CD: Reflecting on the past 12 months, what are some of the key trends and developments you have seen in environmental disputes?
Bergeson: A major change, brought about by the November elections, is the uptick in citizen suit litigation, and lawsuits brought by third parties against the government. Given the current administration’s position on climate change, environmental regulation generally, and the perception that regulations impede economic growth and job development, there has been a significant slowdown in regulatory and administrative activity and the initiation of enforcement actions. NGOs and third-party activists will continue to fill this void by private lawsuits as citizen litigants.
Aldaz: Over the 12 past months there have been a number of developments regarding environmental disputes. One such example is the bill on waste management. It is generally understood that waste management is an issue on the national agenda of every government. In Uruguay, waste management is the responsibility of private institutions, such as the Uruguayan Industry Chamber, without any intervention from the government. The bill aims to create a national waste fund with a recycling trust which would be managed by the national government. Another development in environmental disputes that have taken place over the last few months has been in connection with the conflict relating to the use of the country’s natural resources. There are mining projects in Uruguay that are considered to be particularly harmful to other natural resources, such as water.
Jul-Sep 2017 issue
Bergeson & Campbell PC
Guyer & Regules
IDEAS Iniciativa para el Desarrollo Ambiental y Sustentable SC
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP