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Environmental Impact - Mérida Airport

Environmental Impact - Mérida Airport

By Permanent Forum

The environmental impact can be conceived as the modification caused by the action of man in combination with that of nature, taking into account the environmental changes caused by the most global natural phenomena. In this sense, the problem of evident environmental deterioration is presented as one of the main concerns of the end of the century for the planet.

Environmental impact

The environmental impact can be conceived as the modification caused by the action of man in combination with that of nature, taking into account the environmental changes caused by the most global natural phenomena.

In this sense, the problem of evident environmental deterioration is presented as one of the main concerns of the end of the century for the planet. Already in 1992, the Earth Summit was one of the international meetings that the largest number of States convened, in which two areas aroused great interest: climate change and the conservation of biodiversity.


Since the 1960s, some efforts have been made based on the scheme of interaction with the authority, which establishes a series of permits, standards and controls with the intention of regulating the operation of a facility or a specific project, so that its impact be less and less, at the same time that in case of non-compliance, sanctions or administrative measures would be imposed on those who do not comply with the rules.

Background

At the end of the 1960s, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted in the United States, which, in its paragraph 102.C, establishes the obligation of government agencies to require an Environmental Impact Assessment. (hereinafter EIA) to any important federal action that significantly affects the quality of the human environment. Subsequently, the first countries to incorporate the EIA figure into their legal regimes are Germany in 1972, Canada in 1973, three years later France and Ireland and, almost two decades later, Mexico (1988), among others.

Environmental impact assessment is, of course, one of the most widespread environmental policy instruments worldwide. The term was introduced into our system in 1982, when the Federal Law on Environmental Protection of 1982 was reformed for the first time. The General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection of 1988 takes up part of the provisions of its predecessor, but considers environmental impact assessment as one of the ecological policy instruments of preventive character, later developed by the Regulation to the aforementioned law.

At the global level, the Manifestation of Environmental Impact appears as internal legislation of the signatory countries of the principles of the Rio Declaration, which specifies in its principle 17: "An environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, should be undertaken for any proposed activity that is likely to have a significant negative impact on the environment and is subject to the decision of a competent national authority."

Manifestation of Environmental Impact and Environmental Impact Assessment

We can define, preliminarily, the Environmental Impact Assessment as a method by which the negative effects on the environment caused by some human actions could be predicted, identified and consequently provided the action alternatives and their corresponding measures for the subsequent elimination or mitigation of the various impacts.

The term EIA does not only indicate a study or evaluation document assumed in its broad sense, that is, as an estimate of value. In contrast and above all, the EIA consists of the process [1] that ranges from the presentation of a preliminary study of the environmental impact of the project by the person proposing it (Environmental Impact Manifesto), to the final declaration (DIA) by the environmental authority. about the impacts of said proposed activity on ecosystems.

The environmental authority in our country, Semarnat, is the institution before which the public or private proponents present their preliminary studies of the impact of those projects or works they propose. It is, therefore, the institution to whom society has granted and to whom it has delegated the power to safeguard the environment, to preserve it, to prevent its deterioration, to implement or recommend all the necessary measures to protect it or recover it from recognition. and the conscience, on the part of the citizens, of the group of social agents that for different reasons or criteria deteriorate it.

The stages of this process (EIA) can consist of either a single instance in which it is determined that the proposed work does not require an Environmental Impact study (IA), or in several instances (depending on the size of the project) that allow reaching a final stage or environmental impact statement well-founded and complete, including: an environmental diagnosis of the area of ​​influence, analysis of the environmental impacts of the different components of the project, analysis of alternatives, mitigating measures, monitoring plans, security and contingencies, information and public hearing, technical opinion and the aforementioned final declaration.

Local Manipulations

From this understanding of the EIA as a procedure, it is extremely striking that, on the page www. saladeprensa.yucatan.gob.mx, the authority environmental , that should objectively and impartially evaluate the studies of any proponent, even in this case of the State Government at the same time as receiving opinions from the citizens, it is expressed in the following terms:

The area planned for the relocation of the Mérida airport, in the municipality of Hunucmá, is adequate from an environmental point of view, since it does not affect any protected natural area, bodies of water and important fauna, said the delegate of the Semarnat , Ramiro Rubio Ortiz.

