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Updated to: 27 June 2011Download as PDF
Country contact on EIA
Contact details for the country contact on EIA.
Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
100 m south of the National Stadium
P.O. Box 1389
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 239-4296
Fax: (504) 232-6250
E-mail: email@example.com y http://firstname.lastname@example.org
History of EIA
Brief description of the history of the EIA system in the country, including when it was introduced and any major milestones in its development.
Honduras introduced the principles of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in 1993, when the General Law of the Environment was enacted by Executive Decree No.104-93. The law required an assessment of environmental impacts caused by all public or private projects, so, the National System of Environmental Impact Assessment (SINEIA), in charge all EIAs in Honduras, was established. A year later, the Regulation of the SINEIA was issued (published in the official newspaper “La Gaceta” No. 27.291 on March 5, 1994). This issued, for the first time, a procedure for obtaining an environmental license. It also created the General Direction of Environmental Evaluation and Control (DECA) and the Environmental Units (UNA).
The Secretariat of Natural Resources and Environment (SERNA) was redesigned by Decree-218-96 and was approved by Decree No. 52-97, published in the official newspaper “La Gaceta” on May 22, 1997 where it was determined that it would have two Sub-secretaries, the Sub-secretary of Natural Resources and the Sub-secretary of the Environment where DECA is located.
On December 31, 2009, a new regulation was enacted by SINEIA, (Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 published in the official newspaper) on the actualization and modernization of the EIA system where no significant changes took place since 1994.
Year of introduction of EIA legislation
NB: this field is only meant for the world map. It is a hidden cell that is not published on the website. If available, mention the year when detailed national EIA regulations were issued. If such regulations do not exist and if EIA practice is base
1993 with the enactment of the General Law of the Environment
Legal framework for EIA
Year of introduction of enabling law
Year when the enabling law for EIA was issued
The Legal framework is the General Law of the Environment (Decree No. 104 of 1993) and the Regulation of the SINEIA issued under the Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 (December 31,2009).
Approving authority of enabling law
Authority that approved the enabling law for EIA.
National Congress of the Republic.
Year of introduction of first national detailed regulation for EIA
Year when when the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.
The EIA procedures are described in the Regulation of the SINEIA reformed by Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 (December 31, 2009) issued by the Constitutional President of the Republic.
Recent updates and additions to the EIA legislation
Revisions of the EIA provisions in the enabling law or the national detailed EIA regulation (procedural requirements) are named. The year is listed, and the main changes since the first regulation are mentioned, if available. Also, additional EIA-re
The Regulation of the SINEIA (published in the official newspaper “La Gaceta” No. 27.291 (March 5, 1994) was repealed with the Ministerial Agreement No.189-2009 (December 31, 2009) in order to harmonize the Honduran regulation with EIA application at regional level.
Sector specific procedures or regulations on EIA
Any existing sectoral procedural or content regulations are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each.
The following regulations are in draft version and in process of approval:
- Regulation of a consultation system, environmental complaints and denouncements.
- Regulation on a National Registry for Providers of Environmental Services.
- Regulation on Environmental Audits.
- Regulation on emission control generated by fixed sources.
- Regulation on integrated management of residual wastes.
- National Regulation of discharge and reutilization of residual water.
- Regulation for the rational environmental management of hazardous chemical substances in Honduras.
- Regulation on road transportation of goods and hazardous wastes in the Republic of Honduras.
Any government issued guidelines on EIA (general, or sectoral) are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each. Describe the legal status of the guidelines.
- Manual for Environmental Assessment and Control.
- Technical environmental norms.
- Guidelines for good environmental practices for generic of specific productive activities or productive (sub)sectors (article 105, Decree 189-2009).
The Technical Norms and Guides to Good Environmental Practices that are available, serve as one of the reference parameters at the moment of assessing the impacts of a project, which is part of the environmental process found in the SINEIA Form F-02, along with the proponents commitments and the project activities in the monitoring and control stages and its audits. (Articles 106 and 107, ED189-2009).
Objective of EIA
The objective of EIA as stated in the above described legal basis.
To identify, predict and describe the possible positive and negative impacts of a project proposal, as well as, the proposed mitigation measures for negative impacts and a regular monitoring and control plan (Article 4.16 of ED189-2009). SINEIA is also looking for the sustainable development of the country (Article 6 of ED189-2009).
