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Licencias ambientales, estudio comparado países

Licencias ambientales, estudio comparado países

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05/14/2014

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Mining  and  Sustainable  Development  in  Colombia:  A  Comparative  Analysis  of   Environmental  Impact  Assessment  Processes     Kathleen  Hurley

,  MS,  MA   mkathleenhurley@gmail.com     Summary  and  Recommendations     President  Santos  named  mining  as  one  of  the  locomotives  for  the  economic  development  of   Colombia,  however  sustainable  development  is  a  key  component  of  the  Colombian   constitution.  Mining  in  any  form  impacts  land,  biodiversity,  and  water  resources.  In  order   to  reconcile  the  extraction  of  non-­‐renewable  resources,  such  as  gold  and  coal,  with  the  core   concepts  of  sustainable  development,  Colombia  must  strategically  review  each  project  in   the  context  of  water  for  consumption  and  for  hydroelectric  use,  biodiversity  and  important   ecosystems,  agriculture  and  population  centers  and  mineral  resources  among  other  factos.   Many  of  Colombia’s  mines  are  located  in  areas  of  high  precipitation  and  seismic  activity;   these  conditions  require  greater  technical  rigor  in  evaluation  of  any  new  mining  project  for   adequate  control  of  impoundment  lagoons,  wastewater  management,  and  acid  mine   drainage.       Excellent  environmental  protection  laws  exist  in  Colombia,  but  environmental  governance   is  generally  weak.  The  Ministry  of  Environment  and  Sustainable  Development,  responsible   for  setting  environmental  policy,  lacks  a  presence  outside  of  the  capital.  Developing  a   greater  presence  throughout  the  country  in  collaboration  with  the  Corporaciones   Autonomas  Regionales  (CARS)  is  essential  to  fortify  environmental  governance  in  the   country.  Environmental  governance  related  to  mining  is  not  a  problem  exclusive  to   Colombia;  it  exists  throughout  Latin  America  and  the  world.  To  seriously  evaluate  new   mining  projects,  several  steps  must  be  implemented.1   • Strengthen  the  rigor  of  the  environmental  impact  assessment;     • Improve  transparency  in  the  process;     • Improve  the  capacity  of  technical  personnel  at  all  levels  of  authority;   • Implement  a  credible  public  participation  process;     • Develop  and  enforce  a  meaningful  program  for  clean  up  and  maintenance  during  and   after  mine  closure.       To  align  mining  projects  with  the  principles  of  sustainable  development,  rigorous   evaluation  of  new  projects  from  their  inception  to  mine  closure  is  essential.  The   environmental  permitting  process  provides  an  opportunity  to  better  align  mining  with   sustainability  because  the  purpose  of  permitting  is  “to  protect  human  health  and  the   environment  by  defining  (in  a  transparent,  accountable  manner)  legally  binding   requirements  for  individual  sources  of  significant  environmental  impact.”2       A  robust  and  transparent  environmental  permitting  process  is  essential  to  minimize  the   environmental  impact  of  industry,  support  compliance  with  domestic  law,  and  to  promote                                                                                                                   1  Rossi  A.  2012.  Ambiente  y  minería  en  América  Latina:  ¿Problema,  dilemma  u  oportunidad?  Hydria  41:  20-­‐ 23.  Junio  2012.   2  OECD.    2007.  Guiding  Principles  of  Effective  Environmental  Permitting  Systems.  Paris,  France.      

innovation.  According  to  the  OECD,  modern  permitting  systems  are  transparent,  rely  upon   broad  public  participation,  and  the  regulators  have  discretionary  power.  Many  countries   within  the  OECD  utilize  an  integrated  permitting  process  to  consider  the  individual  and   cumulative  impacts  of  emissions  to  air,  water,  and  land  as  well  as  other  environmental   impacts.  Regulators  set  permit  conditions  to  achieve  the  best  possible  protection  of  the   environment  overall.  This  analysis  evaluates  the  environmental  impact  assessment  process   for  four  other  major  gold  and  coal  producing  countries  as  a  comparative  analysis  to   Colombia’s  process.       Based  on  this  evaluation,  the  key  considerations  for  improving  Colombia’s  environmental   permitting  process  are  the  following:       • In  Australia  and  the  United  States,  multiple  agencies  consult  on  evaluation  of  proposed   projects;  each  agency  has  discretionary  authority.  Colombia  lacks  a  process  of  obligatory   and  clear  consultation  among  authorities  for  new  mining  project  approval.     • Time  frame  for  approval  of  new  mining  projects  ranges  from  1.5  years  to  seven  years,  in   the  countries  evaluated.  Mining  projects  are  complex  and  have  long-­‐term  impacts,  thus   regulators  need  an  adequate  amount  of  time  to  review  documentation  and  these  time   frames  should  be  clearly  communicated  to  the  project  applicants.     •  With  over  half  the  land  area  in  Colombia  available  for  mining  development,  integrated   planning  using  geographic  information  systems  (GIS)  is  essential  to  properly  evaluate  a   project’s  proximity  to  other  mining  development  as  well  as  identification  of  overlap   among  agriculture,  mining  and  energy,  environment,  water  resources,  population   centers,  biodiversity  hotspots,  national  parks  or  buffer  zones.  There  is  an  urgent  need  to   develop  a  national  strategy  for  assessment  of  mining  projects,  not  just  prohibition  of   mining  in  ecologically  sensitive  areas  (e.g.,  paramo),  but  related  to  other  land  uses.   • Transparency  and  public  involvement  are  key  to  any  environmental  impact   assessment  process,  public  involvement  and  consultation  within  Colombia’s  EIA  process   remains  weak.  Information  available  to  the  public  through  public  meetings,  distribution   of  documents,  the  Internet,  and  others.  Stakeholder  input  should  be  sought  at  regular   intervals  throughout  the  permitting  process.     • Clear  timelines  for  each  stage  of  the  permitting  process.  This  will  reduce  costs  for  the   applicants  and  improve  accountability  and  responsiveness  of  the  relevant  government   agencies.                

