EIA Country Report for Trinidad & Tobago

Legal Framework
State, Country or Province: 
Trinidad & Tobago
EIA law: 
Environmental Management Act, 2000
EIA Regulations: 
Certificate of Environmental Clearance Rules, 2001; Certificate of Environmental Clearance (Designated Activities) Order, 2001 & 2008 and amendments (2007 & 2008)
EIA Guidelines or Other Guidance: 
CEC Is Law (Summary and Guidance)
EIA Procedure
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Government projects
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Private projects
Abridged Assessments: 
No
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA: 
No
Who Conducts Screening: 
Government
Who Conducts Screening Detail: 
The project proponent submits an application describing the project with a brief summary of activities and impacts. The environmental authority will determine within 10 days whether an EIA must be prepared. CEC Rules, secs. 3(5) & 4
Criteria for Screening: 
List or appendix of project or activity types
Criteria for Screening Detail: 
See Certificate of Environmental Clearance (Designated Activities) Order, 2001 (as amended by orders in 2007 & 2008) http://www.ema.co.tt/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=63&Itemid=66.
Who Prepares EIA: 
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Prepares EIA Detail: 
CEC Rules, sec. 10
Who Pays for EIA: 
Project Proponent
EIA Contractor Qualifications: 
No
EIA Contractor Qualifications Detail: 
An EIA "shall be carried out by persons with expertise and experience in the specific areas for which information is required," but no specific qualifications or registrations are required. CEC Rules, sec. 10.
Conflict of Interest: 
No
Terms of Reference (TOR): 
Yes
Terms of Reference Detail: 
The environmental authority prepares a draft TOR and provides it to the project proponent. The project proponent shall "where appropriate" consult with relevant agencies, non-governmental organisations and other members of the public on the draft TOR over a 28-day period. Following consultation, the project proponent submits written representations to the environmental authority requesting any changes to the draft TOR. The TOR is finalized by the environmental authority. CEC Rules, sec. 5
Days for Decisionmaker Review: 
80 days (may be extended)
Automatic Approval: 
No
Written Decision: 
Yes
Written Decision Detail: 
"[T]he Authority shall notify the applicant in writing of its determination with respect to a Certificate. . . ." CEC Rules, sec. 6.
Authority to Impose Conditions: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions Details: 
"After considering all relevant matters, including the comments or representations made during the public comment period, the Authority may issue a Certificate subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, including the requirement to undertake appropriate mitigation measures." EM Act, sec. 36(1); see also CEC Rules, sec. 7 (a determination as to a certificate of environmental clearance may contain any terms and conditions that the environmental authority sees fit)
Expiry of Decision: 
3 years
Expiry of Decision Detail: 
If the activity for which a Certificate is granted has not commenced within 3 years, the Certificate shall cease to have validity, force, or effect. CEC Rules, sec. 7(1)(a)(v).
Financial Assurances or Bond: 
No
EIA Content
Interdisciplinary Team: 
Yes
Interdisciplinary Team Detail: 
Preparation of the EIA "shall be carried out by persons with expertise and experience in the specific areas for which information is required[.]" CEC Rules, sec. 10
Range of Alternatives: 
Yes
Range of Alternatives Detail: 
The EIA may include "an evaluation of the alternatives to the activity, giving consideration to concerns of environment, alternative sites, designs, approaches and processes. . . ." CEC Rules, sec. 10(f)
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: 
Cultural impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Health impacts
Mitigation: 
Sometimes
Mitigation Detail: 
The EIA may include "an account of the measures proposed to avoid, reduce, mitigate or remedy any of the significant adverse effects identified. . . ." CEC Rules, sec. 10(h). This information is not mandatory.
Monitoring Plans: 
Sometimes
Monitoring Plans Detail: 
The EIA may include "a description of the programme proposed for monitoring actual impacts and the effects of the mitigation measures at the various stages of the activity. . . ." CEC Rules, sec. 10(j). This information is not mandatory.
Access to Information
Public Notice of Draft EIA: 
No
Draft EIA Available: 
No
Draft EIA Locations: 
Not Available
Public Notice of Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final EIA Detail: 
The environmental authority must publish notice of availability of the EIA in the Gazette and at least one newspaper of general circulation advising the public of the matter, indicating where the administrative record is maintained and available for inspection, stating the length of the public comment period, and advising where the comments are to be sent. EM Act, sec. 28
Final EIA Available: 
Yes
Final EIA Available Detail: 
The location for members of the public to access the EIA is not entirely clear from the EM Act and CEC Rules. At a minimum, the EIA is accessible as part of the administrative record maintained by the environmental authority. However, it appears in practice that EIAs are also published on the environmental authorities website. See http://www.ema.co.tt/docs/techServ/eias.pdf
Final EIA Locations: 
Internet
Final EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Fee to View EIA Documents: 
No
Fee to Obtain EIA Documents: 
Yes
Availability of Reference Studies: 
Yes
Availability of Reference Studies Detail: 
Supporting documentation must be made available to the public through the administrative record; however, the environmental authority has discretion to decide which documentation will assist the public in understanding the proposed activity. EM Act, sec. 28(2). The administrative authority must identify a location or locations where the administrative record may be viewed. EM Act, sec. 28(1)(b).
