July 24, 2014

Chile Developments (Volume II, 2013)

Latin American Region Enviromental Report, Second Quarter, 2013  

Chile Issues Regulations Regarding Registration of Contaminant Emissions and Transfers

On May 2, 2013, the Chilean Ministry of the Environment issued new regulations establishing a public reporting database (Registro de Emisiones y Transferencias de Contaminantes; “RETC”) to compile and analyze information regarding pollutant emissions and waste transfers. (Reglamento del Registro de Emisiones y Transferencias de Contaminantes; the “RETC Regulations”).   The RETC Regulations provide for an electronic reporting portal that will allow regulated entities to electronically report information regarding pollutant emissions or waste transfers.  (Art. 17)  Reporting via this portal will satisfy reporting obligations of regulated pollution emitters and waste generators.  (Id.)

The entities that will report through RETC’s portal include: (i) facilities required to report pollutant emissions or waste transfers pursuant to other regulations, (ii) facilities classified as emission sources or regulated waste generators, (iii) facilities that receive or discharge regulated wastes, and (iv) facilities that generate more than 12 tons of unregulated waste per year.  (Arts. 18, 26)  In addition to information reported by regulated entities, the RETC is to be populated with content derived from reports prepared by state agencies pursuant to facility inspections.  (Arts. 7, 19)  The RETC Regulations became effective as of May 2, 2013, with the exception of the self-reporting obligations, which will become effective on May 2, 2014.  (Art. 29, Transitory Article)

Reference Sources (in Spanish):

Bill Would Incorporate Producer End-of-Life Responsibility Principle Into Chile’s General Environmental Law

A new bill (Boletin 8450-12, the “Bill”) introduced in the Chilean Chamber of Deputies aims to incorporate producer end-of-life responsibility into Chile’s general environmental law (Ley de Bases Generales del Medio Ambiente, the “General Environmental Law”).   The Bill, which was referred to the Natural Resources and Environment Committee, proposes the introduction of a new article, 47 bis, in the General Environmental Law.  Article 47 bis would state that “producers must prevent the propagation of wastes generated as a consequence of their economic activities, adopting all necessary measures to minimize such activities’ environmental impact.”  In addition, the proposed article would require the enactment of waste management regulations with varying requirements for different producers depending on the characteristics and volumes of their generated wastes.  The Bill does not specify what types of products or producers should be covered by any regulations enacted thereby. 

Reference Sources (in Spanish):

Ministry of the Environment Publishes Stringent Emissions Standards for Copper Foundry and Arsenic Emission Sources

On May 2, 2013, Chile’s Council of Ministers for Sustainability at the Ministry of the Environment approved Agreement No. 8, adopting standards (the “Standards”) regarding emissions from copper foundries and other sources of arsenic emissions.  The Standards aim to reduce foundries’ emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, arsenic and mercury, imposing separate requirements on existing emission sources (“Existing Emission Sources”) and any new emission sources (the “New Emission Sources”) for which government permits are issued after publication of the Standards.  “Emission source” is defined as all foundries or other industrial emission sources of arsenic where the thermal treatment of mineral or metallurgic compounds of copper or gold takes place, whose arsenic content in the monthly quantity of feedstock is higher than 0.005% by weight.

For Existing Emission Sources, the Norms set forth numeric maximum annual sulfur dioxide and arsenic emissions limits specified on a foundry by foundry basis.  These limits are to be met within five years after publication of the Standards for copper foundries, or three years for foundries with double contact sulfuric acid plants and two years for other industrial emission sources of arsenic. In addition to these absolute limits on emissions, the Standards also require Existing Emission Sources to capture 95% of their sulfur and arsenic emissions. For New Emission Sources, the Standards impose more stringent annual emissions limits, allowing only the emission of 2% or less of the weight of sulfur received by the New Emission Sources and 0.024% or less of the weight of arsenic received.  The Standards also impose maximum hourly stack emission rates for both Existing Emission Sources and New Emission Sources, and require the implementation of strict emission control procedures at each source, including but control devices.  (Art. 14)  Both New and Existing Emission Sources will also be required to install continuous emissions monitoring systems (“CEMS”) in accordance with U.S. EPA standards, within one year from the date of publication.

Reference Sources (in Spanish):

© 2014 Beveridge & Diamond PC

About the Author

Daniel P. Berner, Environmental Law Attorney, Beveridge Diamond Law Firm

Daniel Berner is an Associate in the Austin office of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., with a practice focused on environmental law and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Berner is also a member of the Firm’s Latin America practice group, through which he advises clients on environmental legal issues in the region.


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