Latin American Environmental Regulatory Tracker
Our monthly Latin American Environmental Regulatory Tracker lists pending and recently enacted environmental laws and regulations in several Latin American countries. The September 2015 issue covers developments from July 16 to August 15.
Chamber of Deputies Proposes Ratification of Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
If ratified, Argentina would be required to take measures (legal and/or administrative) to eliminate or heavily restrict the production and use of POPs, and to minimize the unintentional production and release of POPs. The 12 key POPs targeted by the Convention include Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, Dieldrin, Dioxins, Endrin, Furans, Hexachlorobenzene, Heptachlor, Mirex, PCBs, and Toxaphene.
Ministry of Environment (MMA) Announces Implementation of Pollutant Release and Transfer Inventory
The registration and reporting program (Registro de Emissões e Transferência de Poluentes, RETP) is being incorporated into the existing platform of the Federal Technical Registry (CTF), with the pollutant release data to be submitted through the Annual Report of Potentially Polluting Activities (RAPP). The establishment of an inventory, such as the RETP, may be a precursor to future regulation of the use of chemicals at other stages of the product life cycle.
Brazilian National Standards Organization (ABNT) Releases New Technical Standards
The following standards are available for purchase only:
- Storage of flammable and combustible liquids—part 4: storage containers and portable tanks up to 3,000 L.
- Dangerous goods transportation—chemical incompatibility.
- Symbols to be used on labels, labeling, and information to be provided on health products—part 1: general requirements.
- Road transportation of dangerous goods—guidelines for emergency response.
- Quality management systems—the public comment period is open until September 15, 2015.
Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) Takes Enforcement Action Against Environmental Violators
IBAMA has issued a total of 7,405 infraction notices in the first 6 months of the year, resulting in fines of 1.2 billion Brazilian Real ($335 million). Environmental violations include illegal deforestation, fishing offenses, biopiracy, trafficking of wild animals, crimes against wildlife, pollution, and degradation.
Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) Monitors Road Transport of Dangerous Goods
From August 3-6, 2015, IBAMA carried out 50 inspections at the Guarulhos and Viracopos international airports for compliance with environmental, health and safety standards. The Agency issued 27 infraction notices, totaling fines of 2.8 million Brazilian Real ($781 thousand).
Chamber of Deputies Proposes Guidelines for Establishment of Continuous Selective Collection Program for WEEE
If enacted, Bill PL 2426/2015 would require natural and legal entities that produce, import, or distribute e-waste to:
- Develop a collection system,
- Ensure its environmentally sound management, and
- Inform consumers on the proper disposal of e-waste and its potential environmental and health risks.
Chamber of Deputies Environment Committee Approves Bill to Modify Environmental Crimes Law (Law 9605/1998)
Bill PL 369/2015 would increase penalties for entities that produce, process, import, sell, supply, transport, store, or use combustible or flammable substances.
São Paulo Legislative Assembly Proposes Sustainability Seal for Companies
Under Bill No. 1106/2015, a sustainability seal would be granted to private sector companies based on sustainable practices in their supply chain or the provision of sustainable services. Awarded companies could use the seal in advertising campaigns and would be granted preferential tax treatment.
Chile Urges Companies to Adopt Voluntary Management Standards for Containers and Packaging
The Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), with the support of the National Institute of Standardization (INN) and the Chilean Center for Containers and Packaging (CENEM), has implemented the project "Optimization, Reuse, and Recycling: Policy Tools to Strengthen the Competitiveness of Containers and Packaging in the Supply Chain." The Project involves the adoption of six ISO packaging requirements as voluntary Chilean standards.
Chamber of Deputies Approves Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
The Doha amendment establishes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international climate emissions reduction treaty.
Proposal to Amend Water Code Presented in Chamber of Deputies
The proposal would remove an existing standard that allows mining companies to use surface waters for their operations without having to report to or gain authorization for use from the General Water Directorate.
