Rondônia prohibits destruction of equipment in environmental operations

In a victory for environmental violators, the governor of Rondônia, Bolsonarista Coronel Marcos Rocha (PSL), sanctioned a law that prohibits state agents from destroying equipment during environmental inspections.

A This measure, approved in December by the Legislative Assembly, is contrary to the opinion of Sedam (State Secretariat for Environmental Development) and PGE (State Attorney General’s Office).

“It is prohibited (sic) for the of environmental inspections and the Military Police of the State of Rondônia the destruction and destruction of private goods seized in the operations/environmental inspections in the state”, says Law 5.299, signed on Wednesday (12).

The project was authored by the president of the Legislative Assembly, Alex Redano (Republicans). When justifying it, the congressman said that it was a demand from miners. He states that if the owner of the destroyed equipment is later exonerated, he cannot recover the damage.

In opinion, Sedam recommended a total veto. In the evaluation of the folder, the measure “is necessary to avoid its misuse and use in situations where transport and storage are unfeasible” and when “they could expose the environment to significant risks or compromise the safety of the population and agents public involved in the inspection”.

Also contrary to the law, PGE states, in its opinion, that the measure is “materially unconstitutional, since it results in a serious violation of the principle of prohibition of environmental setbacks “.

The PGE also says that, if the owner of the destroyed equipment manages to prove his innocence, the legislation in force provides for his indemnification.

In practice, they are rare are the cases of owners taking legal action against the destruction. This is because goods are usually unusable within protected areas, where the mere presence of such equipment is prohibited.

Environmental inspectors say that the destruction of goods is a last resort and only occurs when it is impossible to transportation of this equipment due to logistical difficulties in the Amazon.

Despite publicly criticizing the destruction of goods in environmental operations, President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) never carried out his threat to veto this practice. At the end of November, the Federal Police destroyed dozens of illegal garimpeiro ferries on the Madeira River.

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