Belize -- Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (1995) -- Statutory Instrument No. 107 of 1995


STATUTORY INSTRUMENT No.  107 of 1995 REGULATIONS made by the Minister of Tourism and the Environment in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by section 21 of the Environmental Protection Act (No.22 of 1992), and all other powers thereunto him enabling.
(Gazetted 30th September, 1995).

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REGULATIONS, 1995.

2.  In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires?

"the Act" means the Environmental Protection Act; No.  22/1992.

"Department" means the Department of the Envi?
ronment established under section 3 of the Act; "developer" means a person who ?

(i)carries out or proposes to carry out an under?
taking; or (ii)is the owner or person having charge, man?
agement or control of an undertaking; "EIA" denotes environmental impact assessment; "guidelines" means any procedures approved by the Minister for the preparation of environmental impact assessments; "Minister" means the Minister charged with respon?
sibility for the environment; "undertaking" means any enterprise, activity, project, structure, work, policy, proposal, plan or program that may, in the opinion of the Department, have a significant environmental impact, and includes a modification, an extension, an abandonment, a dem?
olition and a rehabilitation thereof.

3.  (1) The criteria and procedure under these Regula?
tions and any procedures approved by the Minister, shall be used to determine whether an activity is likely to significantly affect the environment and is therefore subject to an environ?
mental impact assessment.

(2) All persons, agencies, institutions(whether public or private), unless exempted pursuant to these Regulations, shall, before embarking on a proposed project or activity, apply to the Department for a determination whether such project or activity would require an environmental impact assessment

4.  (1) In identifying the environmental impact assess?
ment process under these Regulations, the relevant signifi?
cant environmental issues shall be identified and examined before commencing and embarking on any such project or activity.

(2) Where appropriate, every effort shall be made to identify all environmental issues at an early stage in the environmental impact assessment process.

5.  An environmental impact assessment shall include at least the following minimum requirements?

(a) a description of the proposed activities; (b) a description of the potentially affected environ?
ment, including specific information necessary to identify and assess the environmental effect of the proposed activities; (c) a description of the practical alternatives, as appro?
priate; (d) an assessment of the likely or potential environ?
mental impacts of the proposed activities and the alternatives, including the direct and indirect, cumulative, short?term and long?term effects; (e) an identification and description of measures available to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of proposed activity or activities and assessment of those mitigative measures; (f) an indication of gaps in knowledge and uncer?
tainty which may be encountered in computing the required information;
6.  Whenever the Department determines that there is a need for an environmental impact assessment on a project, the environmental impact assessment process shall include:

(a) a screening of the project; (b) a review by the National Environmental Ap?
praisal Committee as provided in Regulation 25 of these Regulations; (c) the design and implementation of a follow?up program.

Categories of Projects
7.  All undertakings, projects or activities specified in Schedule I shall require an environmental impact assess?
ment.  The scope and extent of the environmental impact assessment shall be determined by the Department.

8.  The Department shall determine or cause to be deter?
mined whether any of the undertakings, projects or activities specified in Schedule 11 require an environmental impact assessment.

9.  An environment impact assessment shall not be re?
quirked in respect of?

(a) educational projects (except building construct?
ton); (b) computer processing projects; (c) projects within a commercial Free Zone or an Export Processing Zone where:

(i) the commercial Free Zone or Export Pro?
cessing Zone has already been the subject of an approved environmental impact as?
sessment and the project is not within the category of projects excluded by the envi?
ronmental impact assessment, and (ii) the project will not result in air or water pollution or effluent discharge or other?
wise adversely affect the environment pro?
vided that the Department may attach con?
ditions to any such exemption; (d) projects to be carried out during national emer?
gency for which temporary measures have been taken by the Government.

10.  Where pursuant to Regulation 8 the Department decides that an environmental impact assessment is not required, the developer may proceed with the undertaking, subject to any other Act or regulation or guidelines or conditions laid down by the Department.

11.  Every developer shall, before proceeding with the final design of an undertaking, notify the Department in writing, on a prescribed form concerning the proposed under?

12.  The Department shall not consider or decide upon a scheme of the types detailed in Schedule I unless an environ?
mental impact assessment has been prepared in respect of such undertaking.

13.  (1) Where, pursuant to Regulation 8, the Depart?
ment decides that an environmental impact assessment is required, it shall order an environmental impact assessment.

