The Ministry of Environment wants to create rules that would allow for punishing environmental inspectors that apply fines deemed inconsistent by the department. The idea is to chastise those inspectors whose penalties are reversed or annulled in court.
Minister Ricardo Salles ordered a survey of all fines applied by inspecting agency Ibama, to identify such instances.
In practice, the order aims to tighten control over Ibama's inspectors. However, many of them think this can intimidate them and weaken Ibama's work in general.
The minister also intends to use the survey to change procedures to inspect and issue fines for deforestation, illegal logging, and other infractions.
President Jair Bolsonaro is a vocal critic of the government's environmental inspection agencies. He has said that he thinks there is a disproportionate number of inspectors at Ibama. Political groups, farmers and Bolsonaro himself call the Ibama's work as "an industry of environmental fines."
Translated by NATASHA MADOV