Environmental Law Department report | Regulatory news
Below you will find the latest news on environmental matters, including a judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, regulations issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development on imports and exports of ozone-depleting substances and fines applicable under National Decree No. 674/89 and supplementary regulations on liquid effluents and also the latest news of the Matanza Riachuelo Basin Authority.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Judgment establishing that the State of Argentina is internationally responsible for the violation of the rights to indigenous community property, cultural identity, a healthy environment, food, and water.
In the judgment of the case “Indigenous Communities of the Lhaka Honhat Association (Our Land) v. Argentina”, dated February 6, 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the “Court”) found the State of Argentina internationally responsible for the violation of the rights to community property, cultural identity, a healthy environment, adequate food and water for indigenous communities.
What is new in this case is that the Court analyzed, among other aspects, the rights to a healthy environment, to water and to cultural identity, ordering specific measures for the restoration of those rights, including actions for access to water, for the recovery of forest resources and for the recovery of the indigenous culture.
Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.
Resolution No. 104/2020 of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Climate Change. Import and export of ozone-depleting substances. Hydrofluorocarbons listed in Annex F – Group I and II of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Licenses. Annual Filing under the Ozone Program.
Resolution No. 104/2020 of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible or MAyDS) provides for the inclusion of the hydrofluorocarbons listed in Annex F – Group I and Group II of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol (the “HFCs”) into the Import and Export Licenses System established by Decree No. 1609/2004 (and its supplementary regulations) (the “Decree”). The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol entered into force in Argentina on February 20, 2020.
The resolution provides that legal entities and individuals that wish to import and export HFCs and that are not currently registered must apply for registration with the Registry of Importers and Exporters of Ozone-depleting Substances (the “Registry”) created by the Decree. Imports and exports of HFCs are subject to a prior application for an import or export license pursuant to the provisions of the Decree. In order to qualify for such license, the applicant must (a) be registered with the Registry; and (b) submit the import or export application form through the Online Proceedings Platform (trámites a distancia -TAD- module of the GDE system – Electronic Document Management). It also establishes that the Ozone Program is authorized to request any additional information or documentation that it may deem advisable.
The resolution further establishes that the effective term of the import or export license will be forty calendar days following the estimated import or export date stated by the interested party in the relevant license application.
Lastly, it sets forth that the importers of the substances listed in Annex F -Group I and Group II of the Montreal Protocol or any mixtures containing such substances – including recovered, recycled and reclaimed substances-, shall inform the names of the consignees, the quantities sold to each of them according to their intended use, and the stock on hand. In addition, they shall submit the same information with regard to the intended use of the purchases made in the market separately from those mentioned above. Importers must submit an annual report under the Ozone Program with an account of all this information on or before January 31 of the year following that in respect of which such information is provided.
This resolution was published in the Official Gazette on April 6, 2020.
Resolution No. 113/2020 of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development. National Decree No. 674/89 (as amended by Decree No. 776/92) and supplementary regulations on liquid effluents. Fines.
Resolution No. 113/2020 of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development has fixed the new values of the fines for violations of the obligations set forth in National Decree No. 674/89 (as amended by Decree No. 776/92) and its supplementary regulations on liquid effluents (the “Decree”), further amending Resolution No. 85/00 of the Water and Environment Institute (Instituto del Agua y el Ambiente or INA) and Resolution No. 607/12 of the former Secretariat of the Environment and Sustainable Development.
According to the resolution, industrial and/or special facilities subject to the provisions of the Decree that: (a) fail to submit in due time the Annual Industrial Liquid Effluent Affidavit; (b) fail to submit in due time the Mandatory Technical Documentation and/or fail to comply in due time and manner with the objections and requests of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development; (c) fail to perform the works required to adapt preexisting facilities for the exercise of the monitoring powers of the enforcement authority and/or fail to build a Sampling and Flow Meter Chamber within the stated terms shall be liable to a fine of AR$25,000 (twenty-five thousand pesos) (US$300 approximately).
According to these regulations, in the case of c) above, in addition to the fine, the infringer will be requested to perform the works within an additional term of 30 business days. If such request is not fulfilled, the infringer will be liable to fines ranging from AR$25,000 to AR$100,000 per infringement of such obligations (equivalent to approx. US$300 to US$1,175, respectively).
This resolution was published in the Official Gazette on April 14, 2020.
Matanza Riachuelo Basin Authority.
ACUMAR Order No. 38/2020. Filing of documents by electronic means.
Order No. 38/2020 issued by the General Director of the Matanza Riachuelo Basin Authority (“ACUMAR”) has authorized the filing of documentation by electronic means in the context of ACUMAR’s President Resolution No. 12/2019 (see our report dated January 16, 2019) for persons who are registered under the provisions of ACUMAR’s President Resolution No. 297/2018 (see our report of September 18, 2018), as amended and supplemented.
The Order stipulates that filings may be made by accessing the ACUMAR’s web site (www.acumar.gob.ar) with the user name and password provided upon registration and that the filing shall be regarded as made on the date and time appearing on the document filing certificate issued by the system. Whenever such filing is made on non-business days or hours, it will be regarded as made on the business day immediately following the filing date, and the filing time will be the opening time of the general reception desk of the ACUMAR (“Reception Desk”).
It is further provided that filings in paper will be converted into digital format by the Reception Desk. Two business days after such digitalization, the paper copies will be made available and returned to the filing party. If such paper copies are not claimed, they will be destroyed.
This Order was published in the Official Gazette on April 14, 2020.
ACUMAR Resolution No. 71/2020. New regulations on internal organization and organizational structure of ACUMAR.
By means of Resolution No. 71/2020, the ACUMAR’s President approved a new set of regulations on internal organization and organizational structure for the ACUMAR. One of the most important news is the creation of two executive offices (an executive management office and a legal and regulatory executive office) within the organizational structure of the ACUMAR which shall be in charge of coordinating and directing the activities carried out by the offices of the ACUMAR and exercising the powers delegated to them by the ACUMAR’s President. This Resolution repeals several prior resolutions on this issue. This Resolution was published in the Official Bulletin on April 15, 2020.
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