“It is not going to cause a significant impact. It's some distance from the coast, from the wetlands area. There are no protected areas, it is a disturbed area. I do not see a major drawback, you just have to comply with all the requirements regarding environmental impact, "he stressed.

These statements, dated August 10, 2005 anticipate, in many ways, the biased way of understanding the Environmental Impact Assessment process in which the authority with powers (Semarnat) must analyze and evaluate the documents presented (MIA) by the proponent (State Government). Rubio Ortiz is a state delegate of the institution that must evaluate according to a legal procedure. Said Environmental Impact Manifesto document was delivered two months after these declarations, on October 7, 2005! However, the State Delegate, with a strange speed and effectiveness and little seen in other environmental matters, has already drawn his conclusions!

You just have to comply with the requirements regarding environmental impact says and confirms that on his own account he has converted and lowered the process of the EIA, to a mere process of presenting documents, betting, perhaps, that the majority will not read them and that said documents will justify continuing to do the same as always but like the institution really protect the environment. [2]

Almost two months before the presentation, the local Semarnat delegate anticipates his own personal evaluation, even before having even officially received the Environmental Impact Statement. These behaviors put the EIA in jeopardy and empty the law of content and intent! Fortunately, the Manifestation of Environmental Impact will be evaluated at the federal level in Mexico City, in accordance with the guidelines established by Semarnat itself as it is a general means of communication. The statements of the local delegate reveal the inconvenience of being a judge and a party, we hope that at the national level there is an ethical behavior according to the attributions that the law grants to the institution.

For later, we will leave the reflection on the aptitude and commitment of an official whose institutional mission is to protect the environment and expresses himself by saying: “ very likely the State Government will have to pay about 9,500 pesos per hectare to clear that vegetation in a good state of regeneration ”. In concept and in procedure, the official eats away at the institution that by law must protect the environment and in part explains the tremendous environmental deterioration that exists throughout the country. Officials who accommodate concepts and move away from compliance with the law.

If a proponent, state or private, can, with the authorization and approval of the environmental authority, deteriorate huge areas, whose vegetation is in a "good state of regeneration", for a modest sum, when will we recover the environment? When will we let the ecology of a place regenerate? If the conceptual argument is based on the fact that what is disturbed, because it is disturbed, is disturbed even more, do not continue to pretend that the institution protects something! The country already testifies and registers 60% of its soils with different degrees of erosion and if they continue to establish the basis in this way the percentage will be even higher. To continue destroying as up to now, we will save at least the salaries of the officials who act like this!

The Environmental Impact Assessment in the Law Is Expressed as a Process, not as a Delivery of Documents, nor Does it Occur Prior to Decision Making, nor Parallel!

The environmental impact assessment serves to register and assess in a systematic and global way, all the potential effects of a project, in order to avoid disadvantages and deterioration for the environment. In other words, the institution in charge of defending the environment, its officials, must receive, study and evaluate all the aspects and details of the proposed project in order to finally reach a conclusion.

The fact that the proponent is the State Government, that is to say another governmental institution, does not exempt the other official, also governmental, from the primary duty assigned to him by society as an environmental authority: that of preventing the deterioration of the natural environment. The fact that both institutions are governmental makes the evaluation process itself a very delicate process and in which the environmental authority should exacerbate the evaluative zeal to consolidate its institutional role.

As long as the law requires a procedure that starts with the Environmental Impact Manifesto and continues with the Environmental Impact Assessment, the law and its intentions must be respected, work seriously and set aside light media statements suspected of political complicity rather than objective analysis .

It is not, at all, a strange practice in Latin American countries that in many projects or works, studies are carried out with the project already in execution or concluded, practices that reveal not only disinterest in the environment, but also the systematic non-compliance with environmental legislation inculcating from the State the practice of non-compliance with the law, neglect of the temporal aspect of application of the process and public participation Some of us presumed that this practice would be buried in a past that accentuated the economic benefits above all else and understood in its most restrictive sense "development".

