EIA Country Report for Colombia

Legal Framework
State, Country or Province: 
Colombia
EIA law: 
Law 99 of 1993 as amended by Act 1450 of 2011 (National Development Plan)
EIA Regulations: 
Decree 2041 of 2014
EIA Guidelines or Other Guidance: 
Handbook on Environmental Impact Studies (2002) (still used though it does not incorporate new revisions to the law)
EIA Procedure
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Government projects
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Private projects
Abridged Assessments: 
No
Assessments Detail: 
Article 3, paragraph 2 of Decree 2820 of 2010, states that the EIA is a unique instrument
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA: 
No
Who Conducts Screening: 
Government
Criteria for Screening: 
List or appendix of project or activity types
Criteria for Screening: 
Proposed project or activity may cause significant environmental impact
Criteria for Screening: 
Financial cost of project exceeds a certain amount
Criteria for Screening: 
Possible impact to, or adjacent to, a protected area
Criteria for Screening: 
Other
Criteria for Screening Detail: 
Decree 2820 of 2010, Articles 8 & 9. When special ecosystems may be affected (wetlands included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance, moors or mangroves), the authority must request prior concept to the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development.
Who Prepares EIA: 
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Pays for EIA: 
Project Proponent
EIA Contractor Qualifications: 
Yes
EIA Contractor Qualifications Detail: 
Article 224 of the National Development Plan (Act 1450 of 2011) requires the national government to establish qualifications for persons or corporations that produce environmental impact studies, environmental assessments of alternatives, and environmental management plans. The qualification and registration system has not yet been implemented, however.
Conflict of Interest: 
No
Terms of Reference (TOR): 
Yes
Terms of Reference Detail: 
The terms of reference are "general guidelines that the environmental authority establishes for the elaboration and implementation of environmental studies" Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 14. The terms of reference are variable depending on the activity and are available at: http://www.anla.gov.co/contenido/contenido.aspx?catID=144&conID=7915
Days for Decisionmaker Review: 
90 days
Automatic Approval: 
No
Written Decision: 
Yes
Written Decision Detail: 
Issuance of an environmental license is an administrative act; therefore, it must be issued in writing.
Authority to Impose Conditions: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions Details: 
Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 28
Expiry of Decision: 
Indefinite
Expiry of Decision Detail: 
"The environmental permit is granted for the life of the project, work or activity and covering all phases of construction, installation, operation, maintenance, decommissioning, final restoration, abandonment and/or termination." Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 6
Financial Assurances or Bond: 
Sometimes
Financial Assurances Detail: 
Law 491 of 1999 establishes procedures for financial assurances to protect the environment, but, unfortunately, this law is not implemented well.
EIA Content
Interdisciplinary Team: 
Yes
Interdisciplinary Team Detail: 
In practice, EIA documents are prepared by an interdisciplinary team.
Range of Alternatives: 
Yes
Range of Alternatives Detail: 
The Environmental Assessment of Alternatives (DAA) "aims to provide information to evaluate and compare the various options presented by the proponent, under which it is possible to develop a project, work or activity. Different options should take into account the geographical, the biotic, abiotic and socioeconomic, comparative analysis of the effects and risks inherent in the work or activity, as well as possible solutions and control and mitigation measures for each of the alternatives." Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 17.
No Action Alternative: 
No
No Action Alternative Detail: 
Evaluation of a no action alternative is not discussed in the law.
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Direct environmental impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Social impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Cultural impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Health impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Economic impacts
Mitigation: 
Yes
Mitigation Detail: 
Articles 50 and 51 of Decree 2820 state that the environmental license must meet the requirements of prevention, mitigation, correction, compensation and management of the environmental effects of the work or activity authorized.
Monitoring Plans: 
Yes
Monitoring Plans Detail: 
An environmental management plan is prepared as part of the EIA process. The plan is "a detailed set of measures and activities. . . intended to prevent, mitigate, correct or compensate for adverse environmental impacts that are caused by development of a project, work or activity."