Scope of EIA application
Describes which types of activities require EIA (public and/or private activities; national and/or foreign initiated project; or all such projects)
Article 24 (Decree189-2009) establishes that all projects, construction work or activity, both public and private, should have an environmental license before execution. Moreover Article 6 of Decree 189-2009 establishes that SINEIA has the fundamental responsibility to provide environmental assessment and control of new human activities or any operation capable of generating adverse affects on the environment.
Exemptions from EIA application
Describes any (groups of) activities identified in the regulation that are exempted from the requirement to do EIA (e.g. military or emergency activities).
All projects, construction works or activities that, by their nature fall in category 1 (very low environmental impact or risk classification) shall not be subject to comply with the formality of an environmental license. However, these shall be subject to comply with existing environmental legislation and the Good Environmental Practice Code of Honduras. (Article 30 of ED 189-2009).
Institutional setting for EIA
Central EIA authority
Is there a central authority in charge of implementing EIA? Is it independent or linked to a higher body (e.g ministry)? What are its tasks related to EIA?
DECA is the division of SERNA responsible for coordinating SINEIA and ensuring the mandatory implementation of EIA for all projects potentially polluting the environment and degrading natural resources. Among its tasks are the issuing of reports and technical opinions in the environmental field, previous authorization of, concession and granting of operational permits for productive or commercial businesses and for execution of both public and private projects (Articles 9 y 10 Decree189-2009). When necessary, DECA can rely on help from any other organization of SERNA to collaborate in the licensing and the environmental control process (Article 11 of ED189-2009).
Mandate for exemption of EIA obligation
Describes if there is a legal mandate for a competent authority to make exemptions of EIA obligation. And if yes, under which conditions (e.g. national security, disasters or no conditions/when deemed necessary).
Article 99 of Decree189-2009, indicates that any action executed during a state of emergency, as well as the ones developed after the formally declared end of the same and during the following 60 days after that, will not require any kind of environmental assessment whenever they are directly linked to the prevention, mitigation and minimization of the negative effects of natural disasters or catastrophic events.
All the activities covered by the procedure of exemption, shall be registered with SERNA within no more than a month after the event in order to have a historical record.
(De)centralisation of EIA mandates
Describes if EIA mandates are (de)centralised. Vertical decentralization refers to the extent to which the responsibility for EIA processes are delegated by the central government to the provincial or local authorities. Sectoral or horizontal decen
In the functions of SINEIA intervene SERNA; DECA and when it is necessary and possible, the municipalities through their Environmental Municipal Units (UMA) and any other Public Administration institution either centralized or decentralized through their Environmental Management Units (UGA) (Articles 4.46, 7, 18 y 19 of ED-189-2009).
Following the principle of decentralization, SERNA, by an agreement, can delegate the environmental licensing process to municipalities or institutions from sectors that manage environmental resources outside the scope of the SERNA. Also, the environmental licensing process can be geographically decentralized in its regional offices (Article 81, ED-189-2009).
To do this, SERNA will elaborate an accreditation system which defines criteria that the municipalities should meet, or public institutions that solicit the right to delegate environmental licensing. For this, they will make an assessment of the technical, legal and administrative capacity of the municipality, sectoral institution or regional office, which might be able to assume the environmental licensing procedure. (Article 82, ED-189-2009).
Screening requirement and authority
Describes if a formal screening decision required, and if so, which authority is responsible for this decision. Is this decision published?
The projects classified in categories 1, 2 and 3, by the corresponding SINEIA authority, shall proceed to revise the presented information, verifying the category and fulfillment of the established requirements (Articles 32.2 y 33.3 of Decree 189-2009).
Describes the screening process: steps in screening, the stakeholders involved and outcomes of the process, status of screening advice of different stakeholders, etc. Also describes any prescribed methods for screening. If preliminary EIA's / light EIA's / Initial Environmental Evaluations (IEE) are done in this country and which criteria determine whether a preliminary or a full EIA is requested
The first step to obtain an environmental license is to categorize the project, construction work or activity by using the Table of Environmental Categorization (a project is standardized by its potential environmental impact or environmental risk based on Uniform International Industry Classification of all Economic Activities-CIIU, Article 4.43 of ED189-2009), that guides the users of the system on the environmental assessment procedure. For projects that do not appear in the Table of Environmental Categorization, SERNA decides on the category (Article 29 of ED 189-2009).
