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Austin, TX 78701-4296
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Notes from the Latin American Practice Group
Greetings from the Latin American Practice Group! We are pleased to provide our Latin American Region Environmental Quarterly covering highlights from the second quarter (April - July) of the year. Please know that the Quarterly is designed to capture major regulatory developments and emerging regional trends and is not intended to provide comprehensive coverage of all environmental initiatives.
Beveridge & Diamond was honored to hold its Fourth Latin American Region Environmental Roundtable.
On June 12, 2012, the Secretariat of Energy (Secretaría de Energía) issued a resolution (Resolución 338/2012; "Resolution") promulgating regulations on the siting of liquid natural gas ("LNG") port terminals and associated environmental protection requirements.
On May 7, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency of the City of Buenos Aires (Agencia de Protección Ambiental de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires; "APrA") issued a resolution (Resolución No. 155/APRA/12; "Resolution") approving a plan that would phase out the use of non-biodegradable bags and envelopes within the City (Plan de Reducción de Bolsas y de Sustitución de Sobres No Biodegradables).
On April 27, 2012, the Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin Authority (Autoridad de Cuenca Matanza Riachuelo; "ACUMAR") enacted a resolution (Resolución 661/2012; "Resolution") addressing several issues related to Argentina’s requirement that companies undertaking environmentally-risky activities obtain environmental insurance.
On April 19, 2012, a bill (Proyetco de Ley S-0967/12; "Bill") was introduced in the Senate that would establish a voluntary ecological labeling system.
Brazil’s federal environmental enforcement agency, IBAMA, has been directed to create the National System of Transport of Dangerous Goods (Sistema Nacional de Transporte de Produtos Perigosos) to administer the environmental licensing of maritime and interstate land-based shipments of dangerous goods.
On June 5, 2012, President Dilma Rousseff issued Decree No. 7746 to promote sustainable development through the procurement practices of the federal government and establishing the Interministerial Commission on Sustainability in Public Administration (Comissão Interministerial de Sustentabilidade na Administração Pública; "CISAP").
Following a protracted and contentious legislative debate, on May 25, 2012, President Dilma Rousseff enacted Law No. 12651 (the "Law"), on the protection of native vegetation (sobre a proteção da vegetação nativa), replacing one of Brazil’s oldest environmental laws, the 1965 Forest Code (Código Florestal).
Reverse Logistics Committee Deliberations Indicate Future Producer Responsibility for Product Packaging
On May 23 and June 22, 2012, the Orientation Committee for Implementation of Reverse Logistics Systems (Comitê Orientador para a Implementação de Sistemas de Logística Reversa; the "Orientation Committee") published a series of five "Deliberations" that elaborate several aspects of Brazil’s evolving producer responsibility requirements.
Brazilian State Developments
In a significant development in Brazilian air regulation, on June 19, 2012, São Paulo’s State Environmental Council (Conselho Estadual do Meio Ambiente; "CONSEMA") published Deliberation No. 25 (the "Rule"), establishing new statewide air quality standards (Padrões de Qualidade do Ar; "PQARs") for several pollutants, and emissions control requirements for stationary sources, among other things.
Through Decree No. 57933 (the "Decree"), published April 3, 2012, São Paulo has formally reorganized its State Secretariat of the Environment (Secretaria do Meio Ambiente; "SMA").
On June 5, 2012, Governor Geraldo Alckmin signed Decree No. 58107, promulgating the São Paulo State Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 (Estratégia para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável do Estado de São Paulo 2020; the "Strategy").
On June 18, 2012, the Chilean Congress promulgated law 20600 (Ley 20600, the "Environmental Courts Law"), which establishes three environmental courts (the "Environmental Courts") located in different Chilean cities.
Bill Introduced in Chilean Legislative Assembly Proposes Taxes Targeting Products with Short Lifespans and Long Decay Periods
On April 26, 2012, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera announced the proposal of a broad taxation package that would include, among other things, the imposition of "green taxes" on products with a short useful lifespan and a long period of decay.
On July 3, 2012, Chile’s Ministry of the Environment published, in Chile’s Official Gazette (Diario Oficial), proposed norms (the "Proposed Norms") for the reduction of emissions from copper foundries.
On June 6, 2012, Chile’s Ministry of the Environment launched the country’s first comprehensive report on the environment (Informe del Estado del Ambiente, the "Report").
