If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:
Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.
We welcome your questions and comments.
Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
María L. González Hernández
Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS
PUBLIC HEARING ON NEW ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW REGULATION
The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is proposing a new regulation for the environmental impact review process of Article 4(B)(3) of the Environmental Public Policy Act, Act 416-2004, as amended. EQB will hold public hearings on the proposed Environmental Review Process Regulation on July 14, 2015.
The proposed regulation acknowledges that the environmental planning process is a sui generis informal proceeding that must guarantee strict compliance with Puerto Rico’s environmental public policy. Compliance with the environmental public policy shall ensure the general welfare, self-sustained healthy natural systems, and the coexistence of human beings and nature in productive harmony. The proposed regulation addresses project fragmentation, mitigation measures, and violations to agency compliance determinations, among others. Under the proposed regulation, the Permits Management Office (and in certain instances, EQB) will administer and evaluate environmental documents and categorical exclusions and will issue the determination of compliance with the environmental review process.
The proposed regulation will repeal the Environmental Quality Board Regulation for the Evaluation and Procedures of Environmental Documents, Regulation No. 7948 of November 30, 2010.
HOUSE BILL REORGANIZES THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES
On May 20, 2015, the Puerto Rico House of Representatives introduced House Bill 2491 to enact a new Department of Natural and Environmental Resources organic act and repeal Act 23 of June 20, 1972, as amended, and Reorganization Plan No. 1-1993, as amended.
The House Bill proposes to: (1) consolidate the Natural Resources Administration with the Department, (2) dissolve the Corporation of Mineral Resources Development (CODREMI by its Spanish acronym), and to (3) establish the Energy Affairs Administration as a government instrumentality separate from the Department. According to the House Bill, these changes will reduce public expenses. The Bill was referred to the Government and Treasury and Budget Commissions.
VARIANCE MECHANISM FOR HAZARDOUS SECONDARY MATERIALS AND SOLVENT CONTAMINATED WIPES
On May 26, 2015, EQB issued Resolution R-15-7-1 establishing a variance mechanism for generators of hazardous secondary materials considered hazardous wastes by EQB’s Regulation for Hazardous Solid Wastes (Regulation No. 2863), although excluded as hazardous wastes by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 40 CFR Parts 260, 261, and 270. Resolution R-15-7-1 establishes the requirements to submit a variance from EQB's hazardous waste regulatory requirements for: (1) hazardous secondary materials excluded by EPA as hazardous wastes in Parts 261.4(a)(23), (24), (25) of 40 CFR, or (2) solvent contaminated wipes defined in Parts 260.10, 260.4(a)(26), and 261.4(b)(18).
Resolution R-15-7-1 rescinded previous Resolution R-11-11-1 of 2011.
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©2016 Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. This Watch has been prepared by Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information does not create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers. Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and its members assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to the matters discussed in this publication.
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