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Peru Legal Highlights (Volume II, 2013)

Latin American Region Enviromental Report, Second Quarter, 2013  

Peru Accelerates Agency Review of Environmental Impact Studies

With the publication of Supreme Decree No. 060-2013-PCM (the “Decree”), on May 25, 2013, Peru has initiated a process intended to reduce the waiting time for agency review of environmental impact studies.  The Decree requires all agencies with jurisdiction over environmental issues to agree on “terms of reference” specifying the required elements of projects with “common characteristics.”  (Art. 2.1)  Agencies will thereafter be prevented from raising novel issues for particular projects (Art. 2.2), and from opining on projects outside their purview (Art. 2.3).  For projects under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Decree sets a timetable of approximately three months between the submission of an environmental impact study and the final decision, allowing between three and thirty days for each step in the review process.  (Art. 3)

Reference Sources (in Spanish):

Peru Relaxes Air Quality Standards for Sulfur Dioxide

Faced with an outcry from industry groups that compliance would be impossible, Peru’s Ministry of the Environment (“MINAM”) has postponed the implementation of its sulfur dioxide (SO2) air quality standard (estándar de calidad ambiental del aire para dióxido de azufre; “ECA”).  In 2008, MINAM had issued a regulation, Supreme Decree No. 003-2008-MINAM, setting nationwide ECAs for SO2of 80 micrograms per cubic meter to take effect on January 1, 2009, to be replaced on January 1, 2014, by nationwide ECAs for SO2 of 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  However, subsequent monitoring showed that certain regions of Peru were unlikely to meet the stricter standard, and prominent mining companies had indicated that they would be forced to close some operations because they lacked the technology to comply with the resulting emissions control requirements.  On June 19, 2013, MINAM responded to these concerns with Supreme Decree No. 006-2013-MINAM, delaying the application of the stricter 20-microgram ECA in atmospheric basins that had not yet been shown capable of meeting the standard.  In these areas, the higher 80-microgram ECA will continue to apply until MINAM issues an action plan that enables the needed reductions in SO2concentrations without significant economic disruption.

Reference Sources (in Spanish):

Peru Amends Environmental Inspection and Assessment Law

On April 26, 2013, Peruvian President, Ollanta Humala Tasso, signed into  law an amendment (the “SINEFA Law Amendment”) to Peru’s National Environmental Inspection and Assessment Law (No. 29325; Ley del Sistema Nacional de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental).  The SINEFA Law Amendment changes Peru’s existing environmental enforcement regime, focusing specifically on the expansion of the administrative authority of the Office of Environmental Assessment and Inspection (Organismo de Evaluacion y Fiscalizacion Ambiental; “OEFA”).  Among other things, the SINEFA Law Amendment delineates OEFA’s fine-levying authority, provides OEFA with the authority to require environmental compliance reports from the entities it regulates, and grants OEFA on-site inspection authority. (Arts. 11, 13, 15)

Reference Sources (in Spanish):

Peru Establishes Office of Environmental Impact Assessment

The Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (“MINAM”) has issued regulations (Supreme Decree No. 003-2013-MINAM; the “Regulations”) setting forth a timetable for the creation of the National Service of Environmental Certification of Sustainable Investments (Servicio Nacional de Certificación Ambiental para las Inversiones Sostenibles; “SENACE”).  The SENACE is to be the MINAM sub-agency charged with approving environmental impact assessments for public and private investment projects in Peru.

The schedule set forth in the Regulations provides for the creation of SENACE in four stages:

  • creation of SENACE’s administrative units (i.e., creation of board and management);

  • development of SENACE functionality, including the hiring of personnel, the creation of SENACE’s bylaws, the development of SENACE’s environmental certification request portal, the approval of guidelines and standards regarding the review and approval of environmental impact assessments, and the development of standards for the implementation of a national registry of environmental consultants;

  • transfer of functions from other agencies to SENACE; and

  • consolidation of SENACE’s functions.

Reference Sources (in Spanish):

© 2021 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume III, Number 234
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About this Author

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. brings a blend of long years of experience, the perspective of former senior government officials, and a depth of knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations to all of its environmental work. Our clients demand that we provide the highest quality of environmental representation to solve their environmental problems worldwide. We continue to meet that challenge today, as we have for over 30 years.

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