The Colombian Congress has adopted a bill that would impose sweeping producer and importer responsibility for end-of-life electronic equipment.
On April 24, 2012, Colombia adopted a comprehensive disaster management and response law, Ley No. 1523 of 2012.
Colombia Takes Steps to Implement Access Rights to Genetic Resources and the Convention on Biological Diversity
Colombia’s Ministry of the Environment has proposed an initial draft framework for implementing provisions relating to access and profit sharing from use of biological resources under the Convention on Biological Diversity and Andine Decision 391.
The fourth draft of a proposal that would significantly revise Colombia’s surface water quality standards was published for public comment on May 1, 2012.
COSTA RICA HIGHLIGHTS
Bill Introduced to Reform Framework Environmental Law to Expressly Protect Marine and Coastal Resources
On June 25, 2012, a bill (Proyecto de Ley No. 18,493; "Bill") was introduced in the Legislative Assembly that would reform Costa Rica’s Framework Environmental Law (Ley No. 7554, Ley Orgánica del Ambiente, as amended) to expressly protect marine and coastal resources.
On May 21, 2012, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones; "MINAET") issued a ministerial accord (Acuerdo No. 36-2012-MINAET; "Accord") formalizing Costa Rica’s Carbon Neutrality Country Program in line with the country’s stated goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021.
Ministry of Environment Issues Regulations Governing Process of Closure and Cleaning of Solid Waste Landfills
On April 4, 2012, Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment issued an amendment (Acuerdo 031, the "Amendment") to the country’s landfill closure regulations (Reforma al Texto Unificado de Legislación Secundaria del Ministerio del Ambiente Del Libro VI, Anexo 6).
President Felipe Calderón has signed into a law a comprehensive climate change law, the Ley General de Cambio Climático (the "Law"). The Law sets as an "aspirational goal" (but not commitment) for the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) of 30 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2050 (2000 as the baseline) and outlines policies associated with climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Mexico has become the fifth country to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the CBD and is heralded to be the first of the "mega-diverse" countries to do so.
Following its sweeping and controversial energy reform law, the Law of Sustainable Energy Development (Ley para el aprovechamiento sustentable de la energia), Mexico continues its aggressive pace in implementing energy efficiency requirements for affected products.
On June 26, 2012, Peru adopted national regulations for the management of Wastes Equipment Electronic and Electronic ("WEEE")" (Aprueban el Reglamento Nacional para la Gestión y Manejo de los Residuos de Aparatos Eléctricos y Electrónicos).
In April 2012, Peru’s Deputy Minister of Environmental Management, Mariano Castro, presented the first phase of the country’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register ("PRTR").
Peru’s Ministries of Environment, Economy, and Foreign Affairs, and the National Center for Strategic Planning, launched the "Planning for Climate Change" ("PLACC") project, designed to update the 2000 inventory of emissions of greenhouses gases and provide scientific evidence that the government can use in creating a strategy for low-carbon economic development.
PUERTO RICO HIGHLIGHTS
On June 24, 2012, the Puerto Rico Senate passed a bill (Proyecto del Senado 2536; the "Bill") that would amend the Pesticide Act of Puerto Rico (Ley de Plaguicidas de Puerto Rico) to create the Agricultural Service Advisory Committee for the Evaluation of Pesticides for Agricultural Use (Comité Asesor del Servicio Agrícola para la Evaluación de Plaguicidas de uso Agrícola; "Committee") within the commonwealth’s Department of Agriculture.
On May 22, 2012, a joint resolution (Resolución Conjunta del Senado 1038; "Resolution") was introduced in the Puerto Rico Senate that would prohibit the transport, distribution, and use of coal ash from coal-fired power plants as material for construction projects.
On May 7, 2012, a bill (Proyecto del Senado 2608; "Bill") was introduced in the Puerto Rico Senate that would create a new Beverage Container Recycling Law.
On June 15, 2012, the Intersectoral Committee on Environmental Compliance and Energy Alternatives (Comité Intersectorial de Cumplimiento Ambiental y Alternativas Energéticas) issued a report ("Report") laying out a series of alternatives for complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently modified Mercury and Air Toxic Standards and National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide.
The purpose of this alert is to provide current information on Latin American Region environmental regulatory developments. It is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. Please consult with legal counsel for advice specific to your circumstances. This communication may be considered advertising under applicable laws regarding electronic communications.
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