The Federal Supreme Court judged the Direct Action for the Declaration of Unconstitutionality (ADI) no 6148/DF, which concerns Conama Resolution no 491/2018, between May 4 and 5.
The STF gave Conama a deadline to publish a rule with stricter parameters regarding air pollution.
The Institute for Health and Sustainability (ISS) explains, in summary, that “the rule sets forth the national standards for air quality and updates them in relation to Resolution 03/1990, which has regulated the subject matter for almost 30 years within the scope of the National Council for the Environment. The air quality standards are a management instrument that determine the maximum amounts for the concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere based on the parameters indicated by the World Health Organization. The 2018 Resolution determined the updating of the national standards aligned with the WHO guidelines that were published in 2005. It indicates the establishment of intermediate standards that are considered intermediate amounts to be complied with in stages, before the achievement of the final amount that is equivalent to that indicated by the health organization without, however, any deadlines for implementation.”
In 2021, the WHO once again updated its recommendations based on more current scientific evidence. The absence of deadlines for greater strictness in the management of the concentration of pollutants, among other points, was considered unconstitutional by the Federal Attorney General (PGR), which filed the action. The ISS and the Alana Institute joined the action as amici curiae and presented oral arguments, but the Court decided by 7 votes to 4 to deny the ADI.
Despite this, explains the ISS, “the National Council for the Environment was ordered to review it within 24 months so that the necessary adjustments related to the protection of human health are carried out. The decision was a more political solution rather than a technical one, because the denial of the action should not lead to any obligation on the party that won the process.”
Read the full opinion here.