Brazil: Environment And Sustainability Newsletter

Last Updated: 20 November 2012
Article by Fabricio Soler, Fernanda Stefanelo and Lays Marques Bizarria


On August 23, 2012 publisher Trevisan will launch the book "Solid Waste Management – What the  Law Mandates"  ("Gestão de Resíduos Sólidos – O que diz a Lei"), co-authored by Fabricio Dorado Soler, Coordinator of Felsberg e Associados' Department of Environment and Sustainability and Carlos Roberto Vieira da Silva Filho, president of the Brazilian Association of Public Cleansing and Special Waste Enterprises (Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Limpeza Pública e Resíduos Especiais – ABRELPE). The project aims to facilitate understanding of the vast Brazilian legislation on solid waste, so as to enable appreciation of the practical significance of the various laws enacted daily throughout the country. The event will be held at 7 pm at Livraria da Vila Shopping Iguatemi JK.

Court Deliberations

 Superior Court of Justice annuls environmental Conduct Adjustment Agreement (TAC): The Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça – STJ) denied special appeal to the Public Prosecution Office of Rio Grande do Sul (MP/ RS) that intended to overrule a decision declaring invalid a Conduct Adjustment Agreement (Termo de Ajustamento de Conduta – TAC). The 1998 TAC determined that the committed party reforest degraded areas and donate a microcomputer to the Forestry Agency of Lajeado, a subordinate organ of the State Department of Agriculture. The minister Luiz Fux, a member of the STJ, considered the TAC null and void, since the remediation of environmental damages by means of compensation should be done by the payment of money to be reverted to the fund referred to in Article 13 of Federal Law No. 7.345⁄1985.

Superior Court of Justice dismisses regimental appeal by the Municipality of Maranhão in favor of the Precautionary Principle: A class action preliminary injunction was filed against the Municipality of São Luís in order to suspend the environmental permitting process of the extension of Avenida Governador Edson Lobão, known as "Coastal Avenue", due to detected inconsistencies in the Preliminary Environmental Impact Study. The Municipality took the case to the STJ, which decided that it would not examine the Environmental Impact Study filed within the regimental appeal since there was considerable doubt as to the possible environmental damages and the legality of the environmental permitting procedure, and therefore the suspension of work should be maintained in order to protect the public interest under the Precautionary Principle.


Supermarkets obliged to distribute biodegradable bags: The Justice of São Paulo indicated the date of July 30 as the baseline for all supermarkets associated to the São Paulo Association of Supermarkets (Associação Paulista de Supermercados- APAS) to initiate the free distribution of plastic or paper biodegradable bags to customers. The Court ordered the temporary provision of suitable packaging within 48 (forty-eight) hours and set the deadline of 30 (thirty) days for the provision of free plastic or paper biodegradable packaging.

Indigenous tribe Paiter-Suruí sells carbon credits: The Amazon tribe Paiter-Suruí became the first in the world to receive compensation (forest carbon) for the preservation of its native forest. The indigenous tribe in Rondônia has received two international certifications, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Gold Standard for Climate, Community, and Biodiversity (CCB), due to projects in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from forest degradation (REDD). The tribe earns carbon credits for avoided deforestation in its territory, which is an incentive to cease, for instance, illegal logging.

Recent Environmental Norms

The National Environmental Council (Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente – Conama) defined procedures for controlling the import of waste: Conama established guidelines for controlling transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, in accordance with provisions of the Basel Convention. Resolution Conama No. 452/2012 categorizes wastes that are considered hazardous and therefore subject to import restrictions.

The Orienting Committee for the Implementation of Reverse Logistics Systems (CORI) elaborates on studies for the approval of the technical and economic feasibility of implementing reverse logistics (take back) systems: It was stipulated by CORI that approval of the technical and economic feasibility of the implementation of systems of reverse logistics shall be obtained upon the presentation of a study on the subject and the interpretation of the diagnosis of the post-consumer waste situation, which shall include the characterization of the production chain as well as the analysis of both the waste flow and the already-established systems for recovering post-consumer waste.

The State of Paraná now demands the environmentally sound disposal of medicine: Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and sellers of drugs are now responsible for the correct disposal of medicine waste containing hormonal and antimicrobial substances, for example. In order to facilitate the process of reverse logistics, drugstores, pharmacies, compounding pharmacies, public health services, hospitals, clinics, and medical or dental offices, among others, which handle, trade, or distribute medicines even if free of charge are required to accept  the take-back of expired products whose characteristics are similar to those handled, traded, or distributed by said establishments.


Debate on Environmental Public Policy

Fabricio D. Soler will participate on August 8, 2012 in a debate with Prof. Consuelo Yoshida and Mr. Fabio Feldmann held by the Society of Public Law in São Paulo (SBDP).

Course on Environmental Law

Tasso Cipriano, from Felsberg e Associados' Department of Environment and Sustainability, will deliver a lecture on the topic "The New Forest Code: in the interest of whom?" on August 29, 2012 from 7pm to 9.30pm within the syllabus of the environmental law course offered by the Society of Public Law in São Paulo (SBDP) from August 15 to September 19.

Fabricio D. Soler, Coordinator of Felsberg e Associados' Department of Environment and Sustainability, will deliver a lecture on the topic "Credit for Reduced Air Emissions" on October 31, 2012 from 7pm to 9.30pm within the syllabus of the environmental law course offered by the Society of Public Law in São Paulo (SBDP) from August 15 to September 19. For more information:

Extension Course in Environmental Law

Fabricio D. Soler and Tasso Cipriano will lecture on several topics in the module "Protection of Natural Heritage" of the extension course on environmental law run by the Educational Complex Damásio de Jesus, from August to December 2012. For more information:

Aviation Day Brazil

Fabricio D. Soler will attend the Aviation Day event that will take place on August 21, 2012 and will assemble approximately 150 (one hundred and fifty) people interested in the main themes of aviation in Brasília. The program includes interactive discussions between authorities, airline companies, lawyers, regulators, politicians, service providers, and other industry representatives on the major challenges of the sector.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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