SAO PAULO, Brazil - An article by Alan Clendenning of the Associated Press reports that Brazilian authorities shut down Cargill Inc.'s deep water Amazon River soy export port, saying the huge agribusiness firm failed to provide an environmental impact statement required by law.

The article said "The move by federal police and environmental agents closing Cargill's controversial terminal on Saturday was a major victory for environmentalists in Santarem, a sleepy jungle city about 1,250 miles northwest of Sao Paulo. It came after a late Friday ruling by Judge Souza Prudente, according to police and the Agencia Estado news service."

Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cargill had prepared an environmental assessment that did not meet Brazilian federal standards, the AP quotes federal police agent Cesar Dessimoni as saying.

Environmentalists who blame soy farming, logging and cattle ranching as the primary threats facing the Amazon praised the closure, calling it a milestone in attempts to push the government to more effectively police a region where lawlessness often prevails.

"This is an important day for the Amazon rainforest and for its people," Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Coordinator in Brazil, said in a statement, according to the AP. "A big step forward has been taken in enforcing the responsible use of natural resources and bringing greater governance in the Amazon."

Cargill, which has operated in Brazil since 1965, told the AP Saturday that it plans to appeal the ruling and that it had submitted an environmental impact statement that was accepted by the Amazon state of Para, where Santarem is located.

No ships were being loaded or waiting to load when the port was closed.

SOURCE: AP news article.