The Court for Environmental Issues approves the action for annulment of the positive assessment of the Dominga Project

The article "Tribunal Ambiental admite acción que busca anular calificación favorable del proyecto Dominga" – was published in the Chilean monthly El Ciudadano, based in Recoleta, Santiago.

Santiago, October 2022

The First Court for Environmental Issues of Antofagasta, Northern Chile, has allowed an action for annulment, the aim of which is to invalidate the decision by which the SEA (Environmental Impact Assessment Service) classified the controversial Dominga Mining and Port Project as environmentally-friendly. The citizen was entitled to file a lawsuit, because she had submitted comments during the environmental impact assessment procedure. She wants to prove that the procedure of the Regional Evaluation Commission (COEVA) is ineffective or illegal.

The reason for the lawsuit refers to the "Humboldt Penguin National Reserve", which is not only located in the Coquimbo region, but also in the Atacama region. Consequently, according to the plaintiff, the project should have been reviewed by the National Environmental Impact Assessment Agency and not by the Regional Commission.

In this regard the plaintiff points out that it should have been taken into account that "the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve" represents a unique, coherent ecosystem, the territory of which cannot be divided."

Therefore, due to the obvious biregionality of the project, the Environmental Impact Assessment Authority of the Coquimbo Region should have refrained from continuing the assessment until the central authority has submitted its opinion.

Moreover, it is argued that the state, and in particular the Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, "have to assume a guarantor position towards areas and ecosystems of ecological value that constitute a national natural heritage.

For this reason, they are obliged to protect these areas and ecosystems through the process of environmental impact assessments."

translated by Angelika Veelken

Note: The article reproduces the content of the press release of the First Environmental Court of Antofagasta of October 4 and was disseminated not only by El Ciudadano but by almost all media.

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