Environmental | Brazilian Federal Supreme Court rules unconstitutional State law about the installation of mobile phone antennas – Trench Rossi Watanabe

On April 30th, 2020, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) ruled unconstitutional State Law No. 10995/2001 of the State of São Paulo. The law disposes about conditions for installing mobile phone antennas. According to STF, the law violates the subsidiarity principle since the Federal Union has the competence to legislate about telecommunications and the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL) has the competence to define the limits of radiation emitted by antennas as per the General Telecommunications Law (Federal Law No. 9472/1997).

The Justice of the case, Edson Fachin emphasized that the Federal Law No. 11934/2009, aimed to protect the public health and the environment, established the adequate human exposure limits to electromagnetic fields, including the ones emitted by mobile phone antennas, following recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

The formal decision with the result of the judgment was not published yet.

The analysis will be necessary to assess the consequences to environmental and urban licensing procedures of infrastructures of support and radio base stations (ERBs) required by several States or Municipalities.

Our Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability team remain available to further discuss the matter.