Licenses, authorizations and documents are required prior to the beginning of works in Brazil. In this article, learn more about EIA/RIMA reports and when they are required.
What is an EIA/RIMA?
EIA/RIMA stand for two different documents which are necessary in the performance of some activities. EIA is the abbreviation for Estudo de Impacto Ambiental, or study of environmental impact, while RIMA stands for Relatório de Impacto Ambiental, or report on environmental impact. They must be presented in the first stage of the licensing process, the Licença Prévia.
What is EIA/RIMA's purpose?
Having a social-economic and environmental diagnosis as starting point, EIA/RIMA makes a prognostic of the work consequences, and suggests measures to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive ones as well. EIA and RIMA are complementary documents, the reason why they are always mentioned together.
While EIA is a set of technical reports destined to instruct the licensing process, RIMA is the document which reproduces EIA's conclusions, but, in an accessible and easy language. RIMA's purpose is to inform the common public.
What does EIA Include?
EIA encompasses, at least:
- The description of actions and projects and their alternatives, in the stages of planning, building and operating. It may also include information about the deactivation, in case it is a short-term project.
- Environmental diagnosis of the area.
- Identification, measurement, and value of the impacts.
- Comparison of the alternatives and forecast about the future environmental situation in the area, in cases where each one of the alternatives is put in practice, and also in case the work is not performed.
- Identification of the mitigating measures, the ones taken in order to prevent negative impacts or to decrease them.
- Projects the environmental management of the work, which includes the monitoring of impacts.
- Preparation of RIMA.
Who Can Elaborate an EIA?
Only qualified multidisciplinary teams can elaborate the study of environmental impact. This team cannot be directly or indirectly dependent on the people who proposed the project, and it will be technically responsible for the presented results.
In which cases is EIA/RIMA required?
EIA/RIMA has to be presented when there is licensing ampliation, installation, and activities related to the following items:
- Roads with two or more roadways.
- Ports and terminal for ore, oil, and chemical products.
- Oil pipelines, gas pipelines, mining pipeline, marine outfalls of sanitary and industrial sewer systems.
- Transmission lines of electric energy, whose capacity is greater than 230kV.
- Barrages, electric power plants (regardless of what the primary source is), whose capacity is greater than 10mW.
- Fossil fuel extraction (oil, schist, coal).
- Mineral extraction, including sand.
- Opening and drainage of navigation channels, drainage channels, and irrigation channels, correction of water courses, construction of levees, transposition of water.
- Landfills, processing and final destination of toxic or dangerous wastes.
- Petrochemical and fluorochemical complexes, ferrous metallurgy, ethanol plants.
- Industrial districts and ZEI or Zonas Estritamente Industriais, which are strictly industrial zones.
- Projects of urban development and economic exploitation of wood in:
- Areas greater than 50 hectares.
- Smaller areas that confront conservation units.
- Areas of special or environmental interest.
- Agricultural projects in:
- Areas greater than 200 hectares.
- Smaller areas that are partially or fully situated in areas of special or environmental interest.
- Any activity that involves more than 10 tons of charcoal, its products, or similar products.