On January 17, 2022, the Environmental Evaluation Service (“SEA”), issued the Ordinary Office of the Executive Directorate No. 20229910238, which gives instructions regarding the application of paragraphs p) and s) of Article 10 of Law No. 19,300, Law on General Bases of the Environment (“LBGMA”).
This is due to the amendments introduced by Law No. 21.202, which modifies several legal bodies with the purpose of protecting urban wetlands. In summary, the entry of a project or activity, or its modification, may have as a cause for entry into the Environmental Impact Assessment System (“SEIA”), one of the literals p) or s) of Article 10° of the LBGMA, or both. Thus:
1. Project or activity, or its modification, related to urban wetlands recognized by the Ministry of Environment:
a. Located within the perimeter of the urban wetland, they enter through letters p) and/or s).
b. Located outside the perimeter of the urban wetland, they enter by literal s).
c. Located inside and outside the perimeter of the urban wetland, are entered under letter p) as the main typology for works, programs or activities located within the perimeter of the urban wetland. By literal s), as secondary typology, the works, programs or activities that are located outside the perimeter of the urban wetland.
2. Project or activity, or if modification, related to urban wetlands not recognized by the Ministry of the Environment: entered by letter s).
3. The SEA’s instructions attempt to systematize its own pronouncements (Ordinaries of the Executive Directorate N°130844/2013; 161081/2016 and 202099102647), of the Comptroller General of the Republic (Opinions E12941/21 and E157665/21), as well as to collect some criteria used by the current Jurisprudence (Judgments CS Rol N°129273/2020; 21. 970/2021; and 42.687/2021), all in the context of the environmental assessment of projects or activities that must be submitted to the Environmental Impact Assessment System.
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