The Federal Government developed certain policies regarding the prevention of damage to the environment, such as: prosecution, punishment, investigation and general and special prevention of the crimes or administrative infractions that cause them; as well as for the social reincorporation of criminally and environmentally responsible persons that induce respect for environmental laws.
In terms of the Federal Penal Code, everyone is obliged to repair damage caused to the environment.
Now, the forms to be able to initiate a criminal action for environmental crimes will be given: (I) when the federal authorities have knowledge of acts or omissions that could constitute crimes; and (II) any person may directly file a criminal complaint for environmental crimes before the Public Ministry.
A subject of crime is considered a person who carries out activities that threaten the environment and environmental management, these will be sanctioned as follows:
A penalty of 1 to 9 years in prison and a fine of 300 to 3,000 Units of Measurement and Update ($26,886.00 to $268,860.00) * parameter in force in 2021 * will be imposed on who:
1. Carry out activities of production, storage, traffic, import or export, transport, abandonment, disposal, discharge, or carry out any other activity with substances considered dangerous due to their corrosive, reactive, explosive, toxic, flammable, radioactive or other similar characteristics, ordered or authorized, that causes damage to natural resources, flora, fauna, ecosystems, water quality, soil, subsoil or the environment.
2. Perform the behaviors with the substances listed in the previous paragraph, or with substances that deplete the ozone layer and cause a risk of damage to natural resources, flora, fauna, ecosystems, the quality of the water or the environment.
3. Dismiss, discharges into the atmosphere, authorizes or orders, gases, fumes, dust or pollutants that cause damage to natural resources, fauna, flora, ecosystems or the environment, provided that said emissions come from fixed sources of Federal competence, in accordance with the provisions of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection.
4. Generate emissions of noise, vibrations, thermal or light energy, coming from emission sources of federal competence, in accordance with the ordinance indicated in the previous section, that cause damage to natural resources, flora, fauna, ecosystems or the environment.
5. When it unlawfully discharges, deposits, or infiltrates, authorizes or orders wastewater, chemical or biochemical liquids, wastes or pollutants in soils, subsoils, marine waters, rivers, basins, vessels or other deposits or streams of federal jurisdiction , that causes a risk of damage or damage to natural resources, flora, fauna, water quality, ecosystems or the environment.
However, the activities referred to in the previous paragraphs are carried out in a protected natural area or when it is about waters that are deposited, flow in or towards a protected natural area, the prison sentence will be increased up to 3 years and the economic penalty up to 1000 Units of Measurement and Update, with the exception of activities carried out with substances that deplete the ozone layer.
By virtue of the foregoing, it is recommended that, in the event that you are carrying out activities that may lead to an assumption that is susceptible to being sanctioned according to the Federal Criminal Code, you take legal advice, for which the BRIFFAULT ABOGADOS team , SC is at your service to provide appropriate and timely advice in relation to all relevant acts, as well as the contentious area to develop means of defense against any act of abuse by the competent authorities in environmental matters.