      General  Summary  of  EIA  Processes       Country   Average   Exploration   Mining   #  Agencies/   Established   time  for   Permit   Development   Ministries   EIA   new  mining   required?   Permit   involved  in   Process?   permit   (Y/N)   required?   EIA  process   (Y/N)   (Y/N)   Colombia   Mining   Yes  (permit)   Yes  (license)   Depends  on   Yes,  but   permit  ban   size  of   lacks  rigor.   in  effect   project   until  August   2012   USA   3-­‐7  years   Yes   Yes   12   Yes   Australia   22.5  months   Yes   Yes   10   Yes   South  Africa   1  year   Yes,   Yes   7   Yes,  but   minimum   integrated     lacks  rigor.   into  mining   permit   process   Indonesia   unknown   unknown   Yes   unknown   Yes,  but   lacks  rigor   and  laws   frequently   change         United  States  of  America:  Permitting  Process     The  United  States  of  America  (USA)  ranks  as  the  world’s  third  highest  gold  producing   country3  and  the  world’s  second  largest  coal  producer.4    The  USA  ranks  third  in  global   exports  of  coal,  while  Colombia  ranks  as  the  world’s  fourth  largest  coal  exporter.    In   addition,  the  USA  is  a  megadiverse  country;  as  such,  the  regulatory  system  within  the  USA   is  a  useful  reference  point  when  analyzing  the  permitting  process  for  new  mining  projects   within  Colombia.       The  permitting  process  in  the  USA  is  a  complex,  multi-­‐phase  regulatory  process.  The   average  time  to  approve  a  new  mine  in  the  USA  is  seven  years;  the  length  of  time  is                                                                                                                   3  Bloomberg  2011,  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-­‐04-­‐05/top-­‐10-­‐gold-­‐producing-­‐countries-­‐in-­‐ 2011-­‐table-­‐.html,  accessed  July  17,  2012   4  World  Coal  Association,  http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-­‐statistics/,  accessed  July  20,  2012  

generally  related  to  the  complexity  of  the  mine  sites  and  addressing  opposition  to  new   mines.5  Mining  regulations  in  the  USA  are  subject  to  requirements  under  several  laws  at   both  the  state  and  federal  level.  These  laws  may  include  the  Clean  Water  Act,  the  Clean  Air   Act,  the  Endangered  Species  Act,  Section  404  of  the  Clean  Water  Act,  and  Section  401  of  the   Clean  Water  Act,  Section  106  Historical  and  Cultural  Resources  Protection,  Coastal  Zone   Management  Act,  Marine  Mammal  Protection  Act,  and  various  state  requirements.       At  the  federal  level  the  following  agencies  may  be  involved  in  the  decision  process:     • US  Environmental  Protection  Agency  (EPA)   • US  Army  Corps  of  Engineers  (USACE)   • US  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service  (USFWS)   • National  Marine  Fisheries  Service  (NMFS)   • Bureau  of  Land  Management  (BLM)     • National  Oceanic  and  Atmospheric  Agency  (NOAA)   • US  Forest  Service   • National  Park  Service       At  the  state  level,  the  following  agencies  may  participate  in  the  decision  process:     • Department  of  Natural  Resources  (DNR)   • Department  of  Ecology  (or  Environment)   • Department  of  Fish  and  Game     • Native  American  groups     Primary  gold  producing  states  are  Alaska,  Nevada,  California,  Colorado,  and  Utah.  As  of   2010,  the  top  gold-­‐producing  mines  in  the  United  States  were  located  in  Nevada,  Utah,   Alaska,  and  Colorado.6  Mining  areas  in  Colombia  are  generally  located  in  areas  with  high   levels  of  precipitation  and  seismic  risk;  therefore  the  mining  permit  process  will  be   compared  to  Alaska,  which  shares  these  characteristics.  Mines  located  in  Nevada,  Utah,  and   Colorado  operate  in  arid  climates  which  presents  a  different  environmental  management   context.         Exploration  &  Exploitation  of  Mineral  Resources   A  typical  mining  permit  process  in  Alaska  begins  with  initial  exploration;  the   environmental  studies  commence  with  the  advanced  exploration  stage  that  follows  the   initial  exploration  stage.  Permits  are  required  for  the  exploration  phase  and  are  submitted   to  the  State  of  Alaska’s  Department  of  Natural  Resources  –  Mining,  Land  and  Water   division.7  Applicants  must  complete  a  land  use  permit  as  well  as  the  applicable   supplemental  questionnaires.  Note  that  mining  projects  must  apply  for  both  a  mining   license  and  a  mining  permit;  these  have  distinct  functions.  A  license  is  used  to  track  the                                                                                                                  
5  Wall  Street  Journal,  