According to article 30 of Decree 189-2009, projects are categorized into four different categories 1, 2, 3 and 4. Category
- corresponds to projects that have a low potential environmental impact or environmental risk.
- corresponds to projects that have a moderate potential environmental impact or environmental risk.
- corresponds to projects that have a high potential environmental impact or environmental risk.
- corresponds to projects that have a very high potential environmental impact or environmental risk, the mega development projects are in this category.
All other projects having a very low potential environmental impact or environmental risk, do not fall under these 4 categories.
As a next step, by their categorization, an initial Environmental Assessment is made using the corresponding form to evaluate the significance of environmental impact. (Article 24, Decree189-2009).
According to articles 32 and 33 (Decree 189-2009) the projects classified in categories 1, 2 and 3 should solicit an environmental license, Form SINEIA F-01 (for category 1) or F-02 (for categories 2 and 3) and present the technical and legal documents that these indicate to the corresponding SINEIA authority.
Also for projects in categories 2 and 3 proponents shall present a environmental assessment instrument that is determined after filling out Form F-02, that could correspond to an Environmental Assessment Plan or failing that, the subscription of the corresponding application in the guide or guides of good environmental practices of that sector.
Provision for sensitive areas
Are specific requirements formulated for environmentally sensitive areas? (e.g. no minimum thresholds, full EIA instead of partial EIA)
Article 31 mentions that in the Table of Environmental Categorization the Environmentally Sensitive Areas list can be found, which establishes areas within national territory, that are considered, by their nature or special administrative condition, sensitive from an environmental point of view and therefore need special consideration, in case there are development intentions within these areas.
Contents of the starting document
Describes the required content of the starting document (if any) that the proponent should submit to the competent authority for EIA screening. Mentions if the starting document is published.
According to article 4.19 of Decree 189-2009 the SINEIA Form F-01, is the environmental assessment instrument that shall be presented for projects categorized as having low potential environmental impact. In this form, the project is defined, its location, its surroundings and a commitment to fulfill the Good Environmental Practice Code of Honduras.
According to article 4.20 of Decree 189-2009, the SINEIA Form F-02, is the environmental assessment instrument that shall be presented for projects categorized as having moderate or high potential environmental impact. In this form, the project is defined, its location, its surroundings and provides an assessment of the significance of its environmental impact, at which time it is decided whether a more elaborate environmental assessment is required or not, in which case a subscription to the fulfillment of a guide of good environmental practices is legalized by SERNA, according to the technical procedure established in the Form.
Maximum number of (working) days allowed between submission of the starting document and the screening decision.
Timelines are not specified, it is only mentioned that SINEIA indicates that the project effectively belongs in the chosen category and that it fulfills the established requirements for projects in categories 1, 2 and 3. (articles 32.2 and 33.3 of Decree 189-2009).
Is a formal scoping step required as part of the EIA process?
For projects in Categories 2 and 3, which must present an Environmental Management Plan, the DECA has an orientation document for terms of reference.
For the projects in Category 4, it is possible to use the orientation document availably in the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control for the EsIA or it is possible to request that the DECA, establish the Terms of Reference required.
Describes who carries main responsibility to undertake scoping and what the roles and responsibilities of the involved parties during the process are. Specifically, is there independent formulation and/or review of the scoping document, approval of the scoping document? Are any methods prescribed, e.g. participation, checklists. What guidance is provided?
According to article 33 (Decree 189-2009), for projects classified in categories 2 and 3, which shall present an Environmental Management Plan, the SERNA, through the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control of SINEIA provides a document that acts as an orientation guide for the terms of reference, separating projects into category 2 and category 3.
According to article 34 (Decree 189-2009) projects classified in category 4 shall present to SERNA one of the following two procedures depending on the proponent’s decision:
- A Study of Environmental Impact (EsIA) elaborated according to an orientation document found in the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control.
