Compliance inspections as an environmental supervision tool in El Salvador

By zone_admin | 23 de May de 2022 | Blog

Compliance Inspections, as a core tool for the Supervision of Environmental Compliance in El Salvador, are carried out with the main purpose of preventing and reducing the negative environmental impact that may be caused by people, companies, businesses or institutions whose activities are subject to different environmental requirements. Article 28 of the Environmental Law establishes that the functions of control and monitoring of the Environmental Assessment process correspond to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), empowering it to carry out inspections with the support of the Environmental Units, in order to to carry out a verification of the environmental compliance of the obligations established in its environmental permits and also allow it to detect and correct possible infractions of the law. The aforementioned Law also establishes that the owners are obliged to allow the entry of duly identified technical personnel designated by the environmental authority and non-compliance with this provision constitutes a serious offense according to literal i) of Art. 86 of the same legal body. . The Environmental Compliance Inspections are part of the control and monitoring that the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador (MARN) makes to the processes of Environmental Impact Assessment of activities, works or projects. Initially, compliance inspections were only carried out on those projects whose potential impact on the environment is slight and that had a Resolution of No Requirement for an Environmental Impact Study, in order to monitor that the stipulated mandatory compliance conditions are being executed. in the Technical Opinion that the MARN carries out. As of 2013, these inspections are also carried out on activities, works or projects that have Environmental Permit Resolutions, in order to verify that, during construction and operation, the environmental measures stipulated in the Environmental Permit are complied with. . The execution of compliance inspections obeys a previous programming, however, unlike the Environmental Assessment Audits, these can be carried out without giving advance notice to the owners, to verify that the activities are carried out in accordance with the decree. in the environmental permit and in the mandatory compliance conditions. Compliance Audits are also regulated in Art. 27 of the Environmental Law, however, the procedure to be followed during them is not established, so in order to have proper conduct and not interfere with Its realization is important to know what to expect during the performance of an Environmental Compliance Audit.
  1. The Technician appointed and duly identified by the Ministry of the Environment appears at the project site, and will indicate the purpose of his visit.
  2. Once the object has been reported, it must be sent to the appropriate person to accompany it during the verification tour, this person is not always the Legal Representative, it may be a person designated by it.
  3. A tour of the facilities is made to identify possible breaches and/or activities outside of what is stated in the respective resolution and to document their visit, or demonstrate the degree of compliance with environmental measures, the technical staff collects all the useful material such as photographs, water samples, measurements of emissions into the atmosphere, interviews and documentation review.
  4. At the end of the tour, the results of what was observed during the tour are exposed to the designated or legal representative and a preliminary Inspection Act is drawn up.
  5. Once the Inspection visit is over, the technician proceeds to analyze the evidence collected at the Inspection site and writes the Inspection Report.
Once the inspection report has been concluded, if non-compliance with the environmental measures by the owner in the execution and/or operation of the project is determined, the MARN may initiate the sanctioning administrative processes or establish preventive measures established in Articles 83, 84, 85 and 86 of the Environmental Law. Source: MARN/ Environmental Law.