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703822404575019123766644644.html,     accessed  August  1,  2012   6  IndexMundi,  http://www.indexmundi.com/en/commodities/minerals/gold/gold_t3.html,  accessed   8/22/12   7  State  of  Alaska,  http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/?tab=mining,  accessed  8/28/12  

income  tax  obligation  to  the  State  and  has  nothing  to  do  with  evaluation  of  project  impacts.   The  permit  is  required  to  document  potential  impacts,  such  as  environmental,  social,  or   indigenous,  on  the  surrounding  area.       On  average,  the  environmental  studies  for  new  mining  projects  last  six  years.  In  Alaska,  the   average  length  of  the  permitting  process  is  three  years,  including  time  to  complete  the   environmental  and  the  feasibility  studies;  nationally,  the  average  permitting  time  for  a  new   mining  project  is  seven  years.  Importantly,  there  is  no  single  authority  or  permit  that   grants  an  approval  for  new  mining  projects.       If  the  proposed  project  is  located  in  Alaska,  the  project  proponent  submits  a  Mining   Application  with  the  required  fee,  which  is  reviewed  by  the  Alaska  Department  of  Natural   Resources  (DNR)  for  completeness.  The  DNR  then  distributes  the  application  to  all  state   and  federal  authorities  involved  in  the  permitting  process.  At  minimum,  14  authorizations   from  state  authorities  and  14  from  federal  authorities  are  required  for  the  mining  project   approval  in  Alaska.  Three  outcomes  are  possible  after  agency  review  of  the  application:  1)  a   permit  is  issued,  may  include  stipulations;  2)  request  more  information  before  issuing  a   permit;  3)  deny  the  permit  under  statutory  and  regulatory  authority  or  by  order  of  court   injunction.8  Importantly,  the  project  that  is  approved  usually  never  is  the  same  as  the   originally  proposed  project.       Authorizations  and  Permits  Required  for  new  mining  projects       State  Level  (Alaska)   Federal  Level   Plan  of  Operations  (DNR)   US  EPA  Section  402  NPDES  Water  Discharge   Permit   Reclamation  and  Bonding  (DNR)   US  EPA  Air  Quality  Permit  review   Waste  Management  Permits  and  Bonding   US  EPA  Safe  Drinking  Water  Act  (UIC   (ADEC)   Permit)   Certification  of  NPDES  and  Army  Corps  of   US  ACOE  Section  404  Dredge  and  Fill  Permit   Engineer  Permits  (ADEC)   Sewage  Treatment  System  Approval  (ADEC)   US  ACOE  Section  10  Rivers  and  Harbors  Act   Air  Quality  Permits   US  ACOE  Section  106  Historical  and  Cultural   Resources  Protection   Fish  Habitat  and  Fishway  Permits  (DNR)     NMFS  Threatened  and  Endangered  Species   Act  Consultation   Water  Rights  (DNR)   NMFS  Marine  Mammal  Protection  Act     Right  of  Way/Access  (DNR/DOT)   NMFS  Essential  Fish  Habitat   Tidelands  Leases  (DNR)   Dam  Safety  Certification  (DNR)   NMFS  Fish  and  Wildlife  Coordination  Act   Cultural  Resource  Protection  (DNR)     USFWS  Threatened  and  Endangered  Species   Act  Consultation   Monitoring  Plan   USFWS  Bald  Eagle  Protection  Act  Clearance                                                                                                                   8  Alaska  Department  of  Natural  Resources,  2010.  Fact  Sheet:  Mining  Permits  through  the  Annual  Placer   Mining  Application,  http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/?tab=mining,  accessed  8/29/12.  

(Surface/Groundwater/Wildlife)(DNR/DEC)   Coastal  Zone  Consistency  Determination   USFWS  Migratory  Bird  Protection   (DNR)       USFWS  Fish  and  Wildlife  Coordination  Act  
DNR:  Department  of  Natural  Resources   ADEC:  Alaska  Department  of  Environmental  Conservation   DOT:  Department  of  Transportation   EPA:  Environmental  Protection  Agency   NPDES:  National  Pollutant  Discharge  Elimination  System     NMFS:  National  Marine  Fisheries  Service   US  ACOE:  United  States  Army  Corps  of  Engineers   USFWS:  United  States  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service  

  Most  new  mining  projects  are  subject  to  review  under  the  National  Environmental  Policy   Act  (NEPA)  as  they  are  considered  a  major  federal  action  via  Environmental  Protectin   Agency  (EPA),  the  Army  Corps  of  Engineers  (ACOE),  or  other  federal  agency.  The  NEPA   process  is  a  decision  making  tool  to  determine  the  scope  of  potential  impacts  of  a  project   and  requires  an  environmental  assessment  (EA)  to  determine  if  an  environmental  impact   assessment/statement  (EIA/EIS)  is  required.       The  purpose  of  the  EA  is  to  determine  if  significant  impacts  to  the  environment  are   expected  as  a  result  of  the  project.  The  applicant  produces  the  EA.  A  determination  of  “no   likely  significant  impacts”  or  “likely  significant  impacts”  is  made  by  the  NEPA  lead  agency.  If   a  determination  of  “likely  significant  impacts”  is  made,  then  the  project  applicant  must   prepare  a  more  detailed  EIS.  Public  comment  periods  are  included  within  this  process,   specifically  during  the  evaluation  of  the  EA,  after  the  issuance  of  the  findings  of  impact  (a   30-­‐day  public  comment  period),  and  after  the  publication  of  the  draft  EIS  (a  45-­‐day  public   comment  period).       Content  of  an  EIS  describes  impacts  to  hydrology,  air  and  water  quality,  noise,  wetlands,   fish  and  aquatic  habitat,  wildlife,  threatened  and  endangered  species,  socioeconomics,  land   use,  subsistence,  cultural  resources,  visual  resources,  recreation,  safety  and  feasibility,  and   cumulative  impacts.  Furthermore,  it  must  include  measures  to  manage,  mitigate,  and   remediate  impacts  caused  by  the  mine.  This  includes  detailed  plans,  including  topographic   maps,  hydrological  studies,  and  waste  management  strategies.       The  NEPA  process  is  as  follows:   1. Application   2. Scoping/Scoping  Responsiveness   a. Tribal  Consultation   b. Threatened  and  Endangered  Species  under  Endangered  Species  Act   c. Essential  Fish  Habitat  (EFH)   3. Draft  EIS   4. Comments   5. Final  Draft  EIS   6. Comments   7. Record  of  Decision    

