Protected Areas, Audits, Environmental Impact Assessments

In this case, the plaintiff is challenging the environmental audit carried on by the Superintendence for the Environment over the planned real estate project that it was implementing in the region of   “Tres Bocas”.  The audit concluded that the project was not complying with the environmental legislations because the promotor of the project did not provide an environmental impact assessment measuring the planned impact of the project on the protected area called  “Santuario de la Naturaleza Carlos Andwanter”.

The plaintiff alleged that the decision to conduct an environmental audit of his project was ultra vires because his project was not within the perimeter of the protected areas but outside. Consequently, the environmental rules that normally apply to a protected area cannot be applied to his project.

The Environmental Tribunal held that the decision to carry on the environmental audit was void because the Superintendence for the Environment did not follow the procedure and did not consult the competent authority – in this case the National Monument Council- to enquire if the planned project was within the limit of the protected area.