(2) The Department may at the request of the developer provide the developer with guidelines for the preparation of an environmental impact assessment for a nominal fee, (3) The developer shall:

(a) undertake the necessary study for the prep?
aration of an environmental impact assess?
ment; and (b) submit the environmental impact assess?
ment to the Department by the prescribed date.

Screening of Undertakings
14.  The Department shall, within thirty days of the receipt of the form referred to in Regulation 11, examine or cause to be examined the information contained therein to determine whether:

(a) an environmental impact assessment is required; (b) subject to regulation 9, an environmental impact assessment may be required; or (c) an environmental impact assessment is not re?

15.  (1) The developer shall submit draft terms of refer?
ence in writing to the Department for the purposes of an environmental impact assessment.

(2) The draft terms of reference referred to in subsection (1) shall contain such information as may be required by the Department.

16.  (1) The Department shall examine or cause to be examined the draft terms of reference submitted pursuant to Regulation 15 to determine whether they are adequate to form the terms of reference for the environmental impact assess?

(2) The Department shall advise the developer as to whether the draft terms of reference are satisfactory and adequate.

(3) Where the draft terms of reference are unsatis?
factory, the Department shall direct the developer to modify the draft in such manner as the Department deems necessary.

17.  Where the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment have been agreed between the developer and the Department, and approved in writing by the Depart?
ment, the developer shall commence the environmental impact assessment and submit the same to the Department by the specified date.

18.  (1) During the course of an environmental impact assessment, the developer shall provide an opportunity for meetings between the developer and interested members of the public, especially within or immediately adjacent to the geographical area of the proposed undertaking, in order:

(a) to provide information concerning the proposed undertaking to the people whose environment may be affected by the undertaking; and (b) to record the concerns of the local community regarding the environmental impact of the pro?
posed undertaking.

(2) At any time during an environmental impact assessment of a proposed undertaking the Department may invite written comments from interested persons concerning the environmental impact of an undertaking.

(3) The Department may forward the written comments under subsection (1) to the developer who shall answer any pertinent questions raised in such written comments.

(4) The procedure for public contact and involvement shall be determined by the Department.

19.  A report of an environmental impact assessment shall include the following (a) Cover Page.  A single page listing the title of the proposed project and its location; the name, address, and telephone number of a contact person, a designation of the report as draft or final and a one?paragraph abstract of the EIA report; (b) Summary.  A summary of the proposed project, preferably not exceeding 15 pages in length, accurately and adequately describing the con?
tents of the ETA report.  The summary should highlight the conclusions, areas of controversy and issues remaining to be resolved; (c) Table of Contents.  A list and page number index of the chapters, sections and subsections in the EIA report, including a list of tables and a list of figures and appendices; (d) Policy, Legal and administrative Framework.
Any policy, legal or administrative issues that may have an impact on the proposed develop?
ment; (e) A description of the development proposed, comprising information about the site, the de?
sign and size and scale of the development, and its immediate surroundings; (f) A description of the environment (local and regional); (g) Significant Environmental Impacts.  The data necessary to identify and assess the main effects which the proposed development is likely to have on the environment; (h) A description of the likely significant effects, direct and indirect, on the environment of the development, explained by reference to its pos?
sible impact on:
human beings; flora; fauna; soil; water; air; climate; material assets, including the cultural heritage and landscape; natural resources; the ecological balance; and any other environmental factors which need to be taken into account; (i) A presentation of all reasonable alternatives in comparative form, exploring each alternative, including the no-action alternative, and the reason why certain alternatives were recommended or eliminated.  The object is to identify the least environmentally damaging alternative that satisfies the basic purpose and the need for the proposed action; (j) Environmental consequences of the project as proposed, and the alternatives, identifying any adverse effects that cannot be avoided if the action is implemented, all mitigation measures to be employed to reduce adverse effects, the relationship between short term uses of the environment and the enhancement of long-term productivity, and any irretrievable or irreversible commitments of resources that would occur if the action were implemented as proposed; (k) A mitigation plan; (l) A monitoring plan; (m) Inter-agency and public/non-governmental organizations involvement.

(n) Report on public hearings (if any).

(o) A summary in non-technical terms of the language specified above.