    Mine  Closure   Financial  assurance,  in  the  form  of  a  bond,  a  letter  of  credit,  cash,  or  collateral,  is  required   to  provide  for  long-­‐term  reclamation  and  maintenance  of  a  mine  site.  Trust  funds,   established  by  the  companies  are  to  be  used  for  long-­‐term  obligations.  The  amount  of   required  financial  assurance  varies  based  on  the  extent  of  long-­‐term  obligations,  such  as   water  treatment,  monitoring,  etc.  The  amount  of  financial  assurance  is  reviewed  every  five   years  during  the  environmental  audit.  Financial  assurances  for  Alaska  mines  currently   range  from  $3.5  million  to  $154.9  million  dollars,  which  may  be  altered  during  the  review   cycle.  Mine  closure  approval  is  based  on  a  detailed  understanding  of  the  chemistry  of  the   mine’s  ore,  waste  rock,  and  tailings;  this  information  is  reviewed  by  a  multi-­‐agency  team  of   experts  in  mine  design  and  closure.       Australia     The  megadiverse  country  of  Australia  is  the  world’s  second  largest  producer  of  gold9  and   ranks  fourth  in  the  world  for  coal  production.10  The  majority  of  Australian  coal  mining  is   located  in  eastern  Australia  while  gold  mines  are  located  throughout  Australian  territory.   However,  greater  densities  of  gold  mines  exist  in  western  Australian  than  in  eastern   Australia.  Please  refer  to  these  maps  for  further  information  on  gold  and  coal  mining   operations  within  Australia  (http://www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/)     Australia  is  a  constitutional  monarchy  and  operates  as  a  federalist  system  whereby  the   powers  of  government  are  divided  between  a  central  government  and  individual  states.   There  are  six  state  governments  and  ten  territories  outside  the  borders  of  the  states.  Each   state  has  its  own  constitution  and  government  branches  to  manage  state  matters  that  are   not  governed  by  the  Commonwealth.  Territories  may  be  granted  a  limited  right  of  self-­‐ government,  while  Commonwealth  law  exclusively  governs  the  rest.  Generally,  the  states   and  territorial  governments  are  responsible  for  implementing  environmental  review  and   permitting  of  mining  projects;  if  there  is  a  conflict  of  laws  between  states  and  the   Commonwealth,  the  laws  of  the  Commonwealth  prevail.11  Despite  autonomy  of  states  and   some  of  the  territories,  there  is  a  transparent  process  of  consultation  between  the  states,   their  internal  authorities  and  the  national  level.  Importantly,  major  mining  development   must  be  referred  to  the  national  level.       For  Australia,  the  state  of  Western  Australia  will  be  used  as  an  example  of  the   environmental  permitting  process  within  the  country.  Western  Australia  was  selected   because  of  its  active  mining  sector.  The  Government  of  Western  Australia’s  Office  of  the   Environmental  Protection  Authority  manages  the  environmental  assessment  process  for                                                                                                                   9  Bloomberg  2011,  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-­‐04-­‐05/top-­‐10-­‐gold-­‐producing-­‐countries-­‐in-­‐

2011-­‐table-­‐.html,  accessed  July  17,  2012   10  World  Coal  Association,  http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-­‐statistics/,  accessed  July  20,  2012   11  Australian  Government,  State  and  Territorial  Government,  http://australia.gov.au/about-­‐australia/our-­‐ government/state-­‐and-­‐territory-­‐government,  accessed  8/15/2012.  

