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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.

Firm Holds Fourth Latin American Region Environmental Roundtable

Beveridge & Diamond was honored to hold its Fourth Latin American Region Environmental Roundtable.

ARGENTINA HIGHLIGHTS

New LNG Port Terminal Siting Regulations Include Environmental Protection Provisions

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.

City of Buenos Aires Phases Out Non-Biodegradable Bags and Envelopes

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).

Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin Authority Issues Environmental Insurance Regulations

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.

Eco-Labeling Bill Introduced in Senate

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 HIGHLIGHTS

National Developments

IBAMA to Consolidate Environmental Licensing of Dangerous Goods Shipments

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.

Brazil Moves to Incorporate Sustainability Concepts into Federal Procurement Practices

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").

New Law Replaces 1965 Forest Code, Providing Limited Amnesty for Past Deforestation

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

São Paulo Establishes New Air Quality Standards and Stationary Source Regulations

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.

São Paulo Reorganizes State Secretariat of the Environment

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").

São Paulo Publishes State Sustainable Development Strategy

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").

CHILE HIGHLIGHTS

Chilean Congress Approves Law for Creation of Environmental Courts

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.

Ministry of the Environment Proposes Stringent Norms for Copper Foundry Emissions

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.

Chilean Ministry of Environment Launches First Comprehensive National Environmental Report

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").

COLOMBIA HIGHLIGHTS

Colombian Congress Adopts WEEE and ROHS Bill; President Objects

The Colombian Congress has adopted a bill that would impose sweeping producer and importer responsibility for end-of-life electronic equipment.

New Disaster Risk Management Law Proposed in Colombia

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.

Ministry of the Environment Proposes Massive Overhaul of Wastewater Discharge Standards

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.

Environmental Ministry Formalizes Carbon Neutrality Country Program

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.

Ecuador highlights

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).

MEXICO HIGHLIGHTS

Mexico Adopts Historic Climate Change Law

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 Ratifies Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity

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.

Mexico Continues Energy Efficiency Standards Setting for Certain Products

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.

PERU HIGHLIGHTS

New Regulation Governing Management of WEEE Approved

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).

First Phase of Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Completed

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 Launches Plan for Low-Carbon Economic Development through Climate Change Plan

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

Senate Passes Bill to Create Pesticide Advisory Committee

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.

Resolution Introduced in Senate to Prohibit Use of Coal Ash in Construction Projects

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.

Beverage Container Recycling Bill Introduced in Senate

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.

Intersectoral Committee Issues Report on Energy Alternatives for Complying with EPA Regulations

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.

 
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