20.  (1) A person who has submitted an environmental impact assessment shall, as soon as may be, publish in one or more newspapers circulating in Belize a notice:

(a) stating the name of the applicant; (b) the location of the land or address in respect of which the environmental impact assessment re?
lates; (c) stating that application has been made and indi?
cating the location and nature of the proposal to which the application relates; (d) stating that an environmental impact assessment has been prepared in respect of the proposal; (e) naming a place where a copy of the environmen?
tal impact assessment may be inspected free of charge; (f) specifying the times and the period (being the prescribed period) during which the environ?
mental impact assessment can be so inspected; (g) stating that any person may during the pre?
scribed period make objections and representa?
tions to the Department in relation to the effects of the proposed project activity on the environ?
ment; (h) the date on which the environmental impact assessment shall be available to the public; (i) the deadline and address for filing comments on the conclusions and recommendations of the environmental impact assessment.

(2) An environmental impact assessment submitted by a developer shall be accompanied by a copy of a newspaper in which there has been published a notice in accordance with sub?regulation (1).

21.  (1) Upon receiving the environmental impact assess?  ment, the Department:

(a) may direct that copies of the environmental impact assessment be made available for inspec?
tion by interested persons; (b) shall examine the environmental impact assess?
ment or cause the same to be examined to determine whether it complies with the previously ?agreed terms of reference; and (c) shall examine the environmental impact assess?
ment or cause it to be examined to determine whether:

(i) further environmental assessment is re?
quired; or (ii) any significant harmful impact is indi?

22.  (1) The Department shall advise the developer of its decision within sixty days after the completed environmental impact assessment has been received by the Department.

(2) Until the developer is advised under sub?regula?
tion (1), the developer shall not commence or proceed with the undertaking.

(3) Where a developer is required to supply further or additional information in respect of environmental impact assessment then the environmental impact assessment shall not be deemed to have been completed until the developer has supplied such further or additional information to the satis?
faction of the Department.

23.  Where the environmental impact assessment is defi?
cient in any respect, the Department may on the recommen?
dation of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee require the developer:

(a) to conduct further work or studies; (b) to supply further information; (c) to amend the environmental impact assessment accordingly; and (d) to resubmit the environmental impact assess?
ment by a later mutually agreeable date.

24.  (1) The Department, on the recommendation of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, may require a public hearing, in respect of any undertaking, project or activity in respect of which an environmental impact assess?
ment is required pursuant to these regulations.

(2) In order to determine whether an undertaking, project or activity requires a public hearing, the Department shall take into account the following factors:

(a) the magnitude and type of the environmental impact, the amount of investment, the nature of the geographical area, and the commitment of the natural resources involved in the proposed undertaking, project or activity; (b) the degree of interest in the proposed under?
taking, project or activity by the public, the Department and other government agencies, as evidenced by the public participation in the proposed undertaking, project or activity; (c) the complexity of the problem and the pos?
sibility that information presented at a public hearing may assist the developer to comply with its responsibilities regarding the proposed un?
dertaking, project or activity.

25.  (1) There shall be appointed a National Environ?
mental Appraisal Committee whose function shall be to:

(a) review all environmental impact assessments; (b) advise the Department of the adequacy or other?
wise of environmental impact assessment; (c) advise the Department of circumstances where a public hearing is desirable or necessary.

(2) The National Environmental Appraisal Commit?
tee shall comprise of the following members:

(a) the Chief Environmental Officer or his nom?
inee; (b) the Commissioner of Lands or his nominee; (c) the Housing and Planning Officer or his nomi?
nee; (d) the Chief Forest Officer or his nominee; (e) the Fisheries Administrator or his nominee; (f) the Chief Hydrologist or his nominee; (g) the Archaeological Commissioner or his nominee; (h) the Director of Geology and Petroleum or his nominee; (i) the Chief Agricultural Officer or his nominee; (j) two non?governmental representatives ap?
pointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the Department.

(3) Six members shall constitute a quorum for meetings of the committee.  The Chief Environmental Officer shall be Chairman of the Committee in his absence, the members present may elect a Chairman for that meeting.

26.  (1) Every screening of a project and every assessment by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee shall include a consideration of the following factors, that is:

(a) The environmental effects of the project, including the environmental effects of malfunctions or accidents that may occur in connection with the project and any cumulative environmental effects that are likely to result from the project by taking into consideration other projects or proposed projects that have been or will be carried out; (b) the significance or seriousness of those effects; (c) comments concerning those effects received from the public in accordance with the provisions of these regulations; (d) measures that are technically and economically feasible that would mitigate or prevent any significant or serious adverse environmental effects of the project.

