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 January 2018 issue covers developments from November 16 to December 15.
Bill Restricting Lead in Paints and Similar Surface Coating Materials Open for Public Comment
The Ministry of Environment has published a Draft Proposal restricting the use of lead in paint, sealants, varnishes, solvents, and similar surface coating materials to 90 parts per million (ppm) or less—an 85% reduction from current legislation, which permits maximum lead content levels of 600 ppm. If the Draft Proposal is adopted as proposed, the new lead limits would be consistent with current United Nations recommendations. The Draft Proposal is open for public comment until January 21, 2018.
House Committee Approves National Policy for Disassembly and Refurbishment of EEE
The Science, Technology, Communication, and Information Committee in the Chamber of Deputies has approved a bill that would establish the National Policy for Disassembly and Refurbishment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), which aims to increase access and appropriate use of information and communication technologies by the Brazilian population. Most notably, the Policy would establish general guidelines for the environmentally appropriate disposal of computers and associated equipment owned by federal agencies through incorporation of the existing Computers for Inclusion Program, comprised of Computer Refurbishment Centers (CRCs)—physical spaces adapted for EEE refurbishment and recycling—and Digital Inclusion Points (PIDs)—physical spaces that provide the public free access to computers with an internet connection. The Bill now goes to the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Committee for review.
Packaging Sectoral Agreement Surpasses Goal
A report on Phase 1 (2012-2015) of the implementation of a Packaging Sectoral Agreement that imposes take-back requirements on manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of most types of packaging indicates that the program has achieved a 29% reduction in the amount of post-consumer packaging destined for landfills—a 9.2% increase over its initial goal of 19.8%. The report also notes that the Agreement has been implemented in 732 cities, reaching approximately 63% of the Brazilian population. Signed by the Ministry of Environment and 28 trade associations representing approximately 50% of the country’s packaging sector, the Agreement implements the "reverse logistics" provisions of the 2010 National Solid Waste Policy Law (No. 12305) and supports Brazil’s commitment to sustainable production and consumption under the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Rio de Janeiro State Law Requires Compliance Program for Companies Entering into Contracts with Public Administration
The government of Rio de Janeiro published a law (No. 7753/17) requiring companies that enter into contracts, partnerships, concessions, or public-private partnerships with the State’s public administration, either directly or indirectly, to implement an Integrity Program. Companies that fail to adhere to the Law’s provisions are subject to fines. The Law aims to protect the State’s public administration from irregularities, guarantee that contracts are executed in compliance with applicable laws, minimize risks, increase transparency in contracts, and improve the quality of contractual relations.
EPR Law Procedural Regulation Finalized
The Ministry of Environment (MMA) has finalized an implementing regulation to the Law for the Management of Wastes, Extended Producer Responsibility, and Promotion of Recycling (No. 20.920) that establishes the procedure for developing waste prevention and recovery instruments, priority product waste collection and recovery goals, and other associated obligations outlined in the EPR Law. The Regulation also regulates the procedure, requirements, and criteria for the authorization of waste management systems. It enters into force on the first day of the month following its publication in the Official Gazette.
2017-2022 National Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production Published
The Ministry of Environment has published the 2017-2022 National Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production—a roadmap for the implementation of the National Program for Sustainable Consumption and Production, which supports the country’s commitments under the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Action Plan outlines 12 lines of action covering the areas of sustainable construction, consumer information, sustainable tourism, sustainable food systems, clean energy and energy efficiency, sustainability in the public sector, responsible industry, sustainable cities (and transportation), sustainable lifestyles and education, waste management, and water management.
Bill Promoting Energy Efficiency in Industrial and Mining Operations, Vehicles, and Homes Proposed
A bill proposed in the Senate would aim to:
- Promote energy efficiency in large industrial and mining operations that consume at least 50 teracalories per year (i.e. energy-intensive companies).
- Expand the scope of application for minimum energy efficiency standards established in Law No. 20.402/2009 to include new motor vehicles by setting carbon dioxide emission limits per kilometer.
- Extend the application of the current energy efficiency labeling system to include residential buildings.
The Bill passes to the Committee on Mines and Energy for review.
