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IBAMA Environmental Control in Brazil: Criteria and Tools


 Sandra Cec’lia Miano1, Fernando R.M. Pires2, Donizetti Aurélio Do Carmo1

(1) Brazilian Institute for Environment and Renewable Resources - IBAMA, Bras’lia, Brazil (2) UFRJ - Federal University of the Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 Since 1997/98, with the new scenery in the oil/gas exploration in Brazil, IBAMA, (Brazilian Institute for Environment and Renewable Resources), is facing a quite different situation from the one it usually used to dealt with. From 1953, and up to 1997, Petrobras had the privilege and opportunity to develop the oil industry in Brazil, thanks to the oil monopoly. However, before 1953, very few IOCs (International Oil Companies) risked in oil exploration in Brazil. Mostly, IOCs invested in gas stations. Since 1998, IBAMA has received a torrent of requests of environmental studies related to the concession area in offshore blocks offered and authorized by ANP (National Agency of Petroleum).

Consequently IBAMA had to make considerable efforts to organize an environmental branch office, the ELPN (Escritorio de Licenciamento de Petroleo e Nuclear), to deal with such big demand of processes on environment. IBAMA contracted specialized professionals to perform environmental analytical studies of the potential impacts related to the seismic surveys, drillings and production offshore. In addition, some of bad quality environmental studies have been presented by the seismic operators, besides the numerous oil spills and cable losses events that happened in the last three years. Delay in the licensing procedures was the reason given by some seismic operators to perform irregular, not licensed and not authorized seismic surveys. Nevertheless, IBAMA has grated issued LO (Operation Licenses) for those who had good quality environmental plans, prepared by particular seismic and oil operators.

Presently, IBAMA is able to make the environmental analyses, in adequate time period, related to the oil activities offshore, and to prepare a regulatory norm that will control the environmental impacts.