(2) In addition to the factors set out in sub-regulation (1) of this Regulation, every environmental impact assessment of a project, program or activity and every assessment by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee shall include a consideration of the following factors, that is:

(a) the purpose of the project; (b) alternative means of carrying out the projects that are technically and economically feasible and the environmental effects of any such alternative means; (c) the need for and the requirements of any follow-up program in respect of the project; (d) short term or long term capacity for regeneration of renewable resources that are likely to be significantly or seriously affected by the project; and (e)any other matter that the Committee at the request of the Department may require.

27.(1) Where the department has decided that an undertaking, project, or activity shall not proceed, the developer may, within thirty days after the Department’s decision, appeal to the Minister against the decision of the Department.

(2) The Minister may appoint a Tribunal to hear and determine the appeal and the report their findings to the Minister.

(3) The Minister may allow the appeal and permit the project to proceed or may dismiss the appeal.

(4) The Minister’s decision shall be final.

28.  (1) Any person who willfully supplies false and misleading information on any prescribed form commits an offence.

(2) Any person who contravenes the provision of the these Regulations commits an offence, and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(3) No prosecution for an offence under these Regulations shall be instituted except without the leave of the department or of the Director of Public Prosecution, as provided in section 41 of this act.

MADE by the Minister responsible for the Environment this 11th day of August, 1995.

Minister of Tourism and the Environment Printer in Belize by the Government Printer SCHEDULE 1 The following shall be considered as Schedule I projects:

A full Environmental Impact Assessment shall be completed for any project, program or activity with the following purposes:

(a) A trading port, an inland waterway which permits the passage of vessels or a port for an inland waterway traffic capable of handling such vessels.

(b) A waste disposal installation for the incineration or chemical treatment or final disposal of waste.

(c) An installation designed solely for the permanent storage or final disposal of any waste.

(d) An integrated chemical installation, that is to say, an industrial installation or group of installation where two or more linked chemical or physical processes are employed.

(e) Any airport having an airstrip of 2,500 meters or longer.

(f) Lease of more than five hundred (500) acres of National Lands.

(g) Major waterworks: dam, impoundments, alteration of river banks and shoreline, alteration of ground water, diversion of water courses, modification of stream flows.

Infrastructure Projects (a) Construction of hospitals with outfall into beach fronts used for recreational purposes.

(b) Industrial estate developments for medium and heavy industries.

(c) Construction of national highways and other roads of more than 10 miles in length.

(d) Construction of new townships.

Chemical Industry (a) The treatment of intermediate products and production of chemicals (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and other pesticides).

(b) The production of pesticides or pharmaceutical products, paints, varnishes, elastomers or peroxides.

(c) Industrial carbon.

(d) Alkalis.

(e) Electrochemical (metallic sodium, potassium and magnesium, chlorides, perchlorates and peroxides).

(f) Electrothermal products (artificial abrasive, calcium carbides).

(g) Phosphorous and its compounds.

(h) Nitrogenous compounds (cyanide, cyanamide and other nitrogenous compounds).

(i) Halogens and halogenated compounds (chlorine, fluorine, bromine and iodine).

(j) Explosives (including industrial explosives, detonators and fuses).

(k) Any hazardous substances listed in Part of the Schedule to the Act.

Petroleum (a) Oil exploration (b) Oil production (c) Oil refining Cement (a) Production of cement (b) Asbestos cement products Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing of drugs and pharmaceuticals including vitamins (antibiotics and indigenous systems of medicines recovered)

Energy Projects (a) Any large installation for the production of electricity, steam or hot water (b) An industrial installation for carrying gas, steam or hot water, or the transmission of electrical energy by overhead or underwater cables Industrial Processing of Metals (a) An installation for the production (including smelting, electro-plating, refining, drawing or rolling) of non-ferrous metals, other than precious metals (b) Boiler making or manufacturing reservoirs, tanks and other sheet metal containers (c) An installation for the roasting of metallic ores.