new  mines  in  the  territory  of  Western  Australia.  Environmental  impact  assessment  within   Australia  is  similar  the  US  EIA  process.  The  states  are  in  charge  of  environmental  review   and  permitting  for  mining  exploration,  prospecting  and  mine  development.  The  two  initial   phases  of  environmental  review  are  environmental  scoping  and  environmental  review   documents.       The  environmental  scoping  document  requires  the  following  components:12   • Applicable  legislation  and  standards;   • Relevant  environmental  protection  bulletins,  environmental  assessment   guidelines,  position  statements,  Guidance  Statements  and  criteria;   • Attention  to  principles  of  environmental  protection;     • Consultation  with  government  agencies;   • Use  of  informational  databases;   • Consultation  with  key  stakeholders,  particularly  those  with  relevant  knowledge;     • Perform  site  surveys  and  investigations;     • Review  site-­‐specific  information  within  a  local,  regional  and  cumulative  context;     • Identify  environmental  significance;   • Identify  appropriate  management  approaches  and  mitigation  measures     In  addition  to  these  components,  the  environmental  assessment  must  address  the  general   environmental  principles,  factors  and  objectives,  including  five  principles  of  environmental   protection,  13  seven  biophysical  factors,14  seven  factors  of  pollution  management15,  three   social  factors16,  and  decommissioning.       Minerals  Environment  Branch  (MEB)  of  the  Department  of  Mines  &  Petroleum  is   responsible  for  administering  the  Mining  Act  1978  and  the  Mining  Regulations  of  1981;   environmental  assessment  and  approval  of  mining  activities  are  governed  by  the  mining   act.  The  Mining  Act  administers  exploration  and  prospecting,  which  the  government   acknowledges  encompass  a  range  of  activities.  Permission  for  exploration  and/or   prospecting  expires  after  12  months,  unless  granted  a  special  extension.  Guidance  issued   by  the  Western  Australian  government  defines  exploration  and  prospecting  as  short-­‐term   transient  activities  which  should  not  result  in  a  long-­‐term  environmental  impact,  however   the  government  acknowledges  cumulative  impacts  from  exploration  and  prospecting   activities  must  be  properly  managed.  The  guidance  documents  emphasize  minimization  of   clearing  and/or  disturbance  as  well  as  proactive  environmental  management.  In  order  to   engage  in  exploration  or  prospecting,  the  project  proponent  must  submit  a  Program  of   Work  for  the  relevant  activity.                                                                                                                       12  Government  of  Western  Australia,  Guide  to  EIA  Environmental  Principles,  Factors  and  Objectives   13  Precautionary  principle,  intergenerational  equity,  conservation  of  biological  diversity  and  ecological   integrity,  improved  valuation,  pricing  and  incentive  mechanisms,  waste  minimization.     14  Flora,  fauna,  wetlands  (wetlands,  rivers),  water  (surface  and  ground),  land  (terrestrial),  land  (marine),   conservation  areas   15  Air  quality,  water  quality  (surface,  marine,  or  ground),  soil,  noise,  radiation,  light,  greenhouse  gases   16  Social  factors  include  heritage,  visual  amenity,  and  recreation.  

Major  mining  projects  must  be  referred  to  the  EPA.  Other  projects  that  require  referral  to   the  EPA  include  major  mineral  and  gas  refining  projects,  major  infrastructure  projects,   significant  contaminated  sites  where  redevelopment  is  proposed,  and  major  marine  and   coastal  developments.  Furthermore,  any  development  proposal  likely  to  affect  an  area  with   high  environmental  value  (i.e.,  national  park,  nature  reserve,  specially  identified  areas,   significant  emissions)  must  be  referred  to  the  EPA.  Importantly,  the  EPA  in  some  cases  has   established  a  Memoranda  of  Understanding  with  the  local  decision  making  authorities  to   clearly  identify  which  proposals  should  be  referred  to  the  EPA.       Government  departments  involved  in  mining  developments  in  Western  Australia:   • Department  of  Environment  and  Conservation   • Department  of  Water   • Department  of  Mines  and  Petroleum   • Department  of  State  Development   • Department  of  Fisheries   • Department  of  Planning   • Department  of  Indigenous  Affairs   • Health  Department  of  Western  Australia     • Local  Government  Authority       Project  proponents  have  obligations  under  both  Commonwealth  law  and  state  or  territorial   law.  In  particular,  the  Commonwealth  Environmental  Protection  and  Biodiversity   Conservation  Act  (1999)  identified  several  areas  of  national  environmental  significance,   which  are  subject  to  assessment  and  approval  by  the  Commonwealth.  These  include  world   heritage  properties,  national  heritage  places,  wetlands  of  international  importance,  listed   threatened  species  and  ecological  communities,  migratory  species  protected  under   international  agreements,  Commonwealth  marine  areas,  the  Great  Barrier  Reef  Marine   Park,  and  nuclear  actions,  including  uranium  mines   (http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/protect/index.html).    If  a  proposed  action  has,  will   have  or  is  likely  to  have  a  significant  impact  on  any  of  these  items,  then  approval  must  be   sought  from  the  Australian  Government  Minister  for  the  Environment.       The  Western  Australian  Environmental  Protection  Act  (1986)  authorizes  the   Environmental  Protection  Authority  (EPA)  to  review  development  proposals  under   environmental  impact  assessment  before  implementation.  The  EPA  is  an  independent   authority  with  decision-­‐making  authority.  Section  38  of  the  EP  Act  allows  any  person   (proponent  or  third  party)  to  refer  a  proposal  that  is  likely  to  have  a  significant  effect  on   the  environment  to  the  EPA.  The  proposal  may  address  “a  project,  plan,  programme,  policy,   operation,  undertaking,  or  development  or  change  in  land  use  or  amendment  of  any  of   these.”  17     • Complete  Mining  Tenement  Application  for  exploration.  Exploration  is  defined  as,   “searching  a  large  area,  generally  with  minimal  or  limited  ground  disturbance.”                                                                                                                     17  Government  of  Western  Australia.  General  Guide  on  Referral  of  Proposals  to  the  Environmental  Protection   Authority  under  Section  38  of  the  Environmental  Protection  Act  1986.    