This "development" has already proven, in a thousand different ways, that its only ambition has been to enrich a few and impoverish the vast majority by destroying ecosystems everywhere and mortgaging the life chances of generations to come. Beyond political nuances about how to use resources and in what quantity, all political variants agree with this vision of "development".

In Mexico, this issue is far from being a merely terminological problem, which tends to confuse the evaluation procedure with the document presented by the proponent. If the authority itself emphasizes only parts or instances of the process, confusing MIA with EIA, hiding the whole and its why, the procedure indicated by law is emptied of significance and the integrity of the institution legally in charge of monitoring and preventing further destructive impacts on the environment is put into question.

In many cases the Evaluation is understood, both by the proponents and by the officials themselves, as if it were an obstacle to overcome and not as an opportunity to incorporate criteria and concepts into the project, which will make the project more functional, more appropriate to the conditions of place and less deteriorating of environmental conditions. Once understood as an obstacle, they seem to want to overcome it by piling up extensive documents that show little relationship with the project and that destroy the letter and spirit of the law.

Hopeful as we were that, as a result of his “diligent” statements, the regional delegate of Semarnat, will not evaluate the presented MIA, the head of the federal Semarnat himself, (level that will make the evaluation) José Luis Luege Tamargo, destroys our hopes, when he qualifies in journalistic media, the project “ as important and announces that it will be taken care that the Hunucmá airport does not have harmful effects on the environment of Yucatan. (…) Adding, (…) "We are interested in supporting a project that is important for Mérida and for the State". [3]

Once again, unfortunate statements by authorities whose function should be restricted to evaluating the environmental impact of projects, not to expressing a diffuse interest in urban problems that they do not know or understand, or to qualify, in a different order of importance, state problems about which they seem not to be aware. be, even, aware. If so, it is inexplicable that the institution does not promote, favor or qualify as environmentally important projects that use renewable energy in a state like Yucatán or projects that end the contamination of aquifers such as the drainage of the city of Mérida, or pollution from pig farms, cattle ranching, or air pollution from electricity-producing plants or the iron and steel industry. Or coherently promote the sustainability of an agriculture that does not produce for local needs. What a character! [4]

Let's clarify what to do

The term "impact", included in both the MIA and the EIA, must include alterations in ecological aspects, as well as the effects on natural resources and on the components, structure and functioning of the affected ecosystems, as well as aesthetic aspects, historical, social or related to public health, whether direct, indirect or cumulative.

Thus, first, the impact must be caused by the physical alteration that the project causes. This means that economic or social aspects should not be understood by themselves as likely to require a Manifestation and Environmental Impact Assessment although they must be analyzed in the global context of an assessment, especially insofar as they are interrelated with natural or physical effects. Thus, if the holder of the Semanart with "important for Mérida" refers to social or economic aspects, they are not in the first place in the EIA. [5]

Thus, it should be noted that although some impacts such as unemployment or recession usually indirectly produce alterations in the environment, such as large urban concentrations, uneven development, and pollution are not (unfortunately) considered environmental by legislation, and are not will therefore require an MIA and its EIA. The concept used by the legislation expresses that the alteration must be caused by any form of matter or energy resulting from human activities. [6]

Therefore, the EIA as an analytical and assessment procedure by the government authority of the proposed project, is a system that provides for the presentation of a Manifestation or Environmental Impact Study by the proponent , and a subsequent detailed evaluation of the same by the corresponding authority of the environmental consequences and effectsThis task is called Environmental Impact Assessment, in the legislation.

The EIA NO It consists of making statements of the impacts presented by the proponent but rather in an evaluation study or detailed review of the study presented, where the authority is not limited to what the proponent's study says, but rather requires everything necessary to preserve the environment in a country that it doesn't exactly stand out for doing it. Even in the event that another authority is the one who presents the MIA. Thus the impact studies presented by the proponent are important parts of the EIA procedure, but parts nonetheless.

