Instrumentos Ambientales

By zone_admin | 27 de May de 2022 | Blog

Derived from the rise of the environmental issue worldwide, an awareness is being generated in the preservation of natural resources and the conservation of the environment, which is accompanied by a series of regulations to that effect. According to Guatemalan regulations, companies whose activities may cause damage to natural resources or the environment must have the respective licenses and must also meet minimum health requirements, which are described below. ENVIRONMENTAL INSTRUMENTS The environmental instrument is the generic name given to the authorization granted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for the development of works, projects or industries that have an impact on the environment. The impact on the environment or natural resources is evaluated by an environmental instrument, in which the mitigation measures that must be carried out are determined. According to the Environmental Assessment, Control and Monitoring Regulation, the environmental instrument is divided into three classes: i) predictive, ii) corrective and iii) complementary. The predictive  ones include all the environmental instruments that are carried out before the start of the work, project and industry, which according to their impact category can be:
  1. a) initial environmental assessment
  2. b) environmental impact assessment study
  3. c) strategic environmental assessment
  4. d) activity form for registration in the listings
The correctives  include all the environmental instruments that are carried out after the start of the work:
  1. a) environmental diagnosis
  2. b) low-impact environmental diagnosis
  3. c) corrective activities form for registration
The complementary  ones cover all the environmental instruments that support the predictive and corrective environmental instruments and these can be:
  1. a) environmental risk assessment
  2. b) social impact assessment
  3. c) evaluation of cumulative effects
  4. d) environmental management plan
The administrative procedure for the approval of an environmental instrument is as follows:
  • The proponent submits the file of the environmental instrument, whatever its nature, before the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • The General Directorate of the Environment and Natural Resources issues an approving resolution specifying all the mitigation measures that the proponent must comply with in the project, work or industry. This resolution establishes the amount for which the project, work or industry must be guaranteed.
  • The proponent pays the bond corresponding to the amount indicated in the approving resolution issued by the General Directorate of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • The proponent requests the issuance of the corresponding Environmental License and this is issued by the General Directorate of Environment and Natural Resources, for a period of 3 to 5 years, at the request of the proponent.
It is necessary for the proponent to comply with all the steps of the related administrative procedure in order to operate or otherwise it would be subject to the imposition of fines that may consist of between Q. 5,000.00 and Q. 100,000.00 (approximately US$700.00 up to US$14,000.00) for each breach. According to the Law for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment, any work, project, industry or activity that, due to its characteristics, may cause damage to renewable or non-renewable natural resources, or to the environment, must have an Environmental Impact Study approved by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources prior to its development. In other words, any person, whether individual or legal, must carry out an Environmental Impact Study prior to carrying out any activity that generates a detriment to natural resources. If the person fails to comply, he will be subject to sanctions consisting of fines established in the Regulation of Evaluation, Control and Environmental Monitoring. The Environmental Evaluation, Control and Monitoring Regulation was approved in July 2016 and granted a period of two years for people who do not have the Environmental Instrument to regularize their situation. Consequently, in July 2018, all persons who carry out a work, project, industry or activity that may damage renewable or non-renewable natural resources, or the environment, must have the respective Environmental Instrument. Said regulation establishes the requirements that the Environmental Impact Study must meet. Given the period granted for people to regularize compliance with environmental obligations, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is not imposing fines for not having the approved environmental instrument or for submitting the corrective environmental impact study after the start of the project. operations. The fines will be imposed upon expiration of the term granted to regularize the fulfillment of such duties, and will range between Q. 5,000.00 and Q. 100,000.001, depending on the category of the environmental instrument that should have been managed according to the activity that is developed and the environmental impact. to occur. .