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Laws and regulations

Since 2011, Brazilian law on discharging of effluents has become stricter. Risk of fines is a driver for companies’ investments in water treatment. At the same time, federal government is pushing for the development of sanitation within municipalities.

CONAMA is the federal consultative and deliberative forum for environmental issues, related to the Ministry of Environment. It comprehends technical groups that contain representatives from different levels of society and a council composed by representatives from different stakeholders defined by a governmental decree. The council defines resolutions that will later be introduced to the government.

State agencies such as CETESB (São Paulo) and INEA are responsible for executing, controlling and enforcing environmental legislation. CETESB is considered a role model for the country. States are also playing an important role in communicating to the industry the positive effects of clean technology.

Industry’s superficial water consumption is charged and regulated by basin committees. Companies need a permit from the government to capture water from a basin. The permit generally establishes a fixed fee for caption and discharge. The measure seeks to promote the rational use of water and obtain financial resources for the recovering of hydric basins. However, the price from taking water from the basins is lower than the price from concessionaries. Over Southeast region, within the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, most of basins are already being charged or in process of implementing charging measures for consumption of water.