The infamous Ley 30230: at last some progress

28 April 2017

Congress has at last approved the repeal of an important article of Ley 30230. This is the law introduced in 2014 which aimed to increase foreign investment by reducing obstacles in the shape of environmental regulation.

At its heart, the law seriously weakens the powers of the government agency set up to control the impact of economic activity on the environment, OEFA (Organismo de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental). In particular, it removed the power to impose fines for infringements. At the same time, its funding (already inadequate) was cut further, and the time allowed for assessing the EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessments) for major projects was cut.

Last week Congressman Oracio Pacori succeeded in achieving the passing of a measure which restores to OEFA the ability to impose fines for environmental damage. He argued that the original measure has not been relevant to investment behaviour, while the number of environmental offences has risen significantly for both mining and hydrocarbons.

After representations, it was decided that the part of the article which exempted small and medium enterprises from the imposition of fines should remain in place if the firms in question were not in the extractives sector.

The measure now passes to the Executive, which has 30 days to approve or reject it.

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