Environmental Impact Study Requirement Suppressed.

The Government of Nicaragua, through Decree 76-2006, established the standards for the protection of Nicaragua’s Natural Resources, requiring investors to conduct a series of Environmental Impact Studies with the purpose of determining the sustainably of the projects, observing any positive or negative impact on the environment as a result of the implantation of projects, civil-work, activities or the development of any industry. 

 

All investors who wanted to develop a productive, service or social interest infrastructure (Horizontal Works, Vertical Works or both) would have to present an Environmental Impact Study before the MARENA authorities so that within a maximum period of 240 days the authority could review and issue its resolution. In practice, however, the review could take much longer than the period of time established in the decree, resulting in monetary losses and delays in project implementation. 

 

In accordance with Decree 15-2017, published in the Official Newspaper, “La Gaceta”, Number 163 on August 28, 2017, the Government of Nicaragua repeals Decree 76-2006, thereby eliminating the requirement for the preparation and presentation of an Environmental Impact Study for projects, civil-works, activities or industrial development in Nicaragua, likewise, the decree grants all the powers to MARENA to issue the permits and authorizations for the development of the projects without the need of an Environmental Impact Study. 

 

Associations and Environmental Organizations have opposed the measure, however, the new decree provides a positive aspect for the country’s economic development, since the simplicity of procedures and the reduction of the time to obtain permits and authorizations, draws the attention of investors who are interested in implementing new industries and developing new projects in the country.