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RJ's ecological-economic zoning cannot dispense with environmental impact report

09/14/2020

The Plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) declared unconstitutional provisions of state law 5.067/2007 of Rio de Janeiro, which provides for the implementation of the Ecological-Economic Zoning (ZEE) and defines criteria for the implementation of economic forestry activity. Unanimously, the Plenary, in the virtual session concluded on September 4th, judged partially granted the Direct Unconstitutionality Action (ADI 4069) filed by the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (Contag).

National Environmental Policy

In his vote, the rapporteur, Justice Edson Fachin, explained that the ZEE was provided for by Federal Law 6,938/1981, which institutes the National Environmental Policy, with the purpose of guiding the action of governments at the federal, state, municipal and district levels for the maintenance of ecological balance, with economically self-sustainable development. Thus, zoning must follow the express orientation of this federal law, in the terms of Article 2 of Federal Decree 4.297/2002, and take into consideration, in the spatial distribution of economic activities, the ecological importance, limitations and fragilities of ecosystems, establishing prohibitions, restrictions and exploration alternatives and determining, when appropriate, the relocation of activities incompatible with its general guidelines.

Fachin noted that the federal legislation on ZEE's indicates the parameters and minimum requirements that states must meet when designing and executing the zoning project. "The federal legislation, in this way, took care to establish previously the general rules of zoning implantation, in order to preserve the environmental patrimony and watch over the quality of life of the citizens", he pointed out. According to the Justice, it is not up to the states to draw up the environmental preservation guidelines already established by federal law, "but to exercise their concurrent competence and establish, within these requirements, their normatization".

AR/AS//CF - CG/FB/GL

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