SynopsisA civil court in Brazil's Minas Gerais state has frozen approximately S71 million in the accounts of flats producer Usiminas. This action is in response to environmental damages attributed to the company's operations in the city of Ipatinga, where its plant is located. The public attorney of the state has cited Usiminas for maintaining environmentally harmful practices, including the emission of particles known as "black dust," which has adversely affected the health of Ipatinga's residents, particularly their respiratory health. The company claims to have made substantial environmental investments in recent years, striving to reduce black dust emissions.ArticleIn a significant legal development, a civil court in Brazil's Minas Gerais state has taken action against flats producer Usiminas, freezing approximately S71 million in the company's accounts. This decision comes as a response to environmental violations linked to Usiminas' operations in the city of Ipatinga, where its plant is situated.According to the public attorney of the state, Usiminas has been conducting operations that are detrimental to the environment, including the emission of particles referred to as "black dust." This issue has drawn concern and condemnation, especially from the local population of Ipatinga.The impact of the black dust emissions on the city has been severe, primarily affecting the respiratory health of its residents. Health problems linked to this environmental issue have become a significant concern.Usiminas, in response to these allegations, released a statement highlighting its environmental efforts. The company claimed to have invested over the equivalent of S100 million in environmental initiatives during 2023. These investments have been focused on improving practices in key areas, including sintering, blast furnaces, and steel converter processes. Usiminas also asserted that it has been consistently working to reduce black dust emissions since 2018, in accordance with a term of adjustment of procedures (TAC) negotiated with the authorities.ConclusionThe freezing of funds in Usiminas' accounts underscores the serious nature of environmental concerns surrounding the company's operations in Ipatinga. The emission of black dust and its impact on the health of the local population have prompted legal action. Usiminas, in response, has emphasized its commitment to addressing these issues through significant environmental investments and ongoing efforts to reduce black dust emissions.