Access to Information
Public Notice of Draft EIA: 
Yes
Draft EIA Available: 
Yes
Draft EIA Locations: 
Internet
Draft EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Draft EIA Locations: 
Other
Public Notice of Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final EIA Detail: 
The environmental authority must provide notice to the public within 5 days of receiving an EIA. Decree 2820 of 2010, Articles 23 & 25
Final EIA Available: 
Yes
Final EIA Locations: 
Internet
Final EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Final EIA Locations: 
Local government office
Final EIA Locations: 
Other
Fee to View EIA Documents: 
No
Fee to Obtain EIA Documents: 
No
Availability of Reference Studies: 
Yes
Availability of Reference Studies Detail: 
Reference studies and supporting document may be requested based on the right of access to information that is enshrined in the Constitution. In addition Article 48 of Decree 2820 of 2010 states that the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), shall make available environmental information for decision making that has been generated as part of the studies and the monitoring and evaluation activities within the environmental licensing process. Environmental authorities should periodically provide information on the matter received or generated by themselves, according to the guidelines established by IDEAM. See also Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 49.
Public Notice of Final Decision: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final Decision Detail: 
The notice is published in the environmental gazette, plus the official journal. In addition, the decision is disclosed to stakeholders, such as the project developer, the Regional Autonomous Corporations, local municipal or regional community leaders, parties involved, among others that have requested notification of events.
Public Participation
Public Scoping: 
Yes
Public Scoping Detail: 
There is a scoping process, but it is limited because the authority is primarily responsible for determining the scope of the EIA. See Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 15
Public Review of TOR: 
Yes
Public Review of TOR Detail: 
Although the law does not clearly state that the public may have an opportunity to review the terms of reference, a favorable interpretation of Article 15 of Decree 2820 of 2010 indicates that it is possible.
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Scoping
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Terms of reference
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Public meetings and/or public hearings
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Review of final EIA
Public Meetings: 
Yes
Public Meetings Detail: 
Under Article 5 of Decree 330 of 2007, the environmental public hearing may be requested by " the Attorney General's Office or the Delegate for Agricultural and Environmental Affairs, the Ombudsman, the Minister of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development , the CEOs of the other environmental authorities, governors, mayors, or at least one hundred (100) persons or three (3) non-profit entities. " Decree 330 of 2007, Article 5. See also Article 72 of Act 99 of 1993.
Public Input at Meeting: 
Yes
Public Input at Meeting Detail: 
Members of the public may participate at the hearing with prior registration. Decree 330 of 2007, Article 12
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
Members of the public must request a meeting and/or hearing
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
The proposed project exceeds a certain size and or cost
Days for Public to Review Draft EIA: 
Not specified
Days for Public to Review Final EIA: 
Not specified
Public Comments on Draft EIA: 
Yes
Public Comments on Final EIA: 
Yes
Response to Public Comments: 
Yes
Response to Public Comments Detail: 
Opinions, information and documents received at the public hearing are to be taken into account by the competent environmental authority when making decisions. Decree 330 of 2007, Article 2
Facilitation of Public Participation: 
Yes
Facilitation of Public Participation Detail: 
Article 15 of Decree 2820 of 2010 specifically requires the prior consultation of indigenous and Afro-descendant people. Subsequent rules and case law have long recognized the right of participation of these communities and peoples.
Judicial Review/Enforcement
Citizen Administrative Review: 
Yes
Citizen Administrative Review Detail: 
Ordinary administrative remedies are available. Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 25
Citizen Judicial Review: 
Yes
Citizen Judicial Review Detail: 
For judicial review of administrative acts, there are two options: la nulidad and la nulidad y reestablecimiento del derecho. Also popular actions and protection actions are available to protect the environment.
Project Monitoring: 
Yes
Project Monitoring Detail: 
The project proponent must comply with the environmental management plan. Decree 2820 of 2010, Article 42. "Para el seguimiento de los proyectos, obras o actividades objeto de licencia ambiental o Plan de Manejo Ambiental, las autoridades ambientales adoptarán los criterios definidos en el Manuel de Seguimiento Ambiental de Proyectos expedido por el Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial." Al respecto se puede consultar el Manual en: http://www.minambiente.gov.co/documentos/manual_seguimiento.pdf
Enforceability of EIA: 
Yes
Enforceability of Permit: 
Yes
Enforceability of Permit Detail: 
It is possible to sue for compliance with the decision of the environmental authority that issued the license
   Updated 16 Jun, 2016