General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (“LGEEPA”)

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Dear Clients and Friends:

In Mexico, the preservation and restoration of the ecological balance, as well as the protection of the environment, is guaranteed by the Constitution and regulated by the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (“LGEEPA”), which is of public order and social interest and has the purpose to promote sustainable development and establish the bases to guarantee the right of every person to live in a healthy environment for their development, health and well-being, as well as for the preservation, restoration and improvement of the environment.

In order to provide greater protection to coastal ecosystems, on April 23, 2018 the aforementioned LGEEPA was amended, adding what for the purposes of said law should be understood as “coastal ecosystems”.

“Coastal ecosystems: beaches, coastal dunes, cliffs, intertidal strips; coastal wetlands such as the interdunarias lagoons (among dunes), coastal lagoons, estuaries, marshes, swamps, mangroves, petenes, oases, cenotes, grasslands, palm trees and flooded forests; coral reefs; ecosystems formed by communities of macroalgae and seagrass, seafloor or benthos and rocky coasts. These are characterized by being located in the coastal area and can be comprised by marine, aquatic or terrestrial portions; that are in the sea from a depth of less than 200 meters, up to 100 km inland or 50 m elevation.

The Ministry, in collaboration with the states and municipalities, will determine the national coastal area taking into consideration the physiographic and biological interactions particular of each zone and shall be published in the Federal Official Gazette through Agreement.”

Besides, in accordance with the foregoing, subsection h) of fraction III, of article 11, was amended; as well as section X, of article 28, both of the above-mentioned law, articles discuss with the cases in which evaluation and authorization is required in terms of environmental impact and the cases in which the Federation can enter into agreements or coordination agreements with the Federal entities, Municipalities or Mexico City.

Due to the legal gap that existed even before the referred amendment, as to what was considered “coastal ecosystem”, there were conflicts of competence of the authorities in relation to the authorization in terms of environmental impact.

Now, as a consequence of the aforementioned reform that came in into effect on April 24, 2018, those who currently intend to carry out real estate developments as well as construction works and activities in zones that are comprised in the definition of coastal ecosystems, shall require prior environmental impact authorization by the Ministry of Environmental Impact and Natural Resources, i.e., Cities, Municipalities or  Mexico City, shall not have the authority to assess the environmental impact nor issue the authorization regarding said works and activities.

 

 

Note: This document is a summary with disclosure purposes only. For any comments regarding this release, please contact any member or attorney of Consulbaja S.C.

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