Decree 65,486/21, published on January 22, regulates the environmental clearing procedure for activities causing significant environmental impact in the State of São Paulo, as provided for in article 36 of Federal Law No. 9,985/00. The instrument, among other measures, raises environmental compensation to the degree of mandatory conditioning in environmental licensing of ventures, works or activities with significant impact, in procedures under the jurisdiction of the state entity.

The standard established as a duty of the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo (Cetesb), in the procedures for issuance of an installation license (LI), the establishment of an amount for environmental clearance, based on the degree of environmental impact identified in the EIA/Rima. The agency will also point out the conservation units (UCs) affected by the activity or venture.

For the issuance of a Prior License (LP), the decree imposes as a condition mandatory execution of an Environmental Clearance Commitment Agreement (TCCA), an extrajudicially enforceable instrument the fulfillment of which will constitute a condition for obtaining and validating the LI of the activity, work, or venture.

The requirements established by the Law on the National System of Conservation Units (SNUC), as a minimum limit of 0.5% of the total costs foreseen for the implementation of a work or venture in the transfer of funds intended for environmental clearance, must be observed. To grant the license sought, it is also necessary to obtain authorization from the body responsible for managing the conservation unit directly affected by the work or venture.

The São Paulo decree also reinforced the action of the Environmental Clearance Chamber (CCA), the body in charge of the analysis, proposal, regulation, and application of funds aimed at environmental clearance, detailing its competencies and drawing the limits on its operation.

Decree No. 64,132/19 had already established the CCA as part of the structure of the Bureau of Infrastructure and Environment of the State of São Paulo, but prescribing the analysis of and proposal for application of funds from environmental clearance as its only competencies.

An important way to instrumentalize environmental compensation measures, the CCA is a joint body composed of members from the public sector and civil society, under the coordination of the Deputy Secretary for Infrastructure and the Environment. In addition to the duty already mentioned to analyze and propose the application of the funds from environmental clearance, Decree No. 65,486/21 invested the CCA with the duties of:

  • Indicating the UCs benefited by the funds for this purpose;
  • Stipulating the percentage of funds for clearance that will fall to each UC, either by authorizing the transfer of funds from the entrepreneur to the UCs benefited, or by making their application compatible;
  • Preparing standard instruments for Environmental Clearance Discharge Agreements and Environmental Clearance Commitment Agreements, in addition to advertising the execution and fulfillment thereof;
  • Reviewing proposals for application of environmental clearance funds arising from the managing bodies of the UCs;
  • Establishing the actions to be carried out with the funds from environmental clearance in the UCs established by the State.

In addition to giving greater effectiveness to the CCA, the standard revokes Decrees No. 60,070/14, 60,919/14, 62,451/17, and 62,672/17.