Energy Sector Climate Change Mitigation Plan Approved, Draft Adaptation Plan Proposed
The Council of Ministers unanimously approved the Climate Change Mitigation Plan for the Energy Sector, which aims to reduce the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions in support of Chile’s commitments under the Paris Agreement, promote the incorporation of renewable energies in the country’s energy matrix, and increase overall energy efficiency. The Ministry of Energy has also published a Draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Energy Sector, which aims to generate and strengthen the energy sector’s capacity to prevent and respond to climate change, promote the development of a resilient energy system, and generate and strengthen adequate institutional capacities.
MMA and TriCiclos Present Eco-Label Pilot Plan
The Ministry of Environment (MMA) has collaborated with TriCiclos, a B certified recycling company that supports entities that wish to operate in more sustainable ways, to develop the first eco-labeling pilot plan with the aim to stimulate adoption of eco-design practices and informed consumption. As the key component of the plan, TriCiclos has developed the methodology and criteria for obtaining a certified eco-label, which takes into consideration the sustainable use of natural resources and raw materials, environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle, and amount and type of energy used in product development and marketing, among other characteristics.
FENOGE Operation Manual Approved
The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MinMinas) has published a resolution (No. 41407) approving the Operation Manual for the Fund for Non-Conventional Energies and the Efficient Management of Energy (FENOGE), which establishes general guidelines, parameters, terms, conditions, and requirements for parties interested in accessing the Fund’s resources. FENOGE is generally intended to finance programs and projects within the residential sector that involve implementing small-scale self-generation energy solutions or improving energy efficiency through new practices that promote energy savings or acquisition of energy efficient equipment, technologies, or buildings.
Regulation for the Collection of Fees for the Registration and Control of Hazardous Chemicals Finalized
The Ministry of Health has issued a decree (No. 40769-S) approving a Regulation that will govern the Ministry's rules for collecting fees for the registration and control of hazardous chemicals. The Regulation establishes rates in U.S. dollars and payment frequencies for the following services:
- Hazardous chemical registration, registration renewal or use of registration.
- Processing changes to a hazardous chemical registration.
- Analysis for the control of hazardous chemicals and responses to complaints or alerts related to such products.
All payments must be carried out electronically through the "Regístrelo" portal. Hazardous chemicals that by their use are not classified as a “finished product” (i.e. destined for final consumption or use by another company), as well as hazardous chemicals used for the development and innovation of new products, hold special payment exemptions. The new rule will go into effect two months after its publication in the Official Gazette.
Waste Manager Registry Proposed
A bill has been proposed in the Chamber of Deputies that would modify the General Law for the Prevention and Integrated Management of Wastes to create a registry of managers that provide waste management services, indicating the activity or specific activities for which they are authorized.
Bill for the Progressive Reduction of Plastic Bag Use Proposed
A bill proposed in the unicameral Congress would establish provisions for the progressive reduction of plastic bag use in Peru. Specifically, the Ministry of Environment, in coordination with the Ministries of Education and Production, would promote this goal through public awareness campaigns and events, while municipal and regional governments would implement measures to prohibit the use and delivery of plastic bags. If the Bill is adopted as proposed, the use and delivery of non-biodegradable plastic bags would be prohibited in supermarkets, self-service stations, warehouses, and retail shops for the transport of products or merchandise within three years of the Bill’s enactment. Bags made from vegetable or animal materials, or biopolymers (e.g. potato or yucca starch), would be promoted as substitutes.
New Soil Quality Standards and Management Criteria for Contaminated Sites Approved
The Ministry of Environment (MINAM) has published a supreme decree (No. 011-2017-MINAM) approving new Environmental Quality Standards for Soil that vary from the previous rule in that they:
- Incorporate three new chemical parameters: total chromium, tricloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).
- Lower the parameter value for lead in soil for commercial or industrial/extractive use.
- Eliminate aldrin, endrin, DDT and heptachlor pesticides in soil.
MINAM has also published a supreme decree (No. 012-2017-MINAM) approving the management criteria for the prevention, evaluation, and remediation of sites contaminated by human activities. Under the new rule, potentially polluting activities for soil are defined as those that use, handle, store, produce, emit, or dispose of hazardous materials, substances, or wastes which, due to their toxicity, mobility, persistence and/or biodegradability, among other characteristics, are capable of generating soil contamination.
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.