Who should carry out and pay for the environmental impact study? The study must necessarily be prepared by the proponent of the work or project, by himself or by third parties, being feasible the hiring of a consultant, (in this case COPREMIA SCP consulting firm whose electronic page is not accessible and about which it is not possible to assess its capacity) [7]. This study, which is part of the EIA, must be presented and paid for by the proponent, and generally have the following contents:

- A detailed description of the project or activity to be carried out and its alternatives.
- Environmental diagnosis of the area of ​​geographical influence.
- A description and analysis of those significant environmental effects or impacts of the project, and its alternatives.
- The measures to be adopted to eliminate or minimize adverse effects.
- Follow-up, monitoring, and contingency plans.

Once the commented evaluation (EIA) has been carried out, the governmental body with competence in environmental matters is issued by means of technical reports or by means of an act that is usually called the Environmental Impact Statement (EIA), which can be defined as the resulting opinion of the review procedure of the environmental impact study, by which the impact statement is made by the competent environmental body. They can give in the same act jointly or separately, both the technical opinion and his own administrative declaration act. [8]

From the Unfortunate Statements to the Analysis of the Executive Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement Presented by the State Government

First, some considerations about the categorization of impacts, which in order to be considered in the evolution procedure are divided between direct, indirect and cumulative impacts.

Direct and Indirect Impacts

Not only should the direct hits, but also those indirect or cumulative. The impacts direct are defined by the aforementioned as the effects caused by the proposed project at the same time and place, as impacts indirect are those that are caused by the most extensive action and will be observed temporarily late or spatially at a greater distance, but they are reasonably predictable.

Cumulative Impacts

The impacts cumulative They must be estimated above all because, since they may be smaller individually, they could become significant in the course of time or distance. Thus, a cumulative impact is one that results from the incremental impacts of a work, since it is added to other past, present or reasonably foreseeable future projects, regardless of the person or agents who are carrying out or have carried out those actions. [9]

As an example, we can cite the induction of growth that would cause the construction, expansion or paving of a highway, an airport, or both, in urban settlements and rural communities near it, or to develop in the area with its consequent modifications in cultural and socioeconomic habits.

On the cumulative impacts the Executive Summary of the Environmental Impact Manifesto, Regional Modality,It says absolutely nothing, which is striking, since as a regional modality, it should include aspects such as the proximity of the urban development of Caucel, and the future and foreseeable developments of service infrastructure that will be developed around the airport: hotels ?, motels ?, shopping centers ?, roads ?, highways ?, convention centers ?, etc. [10]

Neither is it described the impacts of the settlement of the runways and of each and every one of the complex functions that are carried out in an airport, from the maintenance of the aircraft to their repair and tuning, nothing is said. There is not even a complete list of chemical substances that will be present both in the construction stage and in the operation itself.

The Executive Summary gives the impression that there is no project behind the presentation of the Environmental Impact Statement, but rather a preliminary project with definitions of approximate surfaces and functions still in the process of being defined and imprecise. The point is that With just a preliminary project, the environmental consequences of such a work cannot be evaluated. Without a greater definition regarding each and every one of the activities that will take place there, the set of substances involved, environments, distances and relation of premises, it is impossible to anticipate effects and consequences of the airport itself. Not to mention the cumulative regional impact about which the Manifesto doesn't even hint at anything.

In the Environmental Impact Assessment process, at least three types of cumulative effects must be considered, when there are possibilities of their occurrence; These are the combination of the effects of more than one project being carried out simultaneously, the combination of small effects that result from a large impact, and the combined effects of projects that are considered over a period of time.

To illustrate with an example, the scope of these impacts on the facts, in a US jurisprudential case " Natural Resources Defense Council v. Hodel", the court determined that, with respect to the effects of a plan for the exploration and exploitation of oil" off shore "between the coasts of California and Alaska, although individually evaluated each of the projects or works did not entail significant impacts, considered in as a whole and in full, it was determined that they would be harmful to migratory species of marine fauna. [11] Don't hide the entire project! Do not evaluate the environmental impacts dissociated in time! The negative consequences will be added by nature even if you section them documentary!

