The conceptual synthesis of environmental crime is any damage or damage caused to the elements that make up the environment, be it flora, fauna, natural resources, and cultural heritage. For violating the protected right, any environmental crime is subject to penalty, which is regulated by Law. Accordingly, Law 9605 of February 12, 1998, applied to criminal and administrative sanctions derived from conducts and activities harmful to the environment. The primary purpose of the environmental crimes law is to guarantee the protection of the situation, promoting the repair of environmental damage, curbing harmful practices through the application of administrative, civil and criminal sanctions, among them the embargo.
Based on the provisions of this Law, the Environmental Military Police may issue the Environmental Injunction Notice (AIA), which is the administrative procedure for the determination and correction of any action or omission that violates the legal rules of use, enjoyment, promotion, protection, and recovery of the environment. The Notice of Infringement is issued as of the finding of any irregularity and in it must be recorded all the information regarding the environmental infraction identified.
Some examples of environmental crimes refer to pollution and contamination (caused by the dumping of untreated industrial effluents), leading to:
Make an area, urban or rural, unfit for human occupation;
Cause atmospheric pollution that causes the withdrawal, even if momentary, of the inhabitants of the affected areas, or that causes direct damages to the health of the population;
- Cause water pollution that necessitates the interruption of the public water supply of a community;
- Hamper or prevent public use of beaches
by the discharge of solid, liquid or gaseous wastes, or debris, oils or oily substances, in disagreement with the requirements laid down by Law or regulation.
Penalties and Consequences
Environmental crimes can be penalized in a number of ways, which are based on the seriousness of the act, its consequences for public health and the environment, the offender’s background, the economic situation of the offender in cases of fines, as well as mitigating and aggravating circumstances (Articles 6, 14 and 15 of Law 9605/1998 ).
Among the penalties foreseen in the Law of Environmental Crimes, we find warnings, fines, services to the community, and sentences restrictive of rights. The embargo or suspension of activities constitutes a restriction of rights, as well as imprisonment from one to five years, seizure of animals, products, and by-products of fauna and flora, other products and by-products subject to the infraction, instruments, petre, equipment or vehicles of any nature used in the breach; destruction or destruction of the product; suspension of the sale and manufacture of the product, stop production; embargo of work or activity and their respective areas; demolition of works; among others.
In the event of default in the collection of fine, the process is sent to the public prosecutor for collection. In addition to the abovementioned penalties, some infractions require the repair of damages caused to the environment, or the possibility of defining actions to prevent other degradations, according to the definitions established in the administrative process and accordance with environmental legislation.
Recidivism occurs when the defendant has already committed another environmental infraction within five years. The previous Notice of Environmental Infringement shall only be considered if it is duly confirmed by administrative decision. The fine may have its value tripled, in the case of the same environmental infraction or may be doubled in the offense committed other than the previous one.
Once the area or activities and their respective places have been seized, the assessed party must comply with the environmental embargo, i.e., cannot continue the business or carry out any business at the home where the notice was issued. Failure to comply with the ecological restriction will entail, cumulatively:
In the continuity of the suspension of activities and the sale of products/by-products of the business that originated the infraction or produced in the area in which there was disregard to the environmental embargo, that is, the stop in the production;
- Cancellation of registrations, licenses or authorizations of operation of the economic activity;
- Application of administrative penalty excellent simple, by Article 75 of Resolution SMA 48/2014 ;
- Application of the fine daily penalty
Terms of Commitment for Environmental Recovery – TCRA
The environmental damages that can be recovered from the environment must be repaired based on technical measures agreed in the Term of Commitment for Environmental Recovery (TCRA). The TCRA must be signed at the Regional Technical Center of Inspection, responsible for the region where the municipality is inserted or can be signed during the Environmental Assistance. Failure to comply with the Term will imply in its submission to the State Attorney’s Office for its execution.
Precisely for all legal complexity, Tera Ambiental, as a consulting supplier or performing the treatment of industrial effluents, ensures compliance with the parameters established by Law, preventing the company generating the waste from causing any damage or environmental infraction, protecting it from fines, penalties and environmental embargoes provided by Law.