The obstacle that the government itself sets to implement public investment projects

Various mining projects, as well as public and private investment projects, would be at risk of being delayed because a recent Supreme Decree (DS) of the government itself establishes a new environmental requirement for these works to be developed in the country.

It is DS 027-2021-Minam published on September 7, which approves a new service provided that must be provided exclusively by the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service of Peru (Senamhi) called “Evaluation of technical documents on dispersion modeling of atmospheric pollutants”. In addition, it is established that the execution of this service is a requirement of an administrative process.

The regulations indicate that Senamhi must carry out the respective study and with this, those in charge of the investment projects will be able to obtain a Report with the conformity of the meteorological information and the processes of modeling the dispersion of atmospheric pollutants. for the preparation of studies related to research activities, commerce, industry or other productive purposes or not.

According to the DS, the objective is “Determine that the impact of atmospheric pollutant concentrations on air quality does not represent a risk to health and the environment.”

Thus, the standard should be considered by environmental authorities as the National Environmental Certification Service for Sustainable Investments (Senace).

Irregularities and the effects

As he was able to know, the DS in question was not posted for comment, although it is a requirement of all draft standards that regulate environmental matters.

Currently there is no obligation for the dispersion models of atmospheric pollutants -which are part of the environmental studies- to have the prior approval of Senamhi and it is not a requirement to be fulfilled either. If the DS is approved, they will be.

Likewise, having to meet these requirements will generate delays in the approval of environmental impact studies (EIA) and higher costs for the holders in charge of investment projects.

The DS, in addition to delaying mining activities – among them the Antamina, Quellaveco, Nexa, Las Bambas, Buenventura and Zafranal projects – would also reach public and private investment projects.

The paperwork continues

On this subject, Alberto Ñecco, former executive director of Proinversión, points out to that in itself the paperwork faced by a concessionaire for the execution of a project is complicated and is one of the main problems they face to advance in the works.

“The paperwork is a complex issue and it continues to impact the execution of projects. Now, no one says that it is not necessary to monitor the issue of the environment in general, but ways must be found to stop atomizing and multiplying these functions in various entities and request the investor to increasingly have to face more and more procedures before various institutions ”, he pointed.

In that sense, he indicated that a simplified regimen that does not compromise the quality of supervision and commitments, but that makes each procedure more feasible.

Added that simplifying processes in investment projects is not on the government’s agenda, since even in the request for legislative powers to Congress there is no measure in this regard.

The former official also pointed out that DS 027-2021 would have an impact on the projects that have already been awarded, because after this stage it is where They begin to request the respective permits from the corresponding entities.

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The obstacle that the government itself sets to implement public investment projects