• Apply  for  Mining  Title  –  an  application  for  a  mining  lease  is  considered  to  be  a  primary   approval  for  major  mineral  development  projects,  therefore  the  process  upfront  requires   due  diligence.     • Apply  for  a  mining  lease  accompanied  by  a  mining  proposal  at  an  office  of  the  Mining   Registrar.  The  mining  application  must  be  advertised  under  the  Section  29  provisions  of   the  Native  Title  Act  1993.  Restrictions  apply  on  mining  proposals  that  may  occur  on  part   of  various  types  of  reserve  (protected)  land.     o The  Mining  Proposal  is  a  detailed  document  that  accounts  for  the   environmental  management  of  the  proposed  project,  including  a  detailed   description  of  the  proposed  project  and  the  existing  environment  -­‐  natural,   social,  and  cultural.  The  mining  proposal  assesses  environmental  impacts   related  to  the  project  and  determines  which  are  likely  to  be  significant.  The   proposal  must  address  these  impacts  and  describe  in  detail  how  the   company  will  manage  and  ameliorate  the  significant  effects.  The  mining   proposal  is  prepared  by  the  proponent  or  tenement  holder  and  contains   detailed  information  on  “identification,  evaluation  and  management  of   significant  environmental  impacts  relevant  to  the  proposed  mining   operations  and  the  surrounding  environment.”18   • Screening  and  assessment  by  the  Department  of  Industry  and  Resources  and  referral  to   other  agencies,  often  dictated  by  a  list  of  factors  that  cause  a  referral  to  EPA;   • Recommending  approval  subject  to  further  conditions;   • Environmental  Bonds;   • Mining  proposal  approval  from  DoIR;   • Imposition  of  further  conditions     Generally,  the  process  for  development  of  new  mining  projects,  after  the  exploration  or   prospecting  phase  has  ended,  is  as  follows.     • Scoping   • Communicate  with  appropriate  State  Government  Departments  and  Local  Authorities   regarding  impacts.   • Determine  if  the  project  requires  registration  and/or  Works  Approval  and  Licensing   under  Part  V  of  the  EP  Act.     • DEC  in  consideration  of  any  application  will  determine  whether  it  needs  to  be  referred  to   the  EPA  under  Section  38(1)  subject  to  environmental  impact  assessment  under  the  Act.     • Acquire  Landclearing  Permit,  if  the  project  involves  clearing  of  native  vegetation.       The  process  for  evaluation  of  a  mining  permit  lasts  a  minimum  of  three  months  and  a  bond   is  required  for  environmental  management  during  and  after  mine  closure.  The  government   authorities  calculate  the  bond  amount.  Mining  is  not  allowed  to  proceed  or  expand  until  a   satisfactory  Bond  is  registered  and  approved  by  the  department.  It  must  be  a  guarantee  by   an  approved  financial  institution.                                                                                                                     18  Government  of  Western  Australia,  Department  of  Mines  and  Petroleum,  Environment.  2006.  Mining   Proposals  in  Western  Australia.    

Detailed  flowcharts  of  the  mining  permitting  process  can  be  located  at  the  Government  of   Western  Australia’s  Department  of  Mines  and  Petroleum  website   (http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/507.aspx).  Average  permitting  timeline  in  Australia  ranges   from  one  to  three  years  with  an  average  processing  time  of  22.5  months.     South  Africa     South  Africa  has  an  active  mining  industry;  it  accounts  for  one-­‐fifth  of  Gross  Domestic   Product  (GDP)19.  It  ranks  fourth  globally  in  production  of  gold  and  seventh  in  coal   production.  Under  South  African  law,  companies  are  obliged  to  set  aside  money  for  clean   up  and  rehabilitation  of  mining  operations  as  part  of  the  mine  closure  process.  However,   this  system  has  largely  failed  leaving  the  country  with  almost  $400  million  (US)  in  liability   related  to  environmental  clean  up  of  abandoned  mine  sites.       The  National  Environmental  Management  Act  provides  overall  objectives  for  integrated   management  of  the  environment  to  optimize  benefits  while  minimizing  negative  impacts.   These  objectives  include  integration  of  environmental  management  into  environmental   decision-­‐making;  identification,  prediction,  and  evaluation  of  actual  and  potential  impacts   on  the  environment,  socio-­‐economic  conditions,  and  cultural  heritage,  alternatives  for   mitigation  in  compliance  with  the  principles  of  environmental  management;  assess  impacts   of  activities  on  the  environment  with  adequate  consideration;  and  ensure  adequate  and   appropriate  opportunities  for  public  participation.20  Preparation  of  an  EIA  does  not  mean  a   license  for  development  will  be  approved.       Weak  governance  and  processes  have  characterized  South  Africa’s  environmental   governance  in  relation  to  the  quality  of  Environmental  Management  Plans  or  Programs   (EMPs),  specifically  there  has  been  inadequate  attention  on  water  quality  issues;  EMPs   with  inadequate  or  lacking  rehabilitation  plans;  ability  to  adjust  bond  rates  either  for   inflation  or  changes  in  the  projects,  all  leading  to  a  large  number  of  abandoned  mines.  A   recent  WWF-­‐South  Africa  report  indicates  that  the  South  African  system  requiring   companies  to  set  aside  money  to  rehabilitate  and  clean-­‐up  mines  is  largely  failing  due  to   loopholes  in  regulation  and  weak  enforcement  leaving  the  country  with  costly  and  long-­‐ term  environmental  pollution.       EIA  is  the  responsibility  of  both  national  and  provincial  government  institutions,  however   approval  of  EIAs  is  usually  the  jurisdiction  of  the  provinces.  The  principal  laws   administering  mining  projects  in  South  Africa  include  the  following:     • Minerals  and  Petroleum  Resources  Development  Act  (Act  28  of  2002,  section  39  requires   an  EIA  and  EMP  for  mining  activities)   • National  Environmental  Management  Act  (Act  107  of  1998)                                                                                                                     19    World  Wildlife  Fund  –  South  Africa.    R30  billion  is  just  the  start  of  South  Africa’s  mining  hangover.    15   August  2012.  http://www.wwf.org.za/?6600/acid-­‐mine-­‐draining,  accessed  9/1/12.   20  Netherlands  Commission  for  Environmental  Assessment.  South  Africa  EIA  Profile,   http://www.eia.nl/countryprofile_detail_en.aspx?id=4,  accessed  9/3/12.  

