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Ceará law on simplified procedure for environmental licenses is constitutional

The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court's (STF) Plenary maintained the validity of Ceará Law 14.882 / 2011, which deals with procedures for issuing environmental licenses aimed at the construction of enterprises or activities with small potential of environmental degradation. In a unanimous decision taken at a virtual trial session, the Direct Unconstitutionality Action (ADI) 4615, filed by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) against the state law, was dismissed.

In his vote, the rapporteur, Justice Luis Roberto Barroso, rejected the PGR's claim that Ceará law had usurped the legislative competence of the Union to set general rules of the National Environmental Policy. Barroso pointed out that, according to the STF's peaceful case law, the environmental matter is of concurrent legislative competence, the Union is responsible for establishing the general norms and the states are in charge of complementing the gaps of the federal norms taking into account the specific regional situations.


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