April 2013
98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 1420
Austin, TX 78701-4296
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Washington, DC 20005-3311
(202) 789-6048
98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 1420
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Greetings from the Latin American Practice! We are pleased to provide our Latin American Region Environmental Report covering highlights from the first quarter (January - March) of the year. Please know that the Report is designed to capture major regulatory developments and emerging regional trends and is not intended to provide comprehensive coverage of all environmental initiatives. For more information on the Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. Latin American Practice, please contact Madeleine Kadas at mkadas@bdlaw.com.

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Used Battery Management Bill Introduced in Senate

On March 12, a bill (Proyecto de Ley S-0735/13; "Bill") was introduced in the Senate that would establish an Integrated Used Battery Management Law (Ley de Gestón Integral de Pilas y Baterías Usadas). The Bill would apply to batteries containing specified threshold amounts of mercury, cadmium, or lead, and could be extended to apply to other substances as well. (Bill, Art. 2.) Lead acid batteries such as those used in motor vehicles would be excluded from the scope of the Bill. (Art. 3.)

Electronic-Waste Bill Reintroduced in Chamber of Deputies

On March 8, an electronic-waste management bill (Proyecto de Ley 0447-D-2013; "Bill") was reintroduced in the recently begun two-year session of the Chamber of Deputies. The Bill would create a Regulatory Framework for Electrical and Electronic Waste Management Companies (Marco Regulatorio para Empresas de Getión de Residuos Eléctricos y Electrónicos), and is the same as bills introduced but not passed in the previous three sessions (see Proyectos de Ley 0046-D-2011, 0187-D-2009, and 4938-D-2007).



Environmental Registry Revised; Re-Registration Required

All companies that conduct activities deemed to impact the environment in Brazil are obligated to register in the coming months to comply with IBAMA Normative Instruction No. 6 ("NI 6"), the revised regulation of the Federal Technical Registry of Potentially Polluting or Natural Resource Consuming Activities (Cadastro Técnico Federal de Atividades Potencialmente Poluidoras e Utilizadoras de Recursos Naturais; "CTF").

Brazil Establishes Registry of Hazardous Waste Generators and Operators

As anticipated in Brazil’s National Solid Waste Policy Law (No. 12305/2010), Normative Instruction No. 1/2013 ("NI 1"), published January 30, 2013, establishes a new National Registry of Hazardous Waste Operators (Cadastro Nacional de Operadores de Resíduos Perigosos; "CNORP"). The obligation to register in the CNORP applies to hazardous waste generators and "operators"; the latter category consists of companies that manage hazardous wastes, either as arrangers (destinadores; i.e., those who arrange for the disposition of hazardous wastes), storers, and transporters.

Proposals for Reverse Logistics Programs for Electro-Electronic Products in Brazil

On February 13, 2013, Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio do Meio Ambiente) issued a public notice (the "Edital") requesting proposals for extended producer responsibility programs for electrical and electronic products "of domestic use" and their components. The Edital implements the "reverse logistics" (logística reversa) obligations of the National Solid Waste Policy Law (No. 12305/2010; the "Law"), requiring manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers to take back and manage their end-of-life products.


São Paulo Proposes Revisions to Rules Governing Water Sanitation Systems

On March 15, 2013, São Paulo’s environmental enforcement agency, CETESB, posted for public comment three sets of proposed revisions to its water sanitation system regulations. The proposals are the result of a process intended to improve the management of water resources in a state that features South America’s largest metropolis and faces a growing demand for clean water. 

São Paulo Issues Coastal Ecological-Economic Zoning Regulation

On March 25, São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin issued Decree No. 58996, "on the Ecological-Economic Zoning of the Baixada Santista" (sobre o Zoneamento Ecológico-Econômico do Setor da Baixada Santista) (the "Decree"), to regulate development in the coastal region adjacent to the City of São Paulo that includes the large shipping port, Santos. The Decree establishes five terrestrial and five marine zoning categories (Z1T – Z5T and Z1M – Z5M) that dictate the types of development and other activities allowed.  


Ministry of the Environment Issues Guidelines Regarding Processing of Self-Reported Violations and Enforcement of Compliance Programs

Chile’s Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio del Medio Ambiente) has promulgated guidelines (the "Enforcement Guidelines") in approving environmental compliance plans and handling self-reported environmental violations.

Chile Issues Standards for Characterization, Measurement and Control of Liquid Industrial Waste

On February 6, 2013, Chile’s Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio del Medio Ambiente) promulgated standards for the characterization, measurement and control of liquid industrial waste discharged to the sea, surface waters and groundwater (Normas de Carácter General Sobre Procedimiento de Caracterización, Medición y Control de Residuos Industriales Líquidos, the "Liquid Waste Standards").


