Brazil is making it easier for companies to slash or even entirely avoid major fines for environmental violations as President Jair Bolsonaro makes good on a pledge to prioritize industry over ecology.

A presidential decree (No. 9,760) published April 12 creates a streamlined process by which a company’s environmental fines can be reduced or even annulled. In fact, a company gets an automatic 60 percent cut in a fine amount if it agrees to bypass appeals and put the money toward helping the environment.

“When the government creates a conciliation process that can reduce or annul an environmental fine or...