This limitation in the Environmental Impact Manifesto presented as a result of the intention to build a new airport in the Hunucmá area is one of the fundamental issues that the Environmental Impact Assessment should study in detail if there are details in this regard. [12]

Where should the Evaluation Procedure end?

What should the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the authority contain to allow the identification and prevention of these negative effects? The competent environmental body must issue a detailed statement that contains:

-The environmental impact of the projected action.
-The negative environmental effects that could not be avoided if the project were carried out.
-Alternatives to the proposed action
-The relationships between local and short-term use of the environment and the maintenance of long-term productivity.
-The irreversible and irrecoverable allocation of resources that the projected action would suppose to be carried out (cost-benefit analysis).

The stages that this procedure will generally cover consist of:

- The presentation of a minimum baseline study, from which two lines will eventually emerge, either that it does not have significant effects, or that the study that the following point accounts for must be carried out.
- The presentation of a detailed environmental impact study by the proponent, excluding or complementary to the initial study mentioned in the previous point, which can be given as a consequence of the classification of the project according to this minimum base study, or directly and without the need for it, as provided by the respective legislation.
- Circulation of the draft study or impact statement, for the purpose of including comments by other organizations involved and by the affected public, and a public hearing, optional or mandatory, may also be held, as the case may be.
- Declaration of Environmental Impact by the competent environmental body, which, after considering the comments made to the draft, will give the necessary elements to the authority with substantive competence for the total, partial or conditional approval or denial of the proposal.

We understand that these are the objectives and steps that must be taken sequentially and necessary to authorize a project or work likely to produce negative and significant environmental effects, and that they are the substantial elements to be taken into account to evaluate the effectiveness of the security system. EIA adopted.

What is the most salient difference between the Environmental Impact Assessment and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)? In that the EIA is a procedure that includes and encompasses the EIA, understood as the declarative document emanating from the environmental authority that constitutes one of the possibilities of conclusion of an EIA. Every DIA will inevitably be dictated within the sequential EIA procedure, not in superficial statements to the press.


An important issue to consider is whether the procedure applies to both public and private projects. It is clear that both public and private projects can significantly affect the environment; however, some regimes began to apply this procedure only when it comes to public projects.

However, the procedures for public participation and proposing alternatives for a public project will almost always have additional connotations than in the case of private projects. This is so because there are issues that remain out of the discussion if the private proponent is, for example, an oil exploitation company, since they cannot then be discussed. alternatives related to the nature of the project. In the case of the government proponent, yes. As the project comes from a state initiative and is made with public money, the public interest or the satisfaction of the common good must be satisfied in a primary way. Otherwise, the very nature of the project will be up for discussion.

However, in an adequate environmental management system, the environmental impact assessment may well lead to the presentation of alternatives that change the nature of the project.

Description of the Work or Project and its Alternatives

This description of the work or project consists of the set of data capable of determining both individually and jointly eventual environmental impacts. As an example, we can affirm that the location of the project and its alternatives would allow inferring both the effects on the ecosystems and the global impacts. On the other hand, if we add the labor to be used to that information, we could plan the population development induced by the project and its different variants, such as housing, power supply, etc.

Most of the Latin laws establish in general lines that the description of the project must contain the data that we will observe below, which synthesizes the requirements of the Spanish, Brazilian, Venezuelan, Colombian, Chilean, Uruguayan, Paraguayan and Mexican regimes: identification of the proposed activity, technological and location alternatives, construction and operation phases, labor, raw materials, energy sources, probable effluents, emissions and toxic waste. In short, a development that must not only consider economic variables and that must contain a coherent and consistent structure of sustainability.

A great contribution to environmental analysis is constituted by the pressure or obligation to which those who plan, those who carry out the project and who ultimately decide its approval or rejection are subjected: it is about protecting the environment in a state that has already disturbed the greatest part of its territory the current obligation consists of seriously considering projects or works that contribute to a sustainable development that avoids, not that justifies, the destruction of the environment. [13]

The incorporation of alternatives to a project that is likely to cause significant impacts is one of the fundamental points of an EIA, since it can avoid delays or cancellation of a project at an advanced stage, as well as being able to save human and material resources. Perhaps this is why the proponent and stakeholders are quick to define as “not significant” the impacts that the project is supposed to have. As is to be expected in the Executive Summary presented by the proponent, the term “insignificant” appears dozens and dozens of times in just 50 pages.

