In what may be the worst industrial accident in Brazil’s history, a massive chemical spill into two rivers has cut off the supply of clean water to some 600,000 people in three states near Rio de Janeiro. A reservoir at a pulp and paper factory leaked 320 million gallons of caustic soda and chlorine into the Paraiba do Sul River last weekend before being contained on Monday; the toxins then worked their way into the Pomba River and will soon reach the Atlantic Ocean. Fish and other river species are dying in high numbers in the rivers, and fishing and irrigation have been banned in affected areas. Scientists say it could take as many as 15 years for the ecosystem to recover. The pulp factory was shut down and fined nearly $15 million and criminal charges could be forthcoming, but that’s done nothing to allay fears that heavy rains could trigger another spill from a second reservoir at the facility.