioneering work in the sector.
Odiel Ottoni Marques
Odiel Ottoni Marques

Learn more about Synergia

Sign up and receive our news.

    Synergia is concerned about the use of your personal data and these will be kept secure and confidential, in accordance with the General Data Protection Law (LGPD). For more information, see our privacy statement.

    Our Cases

    Projects reflecting our culture of excellence, integrity and transparency.