/ New regulation of the Environmental Impact Evaluation System

24 December, 2013

The new regulation of the Environmental Impact evaluation System (SEIA) came into effect, which has a series of improvements towards the procedure of environmental evaluation and is in charge of the modifications that the Law 20.417 introduced in this topic.

The recently approved regulation will deal with various weak points within the environmental evaluation, such as late evaluations (that increases conflictions), the simple role of coordinator of the administrator of the SEIA, the lack of precision in the application and opportunity of the Citizen Participation, the uncertainty in questions of relevance, doubts about the significance of environmental impacts and confusion about environmental permits, among other examples; along with taking charge of regulating the Indigenous Consultation in accordance with the established in the 169th Convention of the International Labour Organisation.

Ricardo Irarrázabal, Executive Director of the Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA) stated that “the new regulation aims that the evaluation of the significant impacts occurs in early stages, implementing changes to raise the standard of information in the evaluation and its quality, as well as achieve a reduction of the due dates of the process. With this purpose, it is required that the projects that describes specifically its characteristics and impacts foreseeable and, in cases where it is necessary, details of the measures offered in order to mitigate environmental effects.”

In this regard, the “Early Termination” of the evaluation process will take a predominant role for those projects where relevant information is missing or material not capable of being corrected.

The SEA has realized various training about the changes in the environmental evaluation that brings the new regulation in the regions of the country, that have attended public services that participates in the SEIA, project owners and environmental consultant.