From Brazilian anti-dam activists to Newfoundlanders fighting to protect their lake from being turned into a toxic dumpsite, water activists from around the globe are cheering the fact that Vale has been selected as the recipient for the 2012 Public Eye Award for being the worst company of the year.
The company notorious for building a massive $52 billion dam complex in the Amazon Rainforest promising to forcefully relocate 40,000 people and destroy the vital Xingu river ecosystem, earned top spot with 25,042 votes. Canadians had their own reasons for voting for Vale.
The mining giant has plans to dump 400,000 tonne of tailings annually into Sandy Pond, a 38-hectare freshwater lake from its nickel-processing project near Long Harbour, at Placentia Bay. The toxic tailings will permanently destroy the pristine glacial lake and its unique aquatic habitat.
Through a coalition of Newfoundland and national groups called the Sandy Pond Alliance, the Council of Canadians is launching a legal challenge against the federal government arguing that the loophole in the Fisheries Act allowing for companies like Vale to turn lakes into dumpsites is a violation of the principles of the Act.
Co-ordinated by the Berne Declaration and Greenpeace International, the Public Eye Award draws international attention to the poor environmental and human rights records of companies at the forefront of the World Economic Forum.
For more information on Sandy Pond, please visit: http://www.canadians.org/water/issues/TIAs/sandy-pond.html
For more information about Vale’s award, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zCG6KgLPhbY