From no environmental institutional framework that has addressed

From an analysis of legislation and the administration of environmentalpollution problems in our country, it can be inferred that there hasbeen no clear policy for dealing with them, and hence no environmentalinstitutional framework that has addressed the problems in an efficientmanner.

This has translated into the fact that most of the legal attributionswere dispersed, located in different sectoral ministries, with no coordinatingentities with sufficient attributions until the creation of the NationalEnvironmental Commission and the Special Commission for the Decontaminationof the Metropolitan Region (in September and April 1990, respectively).Historical environmental legislation in Chile has evolved as the outcomeof specific approaches aimed at solving specific problems —sometimesrestricted to a single spatial and temporal context— which has meantthat at the present time there are a large number of ad-hoc rules, scatteredin various pieces of legislation and controlled by different state agencies. Inturn, these standards, which might have been appropriate for solving specificproblems in the past, were legislated to be applied throughout the country,leading to regulations and rules that are inappropriate and inefficient.Furthermore, from the conceptual and technical point of view, thisbody of rules is not consistent in terms of the approaches used. The onlycommon aspect of the ruling legal framework on the environment is anexcessive reliance on the capacity for control and inspection by the State,for which reason the current legislation gives a high degree of discretionarypower to public-sector officials. On the other hand, the assignment of responsibilityfor control and inspection of environmental pollution is notmatched by a budgetary allocation of the resources needed to adequatelyfulfill such a role, with the result that much of the legislation has become adead letter.The history of environmental legislation in Chile can be divided intwo broad stages: before and after the 1980 Constitution.

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Prior to the promulgationof the Fundamental Charter and thus of the right to live in apollution free environment, the pollution control was based on norms such


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