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Environmental Approaches during Planning and Construction Stages of Hydropower Projects in Mexico

DOI: 10.4236/jep.2015.610106, PP. 1186-1195

Keywords: Environment, Hydro, Project, Requirement, Mexico

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Abstract:

During the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure (EIA) for hydropower projects, apart from the compliance with environmental standards and regulations, important environmental and ecosystem changes are foreseen from planning and construction stages. In Mexico, the EIA and environmental standards are being systematically applied and fulfilled at planning and construction stages for hydropower projects. These are mainly related to control air emissions, solid and hazardous wastes, water discharges and deal with protected species. In addition, due to land use changes, forestry compensation procedures have already been established. To comply with project approval conditions, an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is carried out during construction; it includes mitigation measures, standards, regulations and approval conditions resulting of project review and in some cases requests from the public audience. Monitoring is carried out in the area of influence that is in the works and where it is expected that natural processes are modified. However, indicators to track these changes are minimal. This paper analyzes the regulatory and organizational frameworks to address environmental management during the planning and construction of hydropower facilities in Mexico and gives recommendations to expand the scope of the supervision and management of ecosystem changes.

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