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Brazil court suspends Belo Monte dam operating license over sanitation

SAO PAULO, April 7 A federal court in Brazil suspended the operating license of the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on environmental grounds, according to a statement late on Thursday from federal prosecutors in the state of Pará.

The dam's operating consortium Norte Energia SA, led by state-controlled energy group Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA , or Eletrobras, must complete basic sanitation works in the city of Altamira before filling the dam's reservoir, the prosecutors said.

The sanitation work was a condition for Brazil environmental agency Ibama licensing the 11,233-megawatt Belo Monte dam, which has drawn controversy for its impact on the native communities along a tributary of the Amazon river.

Norte Energia SA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Luciano Costa; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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