- A Formal request of the intended development project to SERNA so that the Terms of Reference can be established to elaborate the corresponding EsIA. In the case of megaprojects and projects for which the SERNA considers it to be necessary, the proponent can call on the Technical Committee to draft the terms of reference in the proposal in accordance with the established procedure in the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control of the SINEIA.
According to Article 36 (Decree189-2009), the Terms of Reference can be elaborated by an interdisciplinary team in coordination with the corresponding public office; they will need the criteria of the DECA, and approval of the Director of the DECA.
According to Article 37 (Decree 189-2009), the public and Non Governmental Organizations will be able to make suggestions to the SERNA to have them included in the project’s terms of reference when elaborating the EsIA. The time for this process is 15 administrative working days. It is up to DECA to decide whether to include the public’s observations in the Terms of Reference.
According to Article 38 (Decree 189-2009), the DECA must deliver the written Terms of Reference duly signed and sealed to the proponent.
Contents of the scoping document
Explains if there are there specific requirements for the content of the scoping document, and if so, what these are.
The Terms of Reference are elaborated by the DECA (case-by-case or according to the ones described in the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control), describing all references and relevant ackgound of projects in Category 4, deciding, in clear and specific form, those activities that will have to be realized by the Proponent in order to elaborate a satisfactory EsIA.
There are also terms of reference for projects in Category 2 and 3 in the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control of the SINEIA, for the cases that an Environmental Management Plan must be realized.
Number of (working) days for the decision on approval of the scoping document by the competent authority.
Article 36 (Decree 189-2009), establishes a maximum of 30 administrative working days to establish the Terms of Reference.
Assessment and reporting
Steps and roles of stakeholders in the assessment and status of the input of the stakeholders. Also sets out methods for assessment of the environmental impacts of the activity, if prescribed, and whether the assessment covers environmental, social, economic and/or transboundary effects.
The EsIA is a technical document that must identify and predict the effects on the environment that will be caused by a human action (Article 44, Decree 189-2009).
According to the Article 38 (Decree 189-2009), once the terms of reference are delivered to the proponent, he will be the person in charge of contracting a consultancy firm or a team of professionals to elaborate the EsIA document corresponding to Category 4 or a megaproject. During this process, partial reports must be presented to the DECA (Article 45, Decree 189-2009).
Contents of the EIA report
Explains what should be contained in the EIA report. Specifies if a potential Environmental Management Plan is part of the EIA report or if it is a separate document that contributes to the EIA process.
- The EsIA must include the identification of environmentally sensitive areas within the area of influence of the project, the results of the interaction process with the nearby communities and a record of the adjustments as part of the analysis on the location and design alternatives (Article 46, Decree 189-2009).
- During the elaboration of the EsIA it is necessary to use, as a minimum, measurement of environmental impacts according to the standardized procedure in the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control (to establish the dimension and conditions of environmental impacts, including accumulative impacts) (Article 47, Decree 189-2009).
- The professional providers of environmental services who take part in the elaboration of a EsIA, must identify themselves by using their official signatures (Article 49, Decree 189-2009).
- It is necessary in the document to appropriately mention any source of consulted information by making, at the end, a complete list of the mentioned references (Article 50, Decree 189-2009).
- The EsIA and its copies will be presented to the SERNA (Article 51, Decree 189-2009).
- As soon as the EsIA has been approved by the SERNA, the number of requested hard copies must be presented as well as an electronic file, along with all the maps, graphs, figures, pictures and necessary annexes (Article 58, Decree 189-2009).
Overview of the review process, including: steps in the process and roles of the stakeholders, status of the input of the stakeholders. Is the process open to public? Review method: internal review, external review, panel/commission (permanent or temporary), are the review results documented? Are the review criteria general or case by case? Are the review results documented? Is a potential review
According to the Article 24 and 34 (Decree 189-2009), as soon as the defined instrument for each category has been handed in to the SERNA or the corresponding SINEIA Authority with all the legal and technical requirements, including payment for the environmental assessment and the publication in a local and / or national coverage newspaper, the notification of intent to realize a project, its investment, its location and the intent of requesting an environmental license; the authority proceeds with the technical and legal review of the documentation.
The review of the EsIA is done by a multidisciplinary team, following a standardized review procedure that forms part of the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control of the SINEIA. From the review, a technical opinion is issued that forms a part of the projects file. (Article 55, Decree 189-2009).