However, the sustainability characteristics of a project are not saved with literary or semantic exercises. El Resumen Ejecutivo hace maravillas para postular que lo significativo es en verdad poco significativo, nos dice: que no hay especies en peligro de extinción al mismo tiempo que menciona al venado cola blanca; que será poco significativo desplazar más de 7 y medio millones de metros cúbicos de material del lugar, equivalentes a un prisma de un kilómetro de lado y siete metros y medio de profundidad; que un área de más de 1,002 hectáreas removida de vegetación no es mucho; que allí no existen vestigios arqueológicos cuando otros afirman que sí; que los terrenos son de carácter ejidal y fueron adquiridos por el Gobierno del Estado cuando en verdad fueron adquiridos de un tercero despojadas, supuestamente, de su carácter ejidal; que los terrenos carecen de uso actual cuando en verdad están en proceso de regeneración y usados por miles de especies; que durante la construcción se pueden mencionar pinturas, thinner y algunos químicos cuando en toda construcción hay un espectro amplísimo de productos químicos; que los residuos serán trasladados al relleno sanitario de la ciudad de Mérida durante la construcción y la operación; que las únicas especies que menciona son, las protegidas y las comerciales ignorando todas las demás; que como por arte de magia 197 impactos negativos entre temporales y permanentes desaparecen misteriosamente en la poca significancia; que considera como impacto positivo temporal la pérdida de especies vegetales protegidas porque no ha encontrado allí ninguna, otros las acabaron antes y ellos lo asumen como positivo; en fin, todo sugiere, en cuanto se apega a la descripción exigida por ley, que la obra conlleva impactos significativos en el contexto de un estado que dispone ya casi exclusivamente de áreas perturbadas.

Uno de los tipos más usuales de alternativas es en razón del lugar, donde se deben contemplar los distintos lugares donde el proyecto puede llevarse a cabo, siendo uno de los ejemplos más comunes la construcción de una autopista, la que podría ser realizada en rutas diferentes, analizando los impactos potenciales que acarrearían una u otra propuesta. Distinto sería el caso de la construcción de una represa hidroeléctrica donde el lugar estaría supeditado a un preciso lugar de embalse, que reduce las posibilidades de establecer una alternativa en razón de lugar. En el caso de un aeropuerto, si fuera necesario destruir el uno que funciona y que ya destruyó ambiente natural y construir uno nuevo que volverá a destruir naturaleza en regeneración, la razón del lugar deberá considerarse como primordial.

Aún si fuera cierto que el aeropuerto es un obstáculo para el desarrollo urbano de Mérida, cuestión que no está urbanisticamente sustentada, antes que refuncionalizar el viejo aeropuerto y construir uno nuevo, sería mejor garantizar y proveer a la gente viviendas de calidad allí o en otro lugar, por ejemplo en el desarrollo urbano de Caucel.

De esa manera mejoraríamos las condiciones de vida de la gente sin destruir más naturaleza al mismo tiempo que generaríamos nuevas y mejores condiciones urbanas en y alrededor del aeropuerto actualizando su funcionamiento en consonancia con criterios ambientales que no fueron considerados en su época de construcción. Alternativa que hasta podría ser menos costosa y que con intervenciones urbanísticas quirúrgicamente precisas y pensadas en detalle mejore las condiciones de habitabilidad de la zona.

En términos urbanísticos es falso sostener que la única forma de mejorar dichas condiciones en la zona sea mudar el aeropuerto. El proceso urbanístico que ha conducido a la actual situación sigue latente, en toda su complejidad, y huir más allá sólo extiende el problema más allá, como ha acontecido hasta ahora. La garantía de que las autoridades de la ciudad adquieran el control del desarrollo urbano no reside en el cambio de lugar del aeropuerto.

