May 1, 2012
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Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. Latin American Region Environmental Quarterly , First Quarter, 2012

ARGENTINA HIGHLIGHTS

Bill to Control Electromagnetic Radiation Introduced in Argentine Chamber of Deputies

On March 5, 2012, a bill was introduced in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies that would aim to prevent and control “electromagnetic pollution.”

Buenos Aires Province Enacts Law on Identification of Environmental Liabilities and Restoration of Contaminated Sites

On January 23, 2012, a law governing the identification of environmental liabilities and restoration of contaminated sites was published in the Official Bulletin of the Province of Buenos Aires.

BRAZIL HIGHLIGHTS

National Developments

IBAMA Sets Standards for Environmental Education Programs Required for Federal Licensing

On March 27, 2012, Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency, IBAMA, issued Normative Instruction No. 2, establishing the technical basis for environmental education programs presented as mitigation or compensatory measures to comply with environmental license conditions.

ABNT Releases Draft Standards on Contaminated Site Assessments

In February and March 2012, the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards released for public comment drafts of Parts 3 and 4 of its series of standards for environmental assessments of contaminated sites.

New Bill Would Require the Use of Recycled Materials in Appliances and Electronics

Bill No. 3472 (the “Bill”), introduced March 19, 2012 in Brazil’s House of Deputies, would make mandatory the use of recycled materials in appliances and electronic products.

Brazilian State Developments

São Paulo Continues Development of Producer Take-Back Programs

Following its August 2011 issuance of SMA Resolution No. 38, requiring manufacturers and importers of various consumer products to submit end-of-life product management proposals, São Paulo’s Environmental Secretariat has further advanced its efforts to require producer take-back in Brazil’s largest state economy. 

Paraná Legislative Assembly Amends 2009 Law Regarding Disposal of Mercury-Containing Products

On January 23, 2012, the state of Paraná’s Legislative Assembly approved an amendment to its law regarding the disposal of batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing products.

Bahia Completes Period of Public Consultation on New Environmental Law

March 14, 2012 marked the end of the period of public consultation on Bahia’s new environmental law, which integrates the state’s existing environmental law and water resources law, and incorporates new provisions aimed at streamlining enforcement of environmental regulations.

Rio de Janeiro Takes Steps Toward Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets

On February 7, 2012, at the 8 th Meeting of the Rio Forum on Global Climate Change, Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of the Environment Carlos Minc, introduced a greenhouse gas abatement cost study that will be used in determining greenhouse gas emission reduction target levels  for Rio de Janeiro’s private industrial sector.

CHILE HIGHLIGHTS

Environmental Court System Approved

With a unanimous vote on January 19, 2012 Congress sent Bill No. 6747 to President Sebastian Piñera, proposing to create an environmental court system in Chile.

Superintendency of the Environment Issues Extended Period for Participation in Voluntary Reporting Program

Responding to public demand, Chile’s Superintendency of the Environment opened a second period during which businesses can continue to opt into the voluntary online registration for tracking environmental commitments.

Government Issues National Energy Plan for 2012 to 2030

Reaffirming his administration’s commitment to developing a sustainable economy while protecting public health and the environment, President Sebastian Piñera released Chile’s National Energy Plan for 2012-2030.

Proposal to Implement Chile Pollutant Release & Transfer Registry

With the January 13 conclusion of a 20-day public comment period and subsequent workshops open to the public, the Ministry of Environment issued the final draft of a regulation to implement the Pollutant Release & Transfer Registry Act.

COLOMBIA HIGHLIGHTS

Congress Proposes New Environmental Taxes Among Changes to General Environmental Law

The Colombian Congress has approved changes to its General Environmental Law in a bill that would create several new advisory bodies to the Ministry of the Environment and impose new taxes for use of natural resources.

Colombia Finalizes Rules on PCB-Contaminated Equipment

Implementing commitments under the Stockholm Convention, the Ministry of the Environment has published its final resolution on PCB-containing equipment.

Ministries of Commerce and Environment Publish Technical Standards for Certain Batteries

New standards regulating batteries are now in place in Colombia, under Resolución No. 172.

Bogotá Standards Stationary Source Air Emissions Standards Now Final

As reported in the most recent edition of the Latin American Region Environmental Quarterly, the City of Bogotá proposed new stationary source air emission standards for facilities located within city boundaries.

COSTA RICA HIGHLIGHTS

Costa Rica Publishes Proposed Integrated Waste Management Regulations

In January 2012, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health published a draft executive decree proposing regulations to implement the Integrated Waste Management Law.

Costa Rica Publishes Draft of Proposed Reforms to E-Waste Regulations

On February 22, 2012, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health ("Ministry") published a draft executive decree ("Draft Decree") proposing reforms to the 2010 electronic waste regulation and inviting public comments within 10 days.

MEXICO HIGHLIGHTS

Mexico Ratchets Up Environmental Protections for Mining Standards

In two recently issued Official Mexican Standards, SEMARNAT, Mexico’s national environmental agency, has set new rules for protecting the environment during mining activities.

Mexico Moves Forward with New Energy Efficiency Standards

Mexico’s National Rulemaking Committee for the Preservation and Responsible Use of Energy Resources has issued an energy efficiency standard for domestic refrigerators  and proposed new technical and energy efficiency standards for light emitting diode lamps.

New Revisions to Hazardous Materials Transportation Standards Adopted

Mexico continues its work to update its national hazardous materials transportation standards, which generally follow those of the UN. 

PERU HIGHLIGHTS

Peru Intensifies Efforts to Combat Illegal Mining

During the first few months of 2012, the Peruvian Government passed a series of decrees to combat illegal mining in the Madre de Dios region, and to establish a legal framework under which current practices can be formalized.

Ministry of the Environment Accepts Public Comments on Facebook

Embracing social media, the Ministry of Environment is experimenting with the acceptance of rule-making comments through Facebook.

PUERTO RICO HIGHLIGHTS

Puerto Rico Adopts Law Authorizing Energy-Saving Government Contracts

On January 17, 2012, Puerto Rico enacted a law allowing the government to enter into specialized contracts designed to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy while reducing the commonwealth’s dependence on and the environmental impacts of oil used for power generation.

U.S. Court of Appeals Dismisses Lawsuit by Vieques Residents Allegedly Injured by Pollution from Navy Training Exercises

On February 14, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit dismissed tort claims brought by several thousand residents of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, who alleged that they had been harmed by hazardous and toxic waste emitted by the U.S. Navy during the several decades that it conducted training exercises on the island.

Supreme Court of Puerto Rico Denies Standing to Parties Challenging Approval of Environmental Impact Statement for Gas Pipeline Project

On March 21, 2012, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ( Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico ) denied standing to a number of individuals and community groups challenging the government’s approval of an environmental impact statement (“EIS”) for a controversial proposed gas pipeline project.

URUGUAY HIGHLIGHTS

President Approves Uruguayan Savings and Energy Efficiency Trust

On March 22, 2012, Uruguayan President, Jose Mujica, issued Decree No 86/012, approving the Uruguayan Savings and Energy Efficiency Trust.

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