• National  Environmental  Management:  Biodiversity  Act  #10,  2004  requires  an  EIA  for  any   project  that  may  pose  a  threat  to  any  indigenous  species  or  to  the  environment   • National  Environmental  Management  Act  –  regulations  386  and  387     • National  Water  Act  (36  of  1998)   • Atmospheric  Pollution  Prevention  Act  (1965)   • Environment  Conservation  Act  (1989)     Additional  permits  and  licenses:   • Water  Use  License     • Air  Quality  Certificate  of  Registration     • Clearance  from  South  African  Heritage  Resources  Agency   • Waste  disposal  permit     EIA  specific  guidelines  are  published  by  the  government  and  include  guidance  on  public   participation,  alternatives,  exemption  applications,  appeals,  and  interpretation  of  the  listed   activities  that  require  an  EIA.  The  environmental  impact  assessment  (EIA)  process   generally  follows  these  steps  and  takes  at  least  one  year:       1) Screening  process  to  determine  is  an  EIA  is  required   2) Determine  if  action  may  affect  sensitive  areas   3) Application  to  authorities     4) Submittal  of  starting  document,  including  application  form  with  supporting   document  (30  day  timeline)   5) Scoping  occurs  only  for  major  activities  that  require  a  full  EIA  and  must  include   public  participation  with  stakeholders  (30  day  timeline)   6) Assessment  and  Reporting  -­‐EIA/EMP     7) Review  process  –  relevant  authorities  and  specialists  should  review  the  proposal.   Public  comment  in  this  stage  is  not  clear.  (60  days  timeline)   8) Record  of  Decision  (ROD)  must  be  made  public  and  justified  within  60  days.   9) Monitoring  –  the  EMP  should  provide  the  mechanisms  for  monitoring  and   compliance.       Scoping  is  intended  to  inform  authorities  about  the  project  and  determine  which  special   studies  are  needed  in  order  to  make  a  determination  on  the  project.  Scoping  includes   advertisement,  public  consultation  with  all  stakeholders,  a  scoping  report,  including  terms   for  further  studies,  plan  of  study  for  the  EIA,  and  review  by  the  public  and  other  authorities.     Finally,  the  scoping  report  will  also  include  comments  from  authorities  and  a  final   approval.       The  EIA  at  minimum  must  include  a  baseline  description  of  the  environment,  project   description,  consideration  of  alternatives,  environmental  impact  assessment,   environmental  management  program,  including  timeframes,  responsibilities,  and  actions,   rehabilitation  and  closure  requirements,  financial  provision  for  closure,  and  a  review  by   the  public  and  relevant  authorities.      

Public  participation  consists  of  oral  or  written  comments  during  public  meetings,   conferences,  as  press  releases,  survey  responses,  meetings  and  workshops.  The  project   proponent  is  responsible  for  ensuring  public  participation.        

  South  African  mining  permit  timeline.  From  Colleen  Parkins,  Metago  Environmental   Engineers.         Indonesia       Indonesia  is  comprised  of  33  provinces  and  349  regencies,  each  with  its  own  governor  and   legislative  bodies.  The  provinces  and  regencies  exert  considerable  control  over  their  affairs,   while  the  national  government  manages  foreign  policy,  defense,  the  legal  system,  and  the   monetary  policy.  The  hierarchy  of  authority  consists  of  the  chief  of  village,  sub-­‐district   hear,  regent,  governor,  and  president.  The  chief  of  village  is  elected  by  popular  vote  and  has   authority  over  the  local  people.  Indonesia  is  a  developing  democracy  and  faces  challenges   related  to  weak  governmental  institutions,  risks  from  climate  change  and  environmental   degradation,  and  social  services.  The  mining  industry  has  been  affected  by  changing  rules   related  to  mineral  and  mine  ownership,  tax  structure,  and  export  rules.       Indonesia  is  the  world’s  top  exporter  of  thermal  coal  and  tin;  mining  contributes  to  12%  of   GDP.  In  2001,  Indonesia  introduced  a  broad  decentralization  scheme  that  affected  the  