Lo urbano no es más que una expresión de una dinámica social hecha cultura. La necesidad que sigue estando sin resolución no es el cambio de lugar del aeropuerto sino el cambio de un patrón de desarrollo urbano perteneciente a la época colonial por uno acorde a las condiciones actuales y futuras. ¡Y éste no es sólo un debate mezquinamente urbanístico!

* Miembros activos del Foro Permanente p or la Defensa de Nuestros Ecosistemas Peninsulares

[1] En la actualidad se cuenta con una LGEEPA publicada en 1988 y modificada conforme al decreto publicado el 13 de diciembre de 1996, que en su artículo 28 señala que “la evaluación del Impacto Ambiental es el procedimiento a través del cual la Secretaría define las condiciones a que se sujetará la realización de obras y actividades que puedan causar desequilibrio ecológico o rebasar los límites y condiciones establecidas en las disposiciones aplicables para proteger el ambiente y preservar y restaurar los ecosistemas con el fin de evitar o reducir al mínimo sus efectos negativos sobre el ambiente”.
[2] En el transcurso de 1999 se impulsaron los trabajos relacionados con las modificaciones al reglamento actualmente en vigor; a pesar de que el nuevo reglamento pretende superar al anterior, valdría la pena tener presente la máxima que reza que toda obra humana es perfectible, a efecto de desarrollar aquellos mecanismos o procedimientos que brinden, tanto a los industriales, académicos y grupos ambientalistas, así como a la sociedad civil en general, la certidumbre suficiente para considerar que un proyecto se autorizó o rechazó porque efectivamente así debió resolver, y no porque la premisa que sustentó la decisión fue una presión o elemento ajeno al procedimiento.
[3] Por suerte en el Reglamento de la LGEEPA se mantiene el derecho de toda persona, grupo social u organización no gubernamental, de presentar la llamada denuncia popular para que pueda sustanciarse en términos del capítulo VII del titulo sexto de la misma Ley. Cualquier interesado tendrá la capacidad de proponer el establecimiento de medidas de prevención y mitigación, así como de elaborar observaciones respecto a los proyectos sometidos a consulta pública. Aunado a lo anterior, del contenido del nuevo reglamento se desprende la obligación de la Secretaría de consignar en la resolución el proceso de consulta y los resultados de las observaciones y propuestas.
[4] La Semarnat de Cárdenas y la Profepa de Luege, toleraron la construcción ilegalmente autorizada del desarrollo Mayan Palace en Playa del Carmen, con 3,000 habitaciones en lugar de las 700 permitidas y con la destrucción de 90% de la cobertura vegetal, en violación de una multitud de disposiciones legales y con la escandalosa corrupción de numerosos funcionarios, muchos de los cuales permanecen impunes. También la Semarnat de cárdenas y la Profepa de Luege han persistido en mantener la largamente protegida impunidad de PEMEX en diversos casos de derrames contaminantes en perjuicio de varios ecosistemas y especies en el país.
[5]El reglamento pretende desarrollar un procedimiento especial de participación pública. Una vez integrado el expediente relativo a la evaluación del impacto ambiental, puede consultarse por cualquier persona durante horas y días hábiles. Las personas de la comunidad donde pretenda realizarse la obra sujeta a evaluación de impacto ambiental, pueden solicitar por escrito y explicando su petición, la realización de una consulta pública sobre los proyectos sometidos a consideración de la autoridad mediante manifestaciones de impacto ambiental. Posteriormente, la autoridad tiene un plazo de cinco días para notificar si da o no inicio a la consulta pública solicitada.
[6] Aunque ello en modo alguno implica desconocer las variables ambientales en los procesos de planificación económica, existen innumerables medidas estructurales, que acarrean un impacto físico que repercute en el ambiente y la calidad de vida de todos los componentes bióticos. El aumento del parque automotor en una ciudad, requerirá indefectiblemente un análisis desde el punto de vista ambiental en cuanto a la capacidad del medio receptor de asimilar mayores emisiones de CO2, aunque la legislación no prevea una MIA y su respectiva EIA.