Other Projects (a) Establishment of mines and quarries (b) Installation for the disposal of solid waste or waste from mines and quarries (c) A site for depositing sludge (d) The manufacturing, packing, loading or placing in cartridges of gunpowder or other explosives SCHEDULE 11 (Regulation 8)
The following projects may require an environmental impact assessment or environmental impact studies depending on the location and size of the project:
1.  Land Reclamation coastal reclamation involving and area of more than 1º acres
2.  Fisheries (a) construction of fishing harbors (b)harbor expansion involving 50 percent or more in fish landing capacity per annum (c) land based aquaculture projects accompanied by the clearing of mangrove forests (d) all large scale aquaculture projects
3.  Forestry (a) conversion of hill forest land to other land use (b) logging or conversion of forest land use within the catchment area of reservoirs used for municipal water supply, irrigation or hydro-power generation or in areas adjacent to national parks or protected areas (c) logging covering an area of 300 acres or more (d) conversion of mangrove forests for industrial, housing or agricultural use (e) clearing or mangrove forest on islands adjacent to marine reserves
4.  Housing large scale housing developments Resort and Recreational Development (a) construction of coastal resort facilities or hotels (b) development of tourist or recreational development in national parks (c) development of tourist or recreational facilities on small islands
6.  Agriculture (a) Poultry-rearing (b) Pig-rearing (c) Aquaculture activities (d) The reclamation of land from the sea
7.  Extractive Industry (a) Extracting peat (b) Deep drilling, including in particular:
(i)drilling for water supplies (c) extracting minerals such as marble, sand, gravel, shale, salt, phosphates and potash (d) extracting ores
8.  Energy Industry (a) The surface and storage or natural gas, peat, coal or lignite (b) The underground storage of combustible gases (c) The surface storage of fossil fuels (d) The industrial briquetting or coal or lignite (e) An installation for hydro-electric energy production (f) Any installation for the production of electricity, steam and hot water
9.  Industrial processing of Metals The surface treatment and coating of metals
10.  Glass making The manufacture of glass
11.  Chemical Industry The storage of petroleum, petrochemical or chemical products
12.  Fertilizers (a) Nitrogenous (b) Phosphatic (c) Mixed
13.  Food Industry (a) The manufacture of vegetable or animal oils or fats (b) The packing or canning of animal or vegetable products (c) The manufacture of dairy products (d) Brewing or malting (e) Confectionery or syrup manufacture (f) An installation for the slaughter of animals (g) An industrial starch manufacturing installation (h) Any fish processing installation (i) Any citrus processing installation
14.  Textile, Leather, and Wood Industries (a) A wool scouring, de-greasing and bleaching factory (b) The manufacture of fibre board, particle board for plywood (c) A fibre-dying factory (d) A leather tanning or leather dressing factory
15.  Paper and Pulp (including Paper Products)

(a) Paper for writing, printing and wrapping (b) Newsprint (c) Paper Board (d) Paper for packaging (corrugated papers, craft paper, paper bags, paper containers and the like)

(e) Wood pulp, mechanical, chemical, (including dissolving pulp)

(f) Sanitary paper (g) Cigarette paper (h) Other paper products
16.  Rubber Industry (natural and synthetic)

(a) The manufacture and treatment of elastomer- based products (b) Natural and synthetic rubber (c) Tyres and tubes (d) Surgical and medical products including prophylactics and latex products (e) Footwear (f) Other rubber goods
17.  Infrastructure Projects (a) An urban development project (b) The construction of a road, or a harbour, or an airport (c) Canalization or flood relief works (d) A dam or other installation designed to hold water or store it on a long term basis (e) An oil or gas pipeline installation (f) A long-distance aqueduct (g) A yacht marina (h) The establishment of Commercial Free Zones and Export Processing Zones (h) The lease of under 500 acres of National Land
18.  Other Projects (a) A resort facility or hotel complex (b) A permanent race tack or test track for cars or motor cycles (c) A waste water treatment plant (d) The storage of scrap iron (e) The manufacture of artificial mineral fibers (f) Landfill (g) Rural water supply and sanitation (h) Agro industries (i) Rural electrification
19.  The modification of a development which has been carried out, where the development is within a description mentioned above.

Guidelines The following points may be act as guidelines to indicate when to refer to such application to the Department:

2.  All application for building in coastal area.

3.  All application for building near or in ecologically sensitive areas (swamps, marshes, mangrove area ect.)

4.  All application for building in conservation areas:

(a) Designated National Parks (b) Areas Proposed for National Parks (c) Offshore Islands (d) Areas Containing Protected/Important Species of Flora and Fauna
5.  All developments which discharge industrial effluent (including air emissions).

6.  All applications involving the building of individual sewage plants.

7.  All plants which have an initial projected output of more than fifty thousand (50,000) gallons per day of sewage.

8.  Application with proposed sites which are in proximity to unstable gully stream banks or extensive steep slopes.

9.  All application for building in designated watershed areas.

10.  Proposals which necessitate the clearing of large areas of vegetation. 

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