process  of  environmental  impact  assessment  and  enforcement  of  water  pollution  law.  As  of   yet,  it  is  not  clear  whether  the  decentralization  has  led  to  greater  enforcement  capabilities   or  weakened  EIA  procedures  in  the  country.21  Indonesia  has  a  fairly  high  level  of   corruption  both  within  its  region  and  in  the  world.22  Colombia  ranks  only  slightly  better  on   the  Corruption  Perceptions  Index.  The  corruption  within  Indonesia  means  that   enforcement  remains  weak,  including  within  the  environmental  sector.  23  In  2009,   Indonesia  introduced  a  new  environmental  law  that  allows  the  government  to  revoke   business  licenses  in  the  case  of  deliberate  pollution.  The  law  requires  acquisition  of  an   environmental  license  and  an  environmental  assessment  by  those  companies’  whose   operations  impact  the  environment.  It  also  sets  stringent  consequences  for  polluters,   including  up  to  10  years  in  jail  and  fines  up  to  $1  million  (US).       Currently,  Indonesia  recently  launched  an  audit  to  review  the  country’s  mining  permits  to   determine  if  mining  concessions  were  granted  in  compliance  with  regulations.24    Without   an  EIA,  the  environmental  ministry  will  not  endorse  extensions  of  mining  concessions.   There  is  currently  a  moratorium  on  issuance  of  new  mining  permits  based  on  a  2008  law.   Similar  to  Colombia,  Indonesia  faces  a  backlog  of  permit  processing  for  mining  licenses.       The  key  environmental  permits  required  in  Indonesia  are  the  environmental  permit,  the   environmental  impact  analysis  report  (AMDAL)  and  an  environmental   management/monitoring  efforts  report  (UKL-­‐UPL).  Any  business  that  requires  an  AMDAL   or  an  UKL-­‐UPL  also  now  is  required  to  obtain  an  environmental  permit.  The  authorities   issue  requirements  and  obligations  in  the  approval  of  the  AMDAL  or  UKL-­‐UPL  and   additional  conditions  may  be  placed  upon  the  project  by  other  authorities.  The  AMDAL   documents  include  the  terms  of  reference,  environmental  impact  statement,  and   environmental  management  and  monitoring  plans.  It  also  is  supposed  to  include  a   comprehensive  consultative  process  with  local,  provincial,  and  central  stakeholders.       Public  participation  in  the  AMDAL  process  has  been  irregular  and  limited  even  though  the   Environmental  Management  Act  23  of  1997  states  that  “every  person  has  the  right  to  have   environmental  information  related  to  environmental  management.”  A  lack  of  public   participation,  lack  of  rigor  in  the  process,  and  use  of  inappropriate  outreach  techniques   have  characterized  Indonesian  public  participation.25  This  results  in  EIAs  that  do  not   adequately  address  social  and  environmental  impact  issues.                                                                                                                       21  Bedner  A.  2010.  Consequences  of  Decentralization:  Environmental  Impact  Assessment  and  Water  Pollution   Control  in  Indonesia.  Law  &  Policy  32(1):  38-­‐60.    
22  Transparency  International,  Corruption  Perceptions  Index  2011.  

http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/,  accessed  9/6/12.   23  Reuters.  Time  needed  for  Indonesia  environment  law:  official,  October  16,  2009.   http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/10/16/us-­‐indonesia-­‐environment-­‐idUSTRE59F0T220091016,   accessed  9/6/12.   24  Sihaloho  MJ.  2012.  Audit  Agency  to  Review  Indonesia’s  Mining  Permits,  September  5,  2012.  Jakarta  Globe.   http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/audit-­‐agency-­‐to-­‐review-­‐indonesias-­‐mining-­‐permits/542347,   9/6/12.   25  UNEP.  EIA  Training  Resource  Manual:  Public  Involvement.    

The  government  entities  involved  in  the  implementation  of  AMDAL  include  the  national   government  through  its  agencies  and  provincial  governments,  the  Environmental  Impact   Management  Agency,  and  the  AMDAL  commissions,  located  in  each  department,  agency  or   provincial  government,  which  review  and  make  determinations  on  AMDAL  submittals.  The   sectoral  government  departments  and  agencies  are  responsible  for  environmental   management.       The  EIA  process  generally  follows  these  steps  according  to  the  UNEP  EIA  Training  Manual   Case  Study:     • Submittal  of  environmental  component  and  project  description;   • Scoping  –  includes  determination  of  significant  environmental  impact  and  area-­‐specific   studies  resulting  in  the  terms  of  reference;   • EIA  –  data  collection  and  analysis,  development  of  an  environmental  profile,  impact   prediction,  and  impact  evaluation;   • Environmental  Management  and  Monitoring  Plan       The  specific  AMDAL  commissions  review  the  EIA  and  will  make  one  of  three   recommendations:    revisions  to  an  incomplete  document,  approval  the  EIA  document  and   the  project  may  proceed,  or  the  EIA  may  be  rejected  because  of  lack  of  technological   management  for  the  anticipated  impacts.         Information  on  the  timeline  for  processing  an  EIA,  approving  a  new  mine,  or  requirements   for  exploration  in  Indonesia  were  not  readily  available.  More  detail  regarding  the   government  agencies  involved  in  new  mine  project  approval  was  also  not  accessible.  In   general,  the  EIA  process  within  Indonesia  is  evolving  in  step  with  strengthened  governance   throughout  the  sector.  Indonesia  has  passed  strong  legislation  aimed  at  environmental   protection,  but  the  government  has  not  been  able  to  effectively  implement  these  laws.  In   response  to  weak  governance,  Indonesia  joined  the  International  Partnership  for  Principle   10  (PP10)  committing  to  improve  meaningful  public  participation  in  environmental   governance.26  

                                                                                                                26  World  Resources  Institute.  2006.  Indonesia  joins  partnership  to  improve  environmental  governance,  

public  access  to  information.  http://www.wri.org/press/2007/10/indonesia-­‐joins-­‐partnership-­‐improve-­‐ environmental-­‐governance-­‐public-­‐access-­‐information,  accessed  9/6/12.    

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