Senate Proposes Modifications to Pending Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Bill
Key modifications include introducing additional responsibilities for producers and revising the list of priority products. Passed by the Chamber of Deputies on April 1, 2015 and the Senate on June 9, 2015, the EPR Bill has moved to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet for review and comment. The Bill is expected to pass.
Senate Proposes Modifications to Environmental Penalty Procedures Under Law No. 1333/2009
Bill No. 021/2015 would establish new administrative and criminal liability provisions for environmental harm.
Colombia Proposes Emission Reduction Pledge in Preparation for COP21 Paris Climate Conference
The Ministry of Environment (Minambiente) proposes a 20% reduction in emissions by 2030, based on 2010 levels. This amount could be increased to 25% or 30%, depending on the amount of international aid provided.
Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism (MinCIT) Proposes Bill to Regulate Mercury
The bill would establish control measures for the import and sale of mercury and mercury-containing products under Article 5 of Law 1658 of 2013.
Ministry of Environment (Minambiente) Issues National Plan for Rehabilitation of Degraded Areas
The Plan establishes guidelines for ecological restoration, recovery, and rehabilitation of degraded areas in Colombia to help ensure biodiversity conservation.
Secretariat of Economy Publishes Voluntary Technical Standard for Labeling Nanotechnologies
NMX-R-13830-SCFI-2014 establishes guidelines for labeling manufactured nano-objects and products containing manufactured nano-objects.
Secretariat of Environment (SEMARNAT) Proposes Modifications to Technical Standard on Final Disposal Sites
SEMARNAT has proposed modifications to NOM-083-SEMARNAT-2003, which establishes environmental protection measures for final disposal sites for municipal solid waste and special management waste. If the modifications were to take effect, new disposal sites would be required to adhere to the Standard immediately; existing disposal sites would have two years to come into full compliance, or they would be closed; and all unregulated sites would be closed within eighteen months.
Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare Publishes Responses to Comments Received on Proposed Standard to Implement GHS for Hazardous Chemicals
If adopted as proposed, PROY-NOM-018-STPS-2014 would implement the United Nation's Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in Mexico within three years of its publication in the Official Gazette. PROY-NOM-018 would help streamline compliance with safety data sheets (SDS) and labeling standards.
Attorney General for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) Will Carry Out Inspections in the Bravo Valley Basin
PROFEPA will review 600 real estate development projects in the Bravo Valley basin to ensure that responsible parties possess the proper authorizations required by the Secretariat of Environment (SEMARNAT) (i.e. Environmental Impact Statements and Change of Land Use Statements).
Secretariat of Environment (SEMARNAT) Establishes Content Requirements for GHG Yearly Operating Reports
Covered entities will be subject to new GHG reporting requirements for stationary and mobile sources, as well as direct and indirect emissions.
Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) Launches National Lighting Efficiency Strategy
The Strategy aims to promote energy saving lamps and the phase-out of incandescent lamps by 2016. While the strategy is voluntary, it provides a blueprint for new regulations for managing wastes from lighting products.
Unicameral Peruvian Congress Proposes a Bill to Extend Environmental Liability to General Managers
Bill No. 4655/2014-CR proposes modifications to the General Environmental Law (No. 28611) to establish that General Managers, as well as the legal person responsible for violations under the Law, will be held liable.
Ministry of Environment (MINAM) Approves Complementary Provisions to National WEEE Regulation
Complementary provisions, known as Ministerial Resolution No. 200-2015-MINAM, trigger management plan requirements for new categories of EEE, set annual WEEE collection targets for several products, and establish the annual declaration schedule for EEE producers and WEEE operators.
As part of our International Environmental Law practice group, Beveridge & Diamond's Latin America practice group helps multinational clients navigate dynamic and unprecedented change in Latin American environmental law. We counsel clients from various industrial sectors on a wide range of issues arising under the domestic environmental regulations of most Latin American countries with an emphasis in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. For more information, please contact the authors.