On August 24th and 25th companies and public institutions will meet to discuss issues such as standards and quality management, as well as taking part in a business roundtables for the industrial sector.
The new head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources believes it is illogical to reduce the cost of an environmental permit from $3,000 to $6 per, which would be applied with the entry into force of a new regulation in May.
Government Agreement 20-2016 published on January 12 in the official newspaper, La Gaceta, makes official the new rules for granting environmental licenses that will apply from May. However, both the current Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), Sydney Samuels, as well as the head of the UNE opposition party Orlando Blanco, are seeking its repeal believing that the cost of the licenses is very low.
One million square meters are awaiting construction permits in a country where 13 institutions have to be visited in order to collect a license.
For the Municipality of Guatemala to give out a building permit, the applicant must obtain approval from the Ministries of Environment, Culture and Sports, the General Property Registry, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the National Forestry Institute, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, the Office for Territorial Control and the district capital departments of Works, Historic Center, Environment and Land and from the Empagua.
A proposal has been made to amend the regulations for environmental control so the SMEs can submit affidavits instead of environmental impact studies when applying for environmental permits.
The proposal by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources aims to simplify the processes to be followed when requesting authorization of environmental permits for the development of construction projects. According to the same ministry, most of the files currently under review correspond to small companies. For this reason, they have proposed that instead of submitting an environmental impact, they complete an affidavit via the internet.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has announced that it is working on a number of changes to the regulations on Evaluation, Monitoring and Environmental Controls in order to adapt them to the current regulations.
The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Andreas Lehnoff said that they are working on the modifications and expect them to be completed before the end of the transitional government led by Alejandro Maldonado.
Parking tower blocks, residential developments, hydraulic works, hotels and office buildings are some of the projects for which environmental impact studies were submitted in June.
The report "Construction Projects in Costa Rica - June 2015", prepared by the Business Intelligence unit at CentralAmericaData.COM, contains a detailed list of major constructionprojects for which environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies were presented to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) in June.
The private sector claims that excessive paperwork and the lack of technical personnel in the Ministry of Environment is delaying the assessment of environmental impact studies and the granting of building permits.
According to the Guatemalan Chamber of Construction, the slowness with which the studies are evaluated and permits granted to construction companies is preventing projects being carried out in the medium-term and moving towards recovery of the sector.
Preparations are being made for the renovation and expansion of 41 kilometers of the route between the department of Santa Rosa and Jutiapa, estimated at $45 million.
The General Department of Roads at the Ministry of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing has presented the Environmental Impact Study for the renovation and extension of 41 kilometers of route CA-8 between Oratorio and Valle Nuevo, near the border with El Salvador.
A mining group plans to invest $27 million in a specialized port in Izabal which will have the capacity to move half a million tonnes of nickel per year.
Businessmen linked to the mining industry, and especially to Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN), could be investing $27 million in the construction of a port to move half a million tonnes of nickel per year. The project would be built at kilometer 294 on the highway to the Atlantic, in at Justo Rufino Barrios, opposite the Municipal Cemetery of Puerto Barrios.
Progress is being made on an environmental law which establishes regulations to prevent and respond to climate change threats.
The Framework Law to Regulate the Reduction of Vulnerability, Compulsory Adaptation to the Effects of Climate Change and Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases creates a National Council as a regulating body and will be represented by members of the government, rural organizations, municipalities, and environmentalists in addition to the private sector.
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