Describes if the EIA is checked by external parties, and if so to what extent these represent required disciplines/expertise. Also sets out if measures have been taken to ensure that reviewers are impartial?
As part of the EsIA review process the DECA can request the support of the environmental sectoral or municipal units that are formally established and operating. (Article 48, Decree 189-2009).
In addition, support is available from the Technical Advisory Committee (for controversial and high impact cases that could affect national interests and that deserve a wider range of consultation and participation, article 21 of the DE-189-2009), higher education centers, laboratories and institutions dedicated to research and development in the environmental sciences; from the public and ONG's, as well as of any other public or private entity related to the subject matter (article 8, Decree 189-2009).
Number of (working) days for review of the EIA by the competent authority.
The review procedure of the request form and documents will be done in a period of 15 administrative working days for the projects in Category 1, and 30 administrative working days for projects in Categories 2 and 3, after which, the project, construction work or activity in question will be registered, and the respective Environmental License will be issued, when it proceeds. (32.3 and 33.4, Decree 189-2009).
The timeline for the review of the presented EsIA is 60 administrative working days for Category 4 if they are not megaprojects and 80 administrative working days for Category 4 if they are megaprojects (Article 35, Decree 189-2009).
Integration of EIA into decision-making
Describes what kind of decision-making processes the EIA is intended to support. We look specifically at the decision on EIA approval, and how this relates to envirionmental approval for the project, and other project approval decisions (permits) needed before a project can proceed. This category describes which decisions are influenced by EIA and how they are linked to each other.
All projects should have an environmental license before executing them (article 24, Decree189-2009). The resolution, which the SINEIA authority uses to grant the environmental permit, obligates the owner to comply with mitigation measures agreed on as a result of the EIA process.
Describes which authority/authorities is/are responsible for each of the main decision-making processes on EIA (EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval). It is explained if those decisions are taken by the same or different authorities.
DECA of SERNA for projects in Category 4 and to whom they delegate for other project categories (municipality, sector institution or regional office).
Sets out requirements for justification of the consideration of the EIA information in decision-making (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval).
After checking the documentation, a technical opinion is issued that forms a part of the project’s file, indicating whether the project is accepted without modification, accepted with modifications or rejected (Article 55, Decree 189-2009).
The notification of the technical opinion is given to the Proponent’s Legal Representative by way of a resolution. (Article 56, Decree 189-2009).
Does the decision (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval) have to be published? Also, is the decision justification published as well?
Based on the technical opinion, once the instrument of environmental assessment is approved or the EsIA with its mitigation measures, follow-up and control, the Environmental License is granted to the proponent (for a 2 year term), with the understanding that it is granted under the environmental conditions established in the assessment documents (Article 59, Decree 189-2009).
Maximum number of (working) days available to the competent authority to make the EIA based decision (EIA approval, environmental clearance and/or project approval).
The review procedure of the request form and documents will last a period of 15 administrative working days for the projects Category 1, and 30 administrative working days for the projects Category 2 and 3. When the timeline has lapsed, the project, work or activity will be registered, and the respective Environmental License will be issued when it proceeds. (32.3 and 33.4, Decree 189-2009).
The timeline for the review of the presented EsIA is 60 administrative working days for Category 4 if they are not megaprojects and 80 administrative working days for Category 4 if they are megaprojects (Article 35, Decree 189-2009).
Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement
Is compliance monitoring required to check if the project is implemented as described in the EIA documents and/or if mitigation of environmental impacts complies with applicable standards and other measures set out in the EIA documents? Who is responsible for ensuring compliance? How does this authority ensure compliance (for example, through inspections)? And what requirements are there for the p
Self regulation is obligatory during the implementation of the activity, on having been granted or renewed the Environmental License or during recurrant environmental inspections and audits (Article 69, 70, DE-189-2009).
The control and follow-up of projects in Category 4 is obligatory after having defined the mitigation measures in the environmental license granted after the EIA procedure. These procedures can be carried out by the proponent, a consulting company contracted by the proponent, the personnel of the DECA or of the Environmental Units or a consulting firm contracted by the SERNA (Article 71, DE-189-2009).