Colombia Proposes Rules to Harmonize Transportation of Dangerous Goods with UN Recommendations

Colombia’s Ministry of Transportation has proposed framework rules to harmonize its domestic standards of transportation of dangerous goods and hazardous wastes with the United Nations Model Rules for the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

City of Bogotá Issues List of Recyclable Products

The Special Administrative Unit of Public Services (Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos) for the City of Bogotá has issued new rules that identify recyclable municipal wastes that must be separated at their source of generation.

Ministry of Environment Issues Guidance for Computer and Printer Take-Back Plans

Nearly three years after adoption of its computer and printer take-back program and well after initial plans were due, Colombia’s National Authority for Environmental Licenses (Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales or ANLA) has issued guidance for developing those plans.


Implementing Regulations for Costa Rica’s 2010 National Waste Law Adopted

On March 19, 2013, Costa Rica published Executive Decree 37567-S-MINAET-H/2013 (the "Decree"), the general implementing regulation of its Law for Integral Waste Management (No. 8839/2010; the "Law"). The Decree creates an interagency body to oversee implementation of the Law (Arts. 5-7), establishes the framework of a National Waste Management Policy (Arts. 13-17), and sets forth waste management plan requirements on a national (Art. 18) and local scale (Art. 20).

Costa Rica Amends Fuel Transport Regulation

Costa Rica has amended Executive Decree Nº 36627-MINAET, General Regulation on Fuel Transport (Reglamento para la Regulación del Transporte de Combustible), modifying the operating permit process and the specifications for fuel transport equipment. The requirements for obtaining an operating permit now include specific instructions for tank trailers transported by more than one transporter. (Arts. 1, 2)


Ecuador Approves Mariculture Project Permit Application Form

Registro Oficial February 1, 2013: Acuerdo No. 140

On February 1, 2013, Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment published Acuerdo 140, regulating mariculture projects. Under Acuerdo 140, all mariculture projects must be consistent with the National System of Protected Areas, Protected Forests or State Forests. (Art. 3)


Producer and Importer Special Management Waste Take-Back Rules Adopted

After years in development, Mexico’s Secretary of the Environment (Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recusos Naturales or SEMARNAT) has finalized rules identifying those special management wastes that are subject to producer and importer take-back and management plans and, when generated in large quantities, to generator management plans.

Proposed Rules Would Regulate CO2 Emissions From New Cars

Moving forward with its progressive climate change initiatives, Mexico’s secretaries of the environment and energy have proposed rules that would regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new automotive vehicles less than 3857 kilograms.

Mexico Proposes Rules Regulating GMO Experimental Release Risk Reports

In a jointly issued rule, Mexico’s secretaries for the environment (SEMARANT) and agriculture (SEGARPA) have adopted standards for developing reports on the environmental and agricultural risks from experimental or pilot releases of GMOs.


Peruvian Soil Quality Standards Approved

Peru’s Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio del Ambiente, "MINAM") has issued a decree (Decreto Supremo N° 002-2013-MINAM, the "Soil Standards") setting forth environmental soil quality standards applicable to all projects or activities that might have an environmental impact on soils.

Congress Amends Peru’s Environmental Inspection and Assessment Law

The Peruvian Congress has approved Proposed Bill 1815/2013-CR (the "SINEFA Bill"), amending Peru’s National Environmental Inspection and Assessment Law (Ley 29325, Ley del Sistema Nacional de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental, the "SINEFA Law").


Medication Waste Management Bill Introduced in Senate

On January 2, a bill (Proyecto del Senado 145; "Bill") to create a Recycling, Management and Disposal Program for Prescription and Non-Prescription Medications (Programa de Reciclaje, Manejo y Disposición de Medicamentos con o sin receta) was introduced in the Senate. The Bill would amend the existing Solid Waste Program Law (Ley del Programa de Desperdicios Solidos) to require pharmacies, hospitals, nonprofits, and other organizations that sell or dispense medications—with the exception of pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers—to establish a program allowing clients and patients to return expired, damaged, or otherwise unused medications. (Bill, Sec. 2.)

U.S. EPA Finds that Puerto Rico Failed to Submit State Implementation Plan for Revised Ozone Standards

On January 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") published a final rule (78 Fed. Reg. 2882; "Rule") finding that Puerto Rico (along with 28 states and the District of Columbia) had not submitted a complete "infrastructure" state implementation plan ("SIP") for the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards ("NAAQS") under the federal Clean Air Act ("CAA").  

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