Public Notice of Final Decision: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final Decision Detail: 
The decision is entered into a National Register of Certificates of Environmental Clearance, which shall be open for public examination when and where the EMA Authority may notify in the Gazette and in one or more daily newspaper of general circulation. CEC Rules, sec. 9(1). In addition, "[t]he applicant shall cause the certificate to be displayed in public view at the place from which the applicant carries on the designated activity for which the Certificate was issued." CEC Rules, sec. 7(2)
Public Participation
Public Scoping: 
Yes
Public Scoping Detail: 
"The applicant shall, where appropriate, conduct consultations with relevant agencies, non-governmental organisations and other members of the public on the draft TOR. . . ." CEC Rules, sec. 5(2)
Public Review of TOR: 
Yes
Public Review of TOR Detail: 
The project proponent shall "where appropriate" consult with relevant agencies, non-governmental organisations and other members of the public on the draft TOR over a 28-day period. Following consultation, the project proponent submits written representations to the environmental authority requesting any changes to the draft TOR. The TOR is finalized by the environmental authority. CEC Rules, sec. 5
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: 
Sometimes
Public Meetings Detail: 
If the Environmental Management Authority "determines there is sufficient public interest, it may hold a public hearing for discussing the proposed action and receiving verbal comments." EM Act, sec. 28(3)
Public Input at Meeting: 
Yes
Public Input at Meeting Detail: 
[I]f the Authority determines there is sufficient public interest, it may hold a public hearing for discussing the proposed activity and receiving verbal comments." EM Act, sec. 28(3)
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: 
0 days
Days for Public to Review Final EIA: 
30 days
Public Comments on Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Comments on Final EIA Detail: 
The environmental authority "shall receive written comments for not less than 30 days from the date of notice in the Gazette[.]" EM Act, sec. 28(3)
Response to Public Comments: 
Yes
Response to Public Comments Detail: 
The environmental authority must consider "all relevant matters, including the comments or representations made during the public comment period" before issuing a Certificate of Environmental Clearance. EM Act, sec. 36(1).
Facilitation of Public Participation: 
No
Judicial Review/Enforcement
Citizen Administrative Review: 
No
Citizen Administrative Review Detail: 
Appeals to the Environmental Commission are limited to those filed by the party seeking environmental clearance. See EM Act, secs. 40 & 81(5)(commission has jurisdiction over appeals only as permitted by the EM Act)
Citizen Judicial Review: 
Yes
Citizen Judicial Review Detail: 
Standard judicial review options are available.
Project Monitoring: 
Yes
Project Monitoring Detail: 
The Environmental Management Authority "shall monitor the performance of the activity to ensure compliance with any conditions in the Certificate, and to confirm that the performance of the activity is consistent with…the information provided in any environmental impact assessment." EM Act, sec. 37.
Enforceability of EIA: 
Yes
Enforceability of EIA Detail: 
The Environmental Management Act (EMA) establishes a "direct private party action." A private party may institute a proceeding before the Environmental Commission against any person who violates "environmental requirements," including failure to obtain a certificate of environmental clearance or failure to comply with the terms and conditions in a certificate. See EM Act, sec. 69. The Act clearly states: "[A]ny individual or group of individuals expressing a general interest in the environment or a specific concern with respect to the claimed violation shall be deemed to have standing to bring a direct private party action." Id., sec 69(2). The Attorney General may intervene in the proceeding at any time as of right. Id., sec. 69(3). See also EM Act, sec. 89 (additional provisions governing direct party actions)
Enforceability of Permit: 
Yes
Enforceability of Permit Detail: 
The Environmental Management Act (EMA) establishes a "direct private party action." A private party may institute a proceeding before the Environmental Commission against any person who violates "environmental requirements," including failure to obtain a certificate of environmental clearance or failure to comply with the terms and conditions in a certificate. See EM Act, sec. 69. The Act clearly states: "[A]ny individual or group of individuals expressing a general interest in the environment or a specific concern with respect to the claimed violation shall be deemed to have standing to bring a direct private party action." Id., sec 69(2). The Attorney General may intervene in the proceeding at any time as of right. Id., sec. 69(3). See also EM Act, sec. 89 (additional provisions governing direct party actions)
   Updated 5 Jun, 2014