Approval Process for Environmental Impact AssessmentsCONAMA and the COREMAs are responsible for implementing the environmental impact assessment process. To begin the approval process, either an environmental impact declaration (EID) or an environmental impact study (EIS) must be submitted to the director of the appropriate COREMA. If the submission meets the basic requirements of the Environmental Impact Evaluation Regulation, the director then initiates the review process. By law, COREMA has 60 days to review the EID and 120 to review the EIS, and must either approve, reject, or conditionally approve the project. The project must also be submitted for public review. An abstract of the project is published in the Diario Oficial, and the public has 60 days to submit written comments to COREMA. Finally, COREMA must also send copies of the document to the various state and local agencies affected by the project; these agencies are required to submit an evaluation to COREMA. In these reports, they may ask for clarifications and further information or suggest additional measures that must be undertaken by the project for it to be approved.
Once COREMA has received input from the other agencies and the public and has conducted its own evaluation, a technical report of the study or declaration must be prepared. This report includes comments submitted by the respective public agencies; a summary of observations made by the community in relation to the project’s environmental impacts and mitigation, reparation, and compensation measures; the necessary environmental permits; and a recommendation to accept or reject the project.