Costa Rica

EIA Procedure
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Government projects
Private Projects
Abridged Assessments: 
Yes
Assessment Detail: 
"B2" projects (moderate- low potential environmental impact) located inside an area with an approved zoning plan and "C" projects (low potential environmental impact) do not need to present a full EIA. The project developer submits a D2 form with information about the project and an Environmental Commitments Document. The D2 form includes a description of the proposed activity, including its potential to generate waste and emissions as well as other risks posed to the environment, and the proposed measures to mitigate such risks. EIA Regulations, Articles 9, 12 and 13
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA: 
No
Who Conducts Screening: 
Government
Who Conducts Screening Detail: 
The developer presents the project for an initial assessment proposing the category of its project. The government reviews the project's category and approves the developer's proposal. EIA Regulations, Article 8
Criteria for Screening: 
List or appendix of project or activity types
Proposed project or activity may cause significant environmental impact
Criteria for Screening Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 7
Who Prepares EIA: 
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Prepares EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 112
Who Pays for EIA: 
Project Proponent
Who Pays for EIA Detail: 
The cost of environmental impact assessments shall be borne by the proponent. Law 7554, Art. 18. See also EIA Regulations, Art. 112.
EIA Contractor Qualifications: 
Yes
EIA Contractor Qualification Detail: 
There is a registration process for environmental consultants in SETENA. Such process requires contractors to present relevant documentation about EIA-related training. EIA Regulations, Article 72
Conflict of Interest: 
Yes
Conflict of Interest Detail: 
Individual consultants or consulting firms may be disqualified from the consultant registry when they incur any of the following: data forgery, demonstrating bias in the preparation of the EIA, unjustified refusal by the consultant to apply the required environmental guidelines included in the terms of reference requested by SETENA, among other reasons. EIA Regulations, Article 100
Terms of Reference: 
Yes
Terms of Reference Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 24, 27 & 28
Days for Decision Maker Review: 
10 weeks (and up to 5 months for large-scale projects)
Automatic Approval: 
No
Written Decision: 
Yes
Written Decision Detail: 
The approval or denial of the activity, work or project shall be communicated by SETENA to the developer through an administrative, technical and legally motivated resolution. EIA Regulations, Art. 45
Authority to Impose Conditions: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions Details: 
EIA Regulations, Article 45
Expiry of Decision: 
2 years
Expiry of Decision Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 46
Financial Assurances or Bond: 
Yes
Financial Assurances Detail: 
Organic Law of the Environment, Article 21; See also EIA Regulations, Articles 86, 87, and 88.
EIA Content
Interdisciplinary Team: 
Yes
Interdisciplinary Team Detail: 
Environmental impact assessments must be carried out by an interdisciplinary team of professionals, registered and authorized by the National Environmental Technical Secretariat (SETENA). Law 7554, Art. 18. See also EIA Regulations, Art. 31.
Range of Alternatives: 
Yes
Range of Alternatives Detail: 
EIA Regulations Article 34, and Section 10.6 of Annex I EIA Guidelines Part IV.
No Action Alternative: 
No
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Direct environmental impacts
Cumulative environmental impacts
Social impacts
Economic impacts
Mitigation: 
Yes
Mitigation Detail: 
The EIA must contain measures to be taken to mitigate potential environmental impacts. EIA Regulations, Art. 9.
Monitoring Plans: 
Yes
Monitoring Plans Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 47, 48, 50 and 79. The developer must hire an independent contractor to verify fulfillment of the EIA.
Access to Information
Public Notice of Draft EIA: 
No
Draft EIA Available: 
No
Draft EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Not available
Public Notice of Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final EIA Detail: 
Environmental Impact Assessments received by SETENA will published in a national newspaper and will indicate the availability of the reports for public consultation. To the extent possible, and as a complementary mechanism, SETENA will use other available and authorized means of communication to disclose the information society in general. EIA Regulations, Article 41
Final EIA Available: 
Yes
Final EIA Available Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Article 41
Final EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Availability of Reference Studies: 
Yes
Availability of Reference Studies Detail: 
The information contained in the record of an environmental impact assessment will be of a public nature and will be available for consultation by any person or organization. Law 7554, Art. 23.
Public Notice of Final Decision: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final Decision Detail: 
Article 23 of Law 7554 can be interpreted to imply that the decision is made publicly available.
Public Participation
Public Scoping: 
Yes
Public Scoping Detail: 
Project proponent and EIA contractor must present the activity, work or project to the communities and local authorities, and conduct a survey to collect the inputs from the communities. EIA Regulations, Articles 33 and 34
Public Review of TOR: 
Yes
Public Review of TOR Detail: 
Individuals, whether public or private, shall have the right to be heard by the National Environmental Technical Secretariat, at any stage of the evaluation process and in the operational phase of the work or project. The observations of the interested parties will be included in the record and taken into consideration for the final report. Law 7554, Art. 22. See also EIA Regulations, Art. 42.
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Scoping
Terms of reference
Public Meetings and/or public hearings
Review of final EIA
Public Meetings: 
Yes
Public Meetings Detail:: 
Public hearings may be convened ex officio by SETENA, or at the request of a natural or legal person, in cases deemed necessary. EIA Regulations, Art. 57.
Public Input at Meeting: 
Yes
Public Input at Meeting Detail: 
EIA Regulations Articles, 55 and 60
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
Members of the public must request a meeting and/or hearing
Ministry or agency has discretion to decide whether to hold a meeting and/or hearing
Days for Public to Review Draft EIA: 
Variable
Days for Public to Review Final EIA: 
Variable
Public Comments on Draft EIA: 
No
Public Comments on Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Comments on Final EIA Detail: 
EIA Regulations, Articles 41 and 42
Response to Public Comments: 
Yes
Response to Public Comments Detail: 
Observations are part of the EIA file and they must be considered by decisionmaking authorities. The regulations do not provide guidance on how public comments and observations are to be formally addressed. EIA Regulations Article 42
Facilitation of Public Participation: 
No
Judicial Review/Enforcement
Citizen Administrative Review: 
Yes
Citizen Administrative Review Detail: 
Citizens may submit complaints to an Administrative Environmental Tribunal for violations of environmental laws. Law 7554, Articles 107, 108 and 111. See also EIA Regulations, Articles 51 and 52.
Citizen Judicial Review: 
Yes
Citizen Judicial Review Detail: 
Citizens can seek judicial review from administrative decisions in the Courts of First Instance. See Organic Law of the Judicial Branch, No. 7333.
Project Monitoring: 
Yes
Project Monitoring Detail: 
The proponent must submit environmental reports periodically to SETENA for review. SETENA must also conduct environmental inspections for monitoring and control purposes. EIA Regulations, Articles 47 and 48. The developer must hire an independent contractor to verify fulfillment of the EIA.
Enforceability of EIA: 
Yes
Enforceability of EIA Detail: 
Citizens may submit complaints to an Administrative Environmental Tribunal for violations of environmental laws. Law 7554, Articles 107, 108 and 111. See also EIA Regulations, Articles 51 and 52.
Enforceability of Permit: 
Yes
Enforceability of Permit Detail: 
Citizens may submit complaints to an Administrative Environmental Tribunal for violations of environmental laws. Law 7554, Articles 107, 108 and 111. See also EIA Regulations, Articles 51 and 52.
Modified: October 25th, 2019