[7] Entre los pocos datos que se pueden conseguir sobre COPREMIA se encuentra esta diatriba racista y clasista de su Directora la Biol. Patricia Piña: “Si bien es cierto que la repartición de los recursos no ha sido eficiente en muchos países por múltiples motivos que no mencionaré, también es cierto que las oportunidades existen en nuestro país y que muchísimos mexicanos no las queremos aprovechar y saben por qué: por flojos, por que aplicamos la ley del mínimo esfuerzo, porque somos problemáticos y no trabajamos en conjunto y porque muchas veces creemos merecer más de lo que nos ofrecen sin pensar que hay que empezar desde abajo esforzándonos y siendo disciplinados, creativos y positivos. Comento esto pues me he topado en varias ocasiones con experiencias, en donde se les da la oportunidad a profesionistas y gente de campo y no lo aprovechan. Es sinceramente lamentable el estado en el que se encuentra la autoestima de nuestra gente y aunque Fox quiera cambiar toda esta porquería los mexicanos no lo consideran. Hay que trabajar más, crear más y apoyarnos. Consultores en Prevención y Mitigación de Impactos TOmbientales S.C.P.
[8] Una disposición relevante que podemos encontrar en el texto del nuevo reglamento es la que permite a la autoridad exigir que el promovente proporcione seguros y garantías para garantizar el cumplimiento de las condiciones estipuladas en las autorizaciones de impacto ambiental, siempre y cuando durante la realización de las obras puedan ocasionarse daños graves a los ecosistemas;
[9] Muy ladinamente el Resumen Ejecutivo del MIA presentado informa que se prevé la construcción de una carretera, perdón, textualmente dice una ¡ supercarretera! … pero que “los impactos producidos por tal obra no se evalúan en el presente documento” . Supercarretera = cero impacto, una nueva matemática basada en las telenovelas muestra los impactos ambientales como episodios llenos de suspenso: al final, destrucción total.
[10] En principio, el proyecto contempla la existencia de dos modalidades de los estudios de impacto ambiental: regional y particular; en tanto especifica los casos en que proceden uno y otro, para lo cual se emplea la siguiente fórmula: deben presentarse los estudios en su modalidad regional cuando se trate de parques industriales y acuícolas, granjas acuícolas de más de 500 ha, carreteras y vías férreas, proyectos de generación de energía nuclear, presas y en general proyectos que alteren las cuencas hidrológicas; un conjunto de obras o actividades incluidas en un plan o programa parcial de desarrollo urbano o de ordenamiento ecológico que sea sometido a consideración de la Secretaría; un grupo de proyectos de obras y actividades que pretendan realizarse en una región ecológica determinada, y proyectos en sitios en los que por su interacción con los componentes ambientales regionales, y por los que se prevean impactos acumulativos, sinérgicos o residuales que pudieran ocasionar la destrucción, el aislamiento o la fragmentación de los ecosistemas. En todos los demás casos, la manifestación deberá presentarse en su modalidad particular.
[11] Por ello la autoridad ambiental no puede aceptar la lógica expuesta en el MIA, a saber ,“los impactos producidos por tal obra (supercarretera) no se evalúan en este documento, por lo cual será necesario un estudio independiente.” Se trata de análisis de ecosistemas, ¡zopencos!, de estudiar las relaciones entre las partes, no de elegir a conveniencia para engañar, con mala fe, a una ciudadanía que quiere conocer los impactos de TODO el proyecto, según la ley lo determina.
[12] Como complemento de lo anterior y con la finalidad de no retardar el procedimiento de evaluación de impacto ambiental, el artículo 21 del reglamento señala que la autoridad podrá solicitar datos adicionales, en caso de que la manifestación de impacto ambiental presente insuficiencias que impidan la evaluación del proyecto.
[13] Aún en caso de emitirse la autorización en materia de evaluación de impacto ambiental, el promovente estará obligado a dar aviso a la Secretaría acerca de las modificaciones de las obras o actividades y en un término de diez días ésta deberá determinar si es necesaria la presentación de una nueva manifestación al respecto, si las modificaciones no afectan el contenido de la autorización, o bien, si es necesario cambiar la aprobación para imponer nuevas condiciones al proyecto.


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