EIA Country Report for Costa Rica

Legal Framework
State, Country or Province: 
Costa Rica
EIA law: 
Organic Act of the Environment 7554 (Ley Orgánica del AmbienteGeneral No. 7554)
EIA Regulations: 
Regulations on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures, Decree 31849-2004 (Reglamento General sobre los Procedimientos de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental, Decreto 31849-2004).
EIA Guidelines or Other Guidance: 
Guidelines of Technical Tools for the Environmental Impact Assessment Process Part II, Executive Decree 32712-MINAE-2005 (Manual de Instrumentos Técnicos para el Proceso de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental Parte II, Decreto Ejecutivo 32712-MINAE-2005). Guidelines of Technical Tools for the Environmental Impact Assessment Process Part IV, Executive Decree 32966-MINAE-2006 (Manual de Instrumentos Técnicos para el Proceso de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental Parte IV, Decreto Ejecutivo 32966-MINAE-2006)
EIA Procedure
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Government projects
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Private projects
Abridged Assessments: 
Yes
Assessments Detail: 
"B2" projects (moderate- low potential environmental impact) located inside an area with an approved zoning plan and "C" projects (low potential environmental impact) do not need to present a full EIA. The project developer submits a D2 form with information about the project and an Environmental Commitments Document. The D2 form includes a description of the proposed activity, including its potential to generate waste and emissions as well as other risks posed to the environment, and the proposed measures to mitigate such risks. EIA Regulations, Articles 9, 12 and 13
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA: 
No
Who Conducts Screening: 
Government
Who Conducts Screening Detail: 
The developer presents the project for an initial assessment proposing the category of its project. The government reviews the project's category and approves the developer's proposal. EIA Regulations, Article 8
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: 
Possible impact to, or adjacent to, a protected area
Criteria for Screening Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 7
Who Prepares EIA: 
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Prepares EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 112
Who Pays for EIA: 
Project Proponent
Who Pays for EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 112
EIA Contractor Qualifications: 
Yes
EIA Contractor Qualifications Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 72
Conflict of Interest: 
Yes
Conflict of Interest Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 100
Terms of Reference (TOR): 
Yes
Terms of Reference Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 27 & 28
Days for Decisionmaker Review: 
10 weeks (and up to 5 months for large-scale projects)
Automatic Approval: 
No
Written Decision: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions Details: 
EIA Regulations, Article 45
Expiry of Decision: 
2 years
Expiry of Decision Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 46
Financial Assurances or Bond: 
Yes
Financial Assurances Detail: 
Organic Law of the Environment, Article 21; EIA Regulations, Article 45.
EIA Content
Interdisciplinary Team: 
Yes
Interdisciplinary Team Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 31
Range of Alternatives: 
Yes
Range of Alternatives Detail: 
EIA Regulations Article 34, and Section 10.6 of Annex I EIA Guidelines Part IV.
No Action Alternative: 
No
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Direct environmental impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Cumulative environmental impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Social impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Economic impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Other
Mitigation: 
Yes
Mitigation Detail: 
EIA Guidelines -- Annex I, Section 12
Monitoring Plans: 
Yes
Monitoring Plans Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 47, 48, 50 and 79. The developer must hire an independent contractor to verify fulfillment of the EIA.
Access to Information
Public Notice of Draft EIA: 
Yes
Draft EIA Available: 
Yes
Draft EIA Available Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 41
Draft EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Public Notice of Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 41
Final EIA Available: 
Yes
Final EIA Available Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 41
Final EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Availability of Reference Studies: 
Yes
Availability of Reference Studies Detail: 
Organic Act of the Environment, Article 23.
Public Participation
Public Scoping: 
No
Public Review of TOR: 
No
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Review of draft EIA
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Public meetings and/or public hearings
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Review of final EIA
Public Meetings: 
Yes
Public Meetings Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 55 and 56
Public Input at Meeting: 
Yes
Public Input at Meeting Detail: 
EIA Regulations Articles, 55 and 60
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
Members of the public must request a meeting and/or hearing
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
Ministry or agency has discretion to decide whether to hold a meeting and/or hearing
Days for Public to Review Draft EIA: 
Variable
Days for Public to Review Final EIA: 
Variable
Public Comments on Draft EIA: 
Yes
Public Comments on Draft EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 41 and 42
Public Comments on Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Comments on Final EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 41 and 42
Response to Public Comments: 
Yes
Response to Public Comments Detail: 
Observations are part of the EIA file and they must be considered by decisionmaking authorities. The regulations do not provide guidance on how public comments and observations are to be formally addressed. EIA Regulations Article 42
Facilitation of Public Participation: 
No
Judicial Review/Enforcement
Project Monitoring: 
Yes
Project Monitoring Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 47, 48, 50 and 79. The developer must hire an independent contractor to verify fulfillment of the EIA.
Enforceability of EIA: 
Yes
Enforceability of EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 51 and 52. The public may submit reports to an Administrative Environmental Tribunal for violations of environmental law. Organic Act of the Environment, Articles 107, 108 and 111.
Enforceability of Permit: 
Yes
Enforceability of Permit Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 51 and 52. The public may submit reports to an Administrative Environmental Tribunal for violations of environmental law. Organic Act of the Environment, Articles 107, 108 and 111.
   Updated 25 Sep, 2012