Law No. 14,343 was published on Monday January 23, 2012 in the
Official Bulletin of the Province of Buenos Aires. Such law is
intended to regulate the identification of environmental
liabilities and the obligation to restore contaminated sites. This
law shall become effective on January 31, 2012 (hereinafter, the
"Law"). Below follows a summary of the most significant
aspects of the Law.
1. Obligation to Restore. the obligation to restore
environmental liabilities and/or contaminated sites rests on the
parties who conduct an activity that causes damage and/or on the
owners of real property, if the person engaged in the contaminating
activity may not be found. It also stipulates that any impaired
environment constituting a contaminated site shall have to be
restored in order to meet minimum environmental and public health
2. Obligation to Report. any person and/or official who learns
about the existence of an environmental liability must report such
liability to the enforcement authority.
3. Discontinuation or Transfer of Activities. Filing of Audit
and Obligation to Restore. in case of final discontinuation or
transfer of activities, the owner must file a closing audit and
that such owner will have an obligation to restore if the
evaluation of such audit shows results entailing "significant
damage to the environment," (the owner will be released from
such obligation only if the enforcement authority establishes, in
an unequivocal manner, that the environment affected is in
appropriate environmental condition). The law indicates the minimum
requirements about the content of such closing audit and it
provides that the procedure for its filing and evaluation will be
established by means of regulations enacted in such connection.
4. Records. Information furnished to the Register of Real
Property. The Law creates the Register of Environmental Liabilities
and the Register of Professionals. Moreover, it provides that the
enforcement authority will inform to the Register of Real Property
of the Province of Buenos Aires (i) whenever environmental
liabilities are registered in the Register of Environmental
Liabilities (in order to add a note at the margin of the last
registration of ownership) and (ii) the end of restoration
activities and deregistration from the Register of Environmental
Liabilities (to cancel the marginal note).
5. Urgent Measures. Information. The Law establishes, though not
so clearly, that "when environmental damage has been produced
or may be produced, the party liable therefor shall, without delay
and without the need of any requirement or prior administrative
procedure, take any preliminary action as may be necessary to
remediate, restore or replace the natural resources immediately,
notwithstanding any additional criteria established for the same
purpose by the enforcement authority." Moreover, the law
provides that within 24 hours from the damage caused, the party
liable must report to the enforcement authority any urgent measures
adopted and propose, for their approval, any actions to remediate
6. Penalties. Preventive Measures. The Law provides a penalty
system which imposes certain penalties, such as warnings, fines,
final or temporary, total or partial closure of the facility and
deregistration from registers in the case of contaminated sites.
The Law establishes that the enforcement authority may order
preventive closure, either totally or partially, of a contaminated
facility or site in those cases where "the situation is so
serious that it is advisable to do so."
7. Environmental Insurance. The Law refers to the obligation to
take out environmental insurance as provided for by Section 22 of
Framework Environmental Law No 25,675.
8. Enactment Decree. Partial Veto. Lastly, the enactment decree
objected to certain sections of the Law related to the creation of
a Provincial Environmental Fund (sections 6, 24 and 25).
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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The National Fund about Climate Change ("Climate Fund") was created by Law no. 12114, of December 9, 2009, and regulated by Decree no. 7343, of October 26, 2010, with the purpose of providing resources to support research and finance projects to mitigate climate change effects and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Brazilian Government launched its National Plan on Climate
Change on December 1, 2008, during the 14th Conference of the
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (COP 14) in Poznan, Poland.
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