In addition, if during the follow-up and control, new impacts not considered during the EIA are detected, the developer of the project must proceed to realize the mitigating measures dictated by the DECA. (Article 72, DE-189-2009).
Are there monitoring requirements that involve external parties, such as citizen monitoring (for example, through a complaints procedure), or third party auditing?
The follow-up and control mechanisms can be done by any entity to whom the SERNA delegates (municipality, sector, institution or field unit).
Are there penalties that the authority responsible for compliance can apply if environmental conditions are not met? What are these? (for example, fines, suspension of license)
It is possible to close in a temporary and definitive way, (total or partial), the activities or facilities, if there is pollution and harm to human health or the environment beyond the limits of the established regulations and technical norms (Article 87 of the General Law of the Environment, DE-104-1993).
In addition, according to the Article 108 (DE-189-2009), it is considered to be a fault in opposition to the SINEIA if:
- A project is initiated without possessing the corresponding Environmental License.
- It does not fulfill the mitigation measures and the Follow-up and Control Plan established.
- It alters, forges, modifies, changes, conceals or loses information, facts, statistics, numbers, analysis, results, reports and any oral and / or written information, which allows an environmental incorrect evaluation of a project.
Are there any requirements to monitor if the impacts in reality are as they were predicted in the EIA, with the purpose of evaluating the EIA itself and improving future EIA practice?
The projects with environmental license have the following tools of self regulation: one person in charge of the environment, a registry system on fulfillment of environmental measures and the development of periodical environmental reports (Article 69, 70, DE-189-2009).
The person responsible for the environment keeps a registry in a project diary or record book on the monitoring of the fulfillment of the environmental commitments, on the current environmental legislation in force, on the guides of best environmental practices or of the Good Environmental Practices Code of Honduras (for the projects of low environmental impact) (Article 4.7, 4.9 and 4.38 DE-189-2009).
The environmental control and monitoring on the part of the authority of the SINEIA, is done by means of environmental inspection instruments, mechanisms and audits of projects that already have an Environmental License and are in execution, in accordance with the regulation on environmental audits (Article 73, DE-189-2009). During this process, the environmental quality is checked, bearing in mind the general environmental situation, the degree of fulfillment of the environmental commitments and the situation of the control of the environmental negative impacts. This quality follows a basic 3 level standard of (green, yellow and red) (Article 75, DE-189-2009). As part of the control and follow-up process, the SINEIA authority issues a technical opinion (Article 4.12, DE-189-2009).
Is the proponent required to pay a fee when applying for an EIA? Is this fee linked to a permitting fee, or separate? If yes, when is this paid and to whom (to the agency that issues the license or to a central agency)?
Before handing in a request for an environmental license to the corresponding SINEIA authority, all projects must pay an expedition fee to the corresponding SINEIA authority that depends on the amount of the cost of the project (Article 24.3 and 109 of the Decree 189-2009).
In addition, for projects in Category 4 it is necessary to cover a guarantee bond for the risks and environmental impacts identified in the EIA process. The proponent and his team can choose one of two alternatives available to acquire this guarantee: by depositing the specified amount in a national guarantees fund (in the General Treasury of the Republic) or by buying an environmental insurance through an insurance company (Article 41, 42 and 43 of the Decree 189-2009).
Public participation requirements for EIA process stages
Describes for which of the EIA process stages public participation is required.
According to the Article 87 (DE-189-2009), the SERNA encourages public participation during the process of environmental evaluation in all phases of those projects considered significant from the environmental point of view, according to the application of principles of proportionality and gradualism. When the terms of reference indicate it, as early as possible, the proponent must involve the project’s neighboring population in the process of elaboration of the EsIA and must propose the mechanisms of consultation during the review stage of the document (Article 88, Decree 189-2009).
For the projects of Category 2, 3 and 4, the Proponent must notify the start of the EIA. The public and the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can send their suggestions to the SERNA on the terms of reference for the EsIA (Article 37, Decree 189-2009).
Also for projects in Category 4, the Proponent must publish the end of the EsIA and when it is required by the SERNA, the proponent will have to present the results of the EsIA to open discussion meetings, public forums, hearings and to all medias that allow a discussion and exchange of ideas. (Article 52 and 89, DE-189-2009).
