Municipal environmental licensing

Andréa Cristina de Oliveira Struchel

This book discusses licensing guidelines and standards – one of the most important environmental control tools. After all, which are the responsibilities of each federative entity (Union, States and Municipalities)? What can the Municipality license? Which are the advantages and challenges of municipal environmental licensing?


In addition to the theoretical aspects, doctrines and technical concepts, there are reports of practical experiences: information on how important cities are dealing with licensing in their day to day.


The author discusses issues such as green areas and preservation units, potentially polluting activities, sanitation works, real estate projects and several other items whose environmental impact is generally local.


Focused on municipal managers and professionals related to the environment, this work contributes to the training and creation of a critical awareness on what is done – and what can be done – by the Municipalities in this strategic area for the future of the country.

Original title
Licenciamento ambiental municipal
Year of publication

About the authors

Andréa Cristina de Oliveira Struchel

With a solid background, Andrea Struchel has a degree in Law and a Masters in Urbanism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas and a specialization in Diffuse and Collective Rights from the Escola Superior do Ministério Público do Estado de São Paulo and in Procedural Law from the Universidade da Amazônia (Unama).


I.1 Concept and considerations regarding the expression “environment” before the Federal Constitution of 1988 and related environmental legislation

I.2 The National Environmental Policy and the instruments of environmental management


1 – Concepts, competencies and principles involved in environmental licensing

1.1 Concept and purpose of environmental licensing

1.2 Competence of federative entities for environmental licensing

1.3 Related environmental principles

1.4 Object of environmental licensing


2- Modalities of license and phases of licensing

2.1 Environmental license and its modalities

2.2 Phases of the procedure for granting an environmental license

2.3 Compatibility between environmental and urban licensing

2.4 Deadlines for technical and community analysis

2.5 Deadlines for environmental licenses

2.6 Renewal of environmental licenses

2.7 Revision of environmental licenses

2.8 Validation of the environmental licensing process

2.9 Simplified licensing

2.10 Environmental autolicensing

2.11 Complex environmental licensing

2.12 Corrective environmental licensing

2.13 Environmental impact study (EIS)

2.14 Environmental compensation

2.15 Environmental licensing in green areas and conservation units (CUs)

2.16 Municipal environmental licensing and its interference in water resources


3 – Peculiarities of municipal environmental licensing

3.1 Measures of cooperation through supplementary, subsidiary or delegated action

3.2 The role of the Municipality when environmental licensing is the responsibility of other federative entities

3.3 The role of the Municipality in the environmental licensing of land parceling

3.4 Environmental licensing of land regularization on municipal level

3.5 Municipal environmental licensing of real estate projects

3.6 Environmental licensing of urban infrastructures equipment of significant impact in the Municipality

3.7 Sustainability indices in municipal environmental licensing


4 – Environmental responsibility

4.1 Administrative environmental responsibility

4.2 Civil responsibility


Bibliographical references



It was with great honor and, let me say, with a little envy that I received the invitation of PhD Andrea Cristina de Oliveira Struchel to present her opportune and thought-provoking book Municipal Environmental Licensing. Those who know her are aware of her enormous investigative capacity and of her profound legal-institutional knowledge focused on environmental issues. She is an intellectual who, thanks to her theoretical and practical knowledge acquired during her academic trajectory, as a student and as a teacher of respected teaching and research institutions, and also by the exercise of relevant public functions, in charge of the positions of Director of the Sustainable Department and later as Departmental Supervisor of the Secretariat of Green, Environment and Sustainable Development of the City Hall of Campinas, has earned the respect and admiration of those who, like her, seek to harmonize economic and social practices with the sustainable use of nature.
Environmental licensing – the theme of this book – is one of the most effective tools available to Public Administration and the community to ensure the necessary protection of the environment. It is a complex procedure that involves several areas of knowledge, which is why environmental studies, or their exemption, when applicable, depend on their on their permanent submission to the principles of Environmental Law, especially those of: i) supremacy of the public interest over the private, even if legitimate; ii) social and ecological function of public and private property; iii) precaution and prevention; iv) reasonableness and proportionality; v) community participation; vi) information and ample defense, among others mentioned by the author.
Using simple, direct, and pleasant language, she knew how to conduct the object of her work with wisdom. She did so by means of a text without flowery language and without the aridity of most legal works. She used a vast bibliography, current and diverse, and rescued divergent opinions from the consulted authors, but she knew how to put her observations contrary to those authors with great propriety, subtlety and vehemence.
Her book, innovative in the thematic approach, deep in theoretical and didactic discussions in the presentation of its contents, will undoubtedly be a mandatory reading for those who propose to ask epistemological questions about aspects of environmental science, especially those related to administrative procedures aimed at environmental licensing. If for these professionals this book will serve as a guide, paradigm and solution to complex issues, for beginners and the community in general, it will serve as a juridical-institutional handbook for a comprehensive knowledge of the subject and will allow them to assume positions on administrative procedures.
For all this, I congratulate the author for the excellence of the work accomplished, being sure that it will serve as a paradigm for the design of economic and social projects aimed at the use of municipal land, its analysis by public agents and the manifestation of the community in the difficult task of harmonizing distinct but not necessarily excluding interests: socio-environmental development and the imperative protection of nature.

Hildebrando Herrmann

Cities are notable for efficient and effective environmental management, in order to consolidate, at a local level, environmental protection commands in all its form dictated by planetary, national, state and regional orbit.
This is how the municipalization of environmental management in the Federal Constitution of 1988, Law 6.938 / 81 (National Environmental Policy) and Complementary Law no. 140/11 (Environmental competencies) come to light. In this context, environmental licensing is the basic tool that the municipalities have, as federal entities that are members of the National Environmental System (Sisnama), to achieve sustainability and approval of undertakings and activities.
Thus, the handling of the present work, which deals with municipal environmental licensing, contributes to the training of public and private agents linked to the licensing and environmental control activity of municipal environmental agencies, since it brings solid theoretical aspects (doctrine and technical concepts) and proper practice (jurisprudence, legislation and practical experience) on the various themes that comprehend the process of environmental licensing in the local orbit. This is an important contribution to managers throughout the country.
I witnessed the author being a technician of outstanding competence and recognized practical experience, whose performance is directly related to the recent advances and the highlight achieved by Campinas (SP) in this theme.

Rogério Menezes