Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

International Programs

EPA Programs in Brazil

Ocean and cliffs with waterfall

Brazil’s size (the 5th largest country in the world and the largest in Latin America), large population, and high levels of economic growth and urbanization make Brazil a priority country for U.S. environmental cooperation. EPA and Brazil began formal cooperation in 1987, with an agreement between EPA and the Sao Paulo State environmental agency, the Sao Paulo Sanitation Technology Company (CETESB). EPA works with national and local environmental agencies in Brazil to exchange information on environmental management and risk reduction in areas of mutual interest.

New! The first working-level meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability (JIUS) took place in Philadelphia in December 2011.



Explore our work with Brazil:



  • December 2011: EPA led discussions in environmental justice sessions as part of the Steering Group meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (JAPER) in Washington, DC.
  • September 2011: EPA hosted officials from the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (MMA) participating in an environmental justice fellowship sponsored by Partners of the Americas. This fellowship is a result of the JAPER.
  • August 2011: EPA Administrator Jackson and Brazil’s Minister of Environment Izabella Teixeira launched the U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability (JIUS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the trip, the Administrator participated in a specific round table to address EJ issues in communities that will be affected by three upcoming mega-events over the next five years: the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20), the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Olympics.



The Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability (JIUS):
  • The Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability (JIUS) was established by EPA Administrator Jackson in Brazil in August 2011, with representatives from Brazil’s Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State of Rio de Janeiro, the City of Rio de Janeiro, the City of Philadelphia, and representatives from the U.S. and Brazilian private, academic and civil society sectors.
  • The JIUS will demonstrate the economic, environmental, and social benefits of increased investment in a greener urban environment by focusing on projects in Philadelphia and Rio de Janeiro as the city of Rio organizes the three mega-events (the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20), the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Olympics) in the next five years.
  • The initiative will also demonstrate innovative public private partnerships for green investments in urban sustainability that could be replicated in other cities globally.
  • The establishment of the JIUS follows on President Obama's state visit to Brazil in March 2011.

    Keynote speech at the fourth meeting of the JAPER, given by Michelle DePass, Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA). May 2010.

Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality:
  • In March 2008, the U.S. and Brazil signed an agreement for ongoing collaboration between the U.S. and Brazil to eliminate racial discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity in both countries.
  • At the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (JAPER), in May 2010, the U.S. and Brazil began to explore opportunities for partnership on environmental justice, consistent with EPA’s commitment to environmental justice, and the protection of vulnerable populations.
  • In December 2010, Brazilian and U.S. governments agreed to create an environmental justice fellowship; to develop an environmental justice training course and curriculum; and to deliver an environmental justice workshop in Brazil.
  • JAPER's Steering Group meets alternately in Brazil and the U.S. and includes a range of representatives from both governments and members of civil society. EPA has continued to participate in regular technical meetings, focusing on JAPER's environmental justice program.

Air Quality Index:
  • EPA has provided assistance to Companhia Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo (CETESB), the environmental agency for Sao Paulo State, Brazil, since 2004.
  • The partnership focuses on making their Air Quality Index (AQI) more usable for the public. For example, CETESB’s improved AQI website now features color coding, health effects and cautionary statements for each category. Real-time AQI values for the monitoring stations are also available.
  • EPA continues its relationship with CETESB as their AQI system develops.

Brazil Fuel Switching Project:
  • Beginning in August 2012, stringent international standards will require that lower sulfur fuels be used by ships operating within up to 200 nautical miles of the majority of the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic and Pacific coastal waters, as well as the U.S. Gulf Coast.
  • EPA expects these international standards to bring important benefits for human health through combustion of significantly lower sulfur fuels.
  • To prepare for the implementation of this new Emissions Control Area (ECA), EPA conducted a fuel switching project to showcase the benefits of using low sulfur fuels. In addition to port calls in Mexico and U.S., a vessel using low-sulfur fuel also called on Santos, Brazil.
  • EPA calculated emissions reductions from the low-sulfur fuel, and shared the data and final report with Brazilian agencies and interested stakeholders.


Agreements and Relevant Documents


Key Partners Exit EPA disclaimer

Brazil Ministry of Environment (MMA) State of Rio CETESB
Brazil Special Secretariat for Racial Equality City of Rio


Learn More About Brazil


Back to: Latin America and the Caribbean


For additional information on EPA's work with Latin America and the Caribbean, contact:

Cam Hill-Macon
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: hill-macon.cam@epa.gov
(202) 564-6408

Jump to main content.