Any person, natural or juridical, that considers that the EsIA has not addressed important impacts or proposed suitable measures of mitigation, can ask the SERNA to include necessary amendments (Article 54, DE-189-2009).
Public participation guidance
Has any guidance on participation been provided?
Guidelines were developed for citizen participation by the Environmental Impact Assessment Project executed by the UICN and CCAD with SIDA's funds. There also is a Manual of Good Practices of Participation developed by the same Project.
Manual of Assessment and Environmental Control with established procedures and instruments for the process of participation during an EIA.
Access to information
Which of the information that is generated in the EIA process is available to the public? Specifically, which reports and decision statements?
At the beginning of an EIA, the proponent of projects in Categories 2, 3 and 4, must publish, in a newspaper of local and national coverage, a notice with the intention of realizing the project, what it is all about, its location and the intention of requesting an environmental license (Article 24.4, DE-189-2009).
Additionally, a bill board must be placed where the project is to be developed, indicating the name of the project, its location and the telephone and address of the Proponent where the public can obtain more information. (Article 26, DE-189-2009).
After the EsIA is delivered, the proponent of a project in Category 4, must notify about the ending of the EsIA (using the same information channels), in a way that the public can obtain the detailed results of the EsIA and must put a copy of the EsIA at the public’s disposition (Article 28, 52 and 53, DE-189-2009).
If deemed necessary, the proponent must present the results of the EsIA to open discussion meetings, public forums, hearings and to any other means that allow discussion and exchange of ideas (Article 52 and 89, DE-189-2009).
In Article 90 (DE-189-2009), it is stated that the corresponding authorities of the SINEIA will have an information system on environmental assessment, which allows interested parties to obtain information on processed and on pending cases, as well as the most relevant environmental information, including everything related to public participation or on civil society.
At the proponent’s request, some processes, technologies and methodologies, including parts of the documents on the environmental assessment delivered to the SINEIA authorities, can be considered confidential. (Article 27, DE-189-2009).
How can the public receive the information that is publicly available? Are there public announcement on the proceedings? How/where are these published? Is information made available locally? Is information sent on request? etc.
The proponent of projects in Categories 2, 3 and 4, on having started an EIA and that of Category 4, on having finished the EsIA, must notify, one time, in a newspaper of local and national coverage (in one eighth of a page) and over a broadcasting station at national and local levels in prime time at least three times a day for one day, radio spots up to a minute and no less than 15 seconds. Additionally, a bill board must be placed where the project is to be developed, indicating the name of the project, its location and the telephone and address of the Proponent where the public can obtain more information. (Article 26, DE-189-2009).
A copy of the EsIA for projects in category 4 is put at public’s view in the Municipal Environmental Unit or in the public library of the municipality where the project will be carried out (Article 28, DE-189-2009).
When it is necessary, the SERNA may order the organization of a meeting, public forum, and a hearing to have an open discussion of the project in review. (Article 89, DE-189-2009).
Timeline for public comments
The number of (working) days available for the public to make comments on the EIA decision document.
- 15 administrative working days is the period in which the public can make observations to the SERNA on the terms of reference to elaborate an EsIA (Article 37, Decree 189-2009).
- 30 working days is the period in which the public can make observations about the EsIA, after being notified on the finalization of the EsIA by making a copy available to the public. (Article 28 and 53, DE-189-2009).
Costs for public
Are there any specified costs public parties will incur if they partake in EIA?(e.g. costs for the receiving report, costs of losing an appeal, etc. Costs associated with travel to meetings or such are not included here)
The cost of the hearing or public forum must be assumed by the proponent (Article 89, DE-189-2009), as well as the expenses of DECA´s civil servants when they participate in a public consultation (Article 110, DE-189-2009).
What options do the public have to provide their comments. Should comments be written, or may they also be verbal? To which agency should they provide their submissions?
The ESIA´s observations must be presented in writing to the SERNA (Article 53, DE-189-2009) and these can be oral in cases of open meetings, public forums and hearings.
Public comments in decision-making
Do the EIA and/or project approval decisions have to be justified on the basis of public participation results? Do legal texts indicate how public participation results should be used and to which decision-making processses they should contribute?
