On March 24, 2014, Supreme Decree 002-2014-MINAM was published in the Official Gazette approving complementary provisions on the implementation of the so-called “Environmental Quality Standards” (Estándares de Calidad Ambiental or “ECA” for its acronym in Spanish) applicable for soil, approved by Supreme Decree 002-2013-MINAM.
The mentioned regulation establishes, among other issues, the following:
- New projects: Holders of new projects should determine if a given site exceeds the ECA or the Background Levels (according to the definition of Niveles de Fondo contained in the regulations), at the time the relevant environmental management instrument is prepared. If such site is identified, no legal responsibility should be attributed to the holder of the project; provided, however, that the project holder can be required to take action to impede that additional negative impacts are caused on the site.
- Current activities: Holders of current activities will have 12 months as from the approval of the Guide for Soil Sampling and the Guide for the Elaboration of “Soil Decontamination Plans” (“PDS” for its acronym in Spanish) by the Ministry of the Environment, to identify if the ECA or the Background Levels are exceeded and communicate it to the competent authority. Depending on the results the holder could be required by the authority to prepare and file the PDS within 24 months and upon the latter’s approval, execute the decontamination.
- Verification: When the implementation of the PDS is finished, verification should be completed and its results filed before the Peruvian environmental supervisory agency, which will determine if the PDS was correctly implemented.
- Emergencies: Whenever an emergency affecting people´s health or the environment occurs, after applying the measures to minimize such impact, a verification should be completed and its results filed before the competent authority, which will determine if it is necessary to prepare a PDS.
The mining practice group of Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano Abogados will be available to answer any questions you may have in such respect.