BRAZIL
News & Developments

 

June 9, 2000

        As of May, a proposed law prohibiting the use of mineral asbestos was before the national congress.  One of the proposals calls for a gradual phase-out of asbestos and an emphasis on alternatives for industry.

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        The federal Ministry of the Environment (MMA) reported on a meeting between the Minister and representatives from industry in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state on May 18, 2000.  According to the report, the meeting represents a new era of cooperation between industry and environmental authorities.  

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        Brazil has been debating the proposed changes to the Forestry Code.  President Cardoso reportedly backs the proposals by the National Environmental Counsel (CONAMA) calling for preservation of 80% of the forest in certain areas.  Other politicians favored a plan calling for only a 50% preservation rate.  Congress will now decide on the changes to the code.  

        In early June, President Cardoso met with the French president and obtained a promise that the seven wealthiest countries in the world would renew their efforts in the Pilot Program for Protection of the Brazilian Tropical Rainforests (Brazilian acronym "PPG-7").

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        On May 23, 2000, the Brazilian Environmental Institute (IBAMA) in Maranhão reported a 3 million Real fine against Companhia Vale do Rio Doce for a 25,000 liter diesel oil spill that affected rice plantations. 

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        Following the severe oil spill by a Petrobras entity in Guanabara Bay in early 2000, CONAMA passed Resolution 265.  The short resolution calls for IBAMA and state authorities to look into environmental licensing and pollution prevention in the petroleum and derivatives industry in Brazil within 240 days of January 27, 2000.  Additionally, Petrobras and other petroleum entities had 180 days to present CONAMA with a plan and timeline for independent environmental audits of their facilities in the country.

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        June 6, 2000 - São Paulo announces environmental compliance in certain areas of the state will now be surveilled via satellite imagery.

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        In late May, ex-superintendent of IBAMA in the state of Pará was arrested for allegedly demanding a 1.5 million Real bribe from Eidai Madeiras do Brasil S.A., a multinational lumber company headquartered in Japan.  The company participated in the sting that led to the arrest.

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