It is up to the criteria of the DECA whether or not to include observations made by the public into the Terms of Reference for the elaboration of an EsIA. Independently of what is decided, the DECA must inform the interested parties on the attention they give to these observations, by using the same media used by them (Article 37, Decree 189-2009).
In the same way, it is up to the criteria of the SERNA to include the observations in the EsIA in the technical opinion which is a product of reviewing the EsIA. Independently of what it decides, the SERNA must respond to the person who presented the observations in a period of no more than 30 working days (Articles 53 and 54, DE-189-2009).
The results of the hearing or public forum, must be registered and taken in account in the SERNA´s final decision (Article 89, DE-189-2009).
Possibilities for appeal
What are the legal recourse options to challenge EIA decisions are provided for within the legal framework?
Legal resources exist for appeal to a competent court (Article 91 of the General Law of the Environment, DE-104-1993), when some act violates a foreseen environmental regulation, to whose effect a process will have to start to check and to adopt the corresponding measures (Article 80 and 90 of the General Law of the Environment, DE-104-1993).
In addition it is possible to appeal to the SERNA with regard to the terms of reference and the technical judgments issued by them.
Decisions that can be appealed
Which EIA decisions can be appealed?
- The Proponent can manifest his objection, with regard to the Terms of Reference, to the SERNA, in a maximum period of 10 working days after he is communicated. The SERNA, for their part, has 15 working days to answer (Article 39, DE-189-2009).
- The Proponent can appeal if he has an objection with the technical opinion (on which the environmental license is based), in a maximum period of 10 administrative working days once the opinion is issued (Article 56, DE-189-2009).
Who can appeal
Who can make an appeal (in other words, has legal standing)?
The proponent can appeal with regard to the terms of reference and technical judgments issued by the SERNA.
In addition, according to the Article 80 of the General Law of the Environment (DE-104-1993), any person can denounce before the competent authority, the execution of polluting or degrading activities.
Annual no. of EIAs
Gives an estimation for the number of full EIAs that are produced annually in this country.
Number of instruments approved by amount of investment for SERNA's DECA of Honduras in the year 2009 are the following:
- Less than 200,000 Lempiras, 22
- 200,000 - 1,000,000 Lempiras, 131
- 1,000,000 - 10,000,000 Lempiras, 464
- 10,000,000-20,000.000 Lempiras, 40
- More than 20,000,000 Lempiras, 94
- with a total of 751 approved instruments
Central EIA database
Is there a central database or library where information on EIAs is kept (i.e. where all EIAs are registered and/or copies are archived). If so, what is kept there and is this information publicly accessible?
In spite of the fact that SERNA's Website (www.ccad.ws/serna/) arranges the list on the state of affairs of the projects being processed, along with other information, the majority of the website is not functioning.
Any EIA practice review studies that have been done (by governmental agencies or others) are listed here. Where relevant, links to studies are included, and the main conclusions of the studies are summarised.
No information available.
Accreditation of consultants
Is there and accreditation system operational in the country to certify consultants to do EIAs?
The Providers of Environmental Services, will have to be accredited and certified by a suitable legal and technical entity, and be inscribed in the Providers' Record of Environmental Services that the SERNA administers, to be able to intervene in an EIA, an EsIA, Environmental Audit or Follow-up and Environmental Control (Article 16 and 86, DE-189-2009). This is regulated, in more detail, in a new Providers' Regulation of Environmental Services that has not been published yet.
Professional bodies relevant to EIA practice in the country, such as EIA Associations, Environmental Expert Associations, etc are listed here.
No information available.
Ongoing training programmes (including professional and academic training) and major training events held in the past (with focus on recent events) are mentioned here.
Through the Technical Committee on Environmental Impact Assessment of Central America and various international institutions and/or based on bilateral cooperation, training was developed.
Links to laws/regulation
Any relevant links to laws or regulations are included here.
- Background of SERNA: http://www.ccad.ws/SERNA/institucional/antecedentes.htm
- General direction of environmental management: http://www.ccad.ws/serna/ambiente/dga/index.html
- Mision, vision organizational structure and functions of DECA:
- Summary of main articles related to the environment: http://www.ccad.ws/SERNA/ambiente/deca/legislacion.htm
Other relevant links on EIA
Any other relevant links (for example to country specific guidance documents) are included here.
Summary of the regulations that are in process for approval: