On 3 May 2024, Supreme Decree No. 004-2024-MINAMwas published, amending the Regulations of Law No. 27446 (Law of the National Environmental Impact Assessment System (SEIA))[1].

Its purpose is to standardize criteria for processing environmental certification requests and to promote the environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure when binding technical opinions and observations are delayed.

The main provisions introduced by this regulation are as follows:

1. Amendment of Article 51 of the SEIA Law Regulations on the presentation and admissibility of the EIA specifying the following:
  1. Once the request for environmental certification has been submitted to the competent entity, the Documentary Processing Unit or whoever takes its place verifies the minimum requirements (project owner's data, digital file of the EIA, payment of the processing fee, etc.), and refers the request to the evaluating body on the same day. This body has a maximum of five working days from the receipt of the request to verify that the EIA contains all the required chapters according to the structure of the corresponding terms of reference. This evaluation does not imply a substantive evaluation of the content of the chapters.

  1. If the evaluating body notices that any of the minimum requirements has been missing, the holder is required to rectify the EIA within two working days. This term is extendable at the request of the party only once and for the same period of time. Likewise, the evaluating body assesses within a maximum of two working days whether its observations have been sufficiently addressed.

  1. If the EIA complies with the minimum requirements, the competent authority accepts the EIA for processing and proceeds to the substantive evaluation. If the holder does not address the observation within the period granted, the EIA is considered not submitted. In this case, the processing fee is returned when the holder comes forward to claim it. This does not prevent the holder from submitting a new application.

  1. If the evaluating body does not make observations or does not carry out the evaluation within the established period, the substantive evaluation of the EIA will proceed "if there are any requirements that cannot be corrected ex officio by the competent authority or are necessary for the procedure to continue, the owner will be given one chance to provide these requirements during the substantive evaluation, without prejudice to the responsibilities that correspond to the public official who did not notice the noncompliance in a timely manner".

 

2. Incorporation of Article 53-A.1 into the SEIA Law Regulations, specifying the following:
  1. If during the EIA evaluation procedure, any binding reviewer is delayed in issuing its technical opinion or observations on the EIA, the holder may request from the competent authority a copy of its observations and, if applicable, the observations of the other reviewers who have not been delayed.

  1. The competent authority sends a copy of the observations within a maximum period of two working days from the day following receipt of the request issued by the owner. The copy sent will be merely informative and does not start the computation of the deadlines for the observations on the EIA.

  1. Once the competent authority receives the binding entity's delayed technical opinion or observations, the competent authority prepares the Report of Observations, which will consolidate the observations submitted within and outside the period established in the regulations. This report is forwarded to the owner so that they may proceed to resolve the observations contained therein, within the established deadlines.

 

On the other hand, the provisions of this regulation apply to all EIA procedures, i.e., EIAsd and EIAd, and any competent authority before which such procedures are processed. Likewise, it applies in a supplementary manner to the Environmental Impact Statements and to the environmental management instruments complementary to the SEIA when not provided for in the sectorial environmental regulations and whose evaluation period is 30 working days.

The procedures initiated prior to the entry into force of this regulation are resolved in accordance with the normative provisions under which they were initiated, except for the provisions established in Article 53 — A.1 incorporated into the SEIA Regulation, which are immediately applicable to the procedures in process.

 

We hope that this information will be of relevance to you and your company. If you require any further information, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

[1] Approved by Supreme Decree No. 019-2009-MINAM.