The Supreme Court of Chile determined that the list of projects enumerated in the EIA regulations is not exhaustive, that any project that causes negative environmental impacts may be subject to citizen participation procedures, and that Mina Invierno’s project to incorporate blasting methods will cause negative environmental impacts and, therefore, may be subject to citizen participation procedures. Thus, the Supreme Court declared invalid the administrative resolutions that rejected the petitions for citizen participation procedures for the project to incorporate blasting methods and ordered the EIA process for said project to be subject to citizen participation procedures.
The District Court vacated the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s determination that SMCRA does not require permit termination when surface coal mining operations have not commenced within three years of permit issuance and no valid permit extension has been granted.
In 2016, an Administrative Law Judge recommended the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopt the Federal Social Cost of Carbon (FSCC) established by the EPA should to determine the environmental cost values of burning coal in Minnesota. NOTE: This decision is only a recommendation that the PUC is not obligated to follow.
An association representing fisher people who would be impacted by a 4,150 MW coal-fired power plant planned for an Indian coast town filed a complaint with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) raising concerns about IFC policy violations in the implementation of the project.
In its 2013 Audit and 2015 monitoring report, the CAO found several violations of IFC safeguard policies.
Among other findings, the CAO found that the IFC failed to ensure that consultation carried out as part of the environmental and social analysis constituted “effective consultation.” The CAO explained “[t]his lack of effective consultation with fishing communities early in the project cycle resulted in missed opportunities to assess, avoid and reduce potential adverse impacts of the project and to examine technically and financially feasible alternatives to the sources of adverse impacts[.]” In addition, the inadequate consultation and disclosure “hindered efforts to build and maintain over time a constructive relationship with project affected communities.”
In addition, the CAO found that the IFC’s environmental and social assessments “were not commensurate to risk,” failed to adequately review marine impact, and failed to adequately determine cumulative impacts.
The CAO also found the “IFC did not take the steps necessary to ensure that the application of [Performance Standard] 5 (Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement) in relation to the complainants was properly assessed.”
Finally, the CAO determined that the IFC also failed to ensure World Bank Thermal Power Guidelines were applied properly.
The 2015 Report notes that the IFC has taken some steps to rectify problems raised in the Audit, but the CAO concludes that these steps are not “sufficient to address the findings of the audit at this stage.” Due to the continued violation of IFC policies, the CAO has kept the audit open for continued monitoring.
Tribunal quashed the environmental clearance issued for a coal-fired power plant for failure to prepare an adequate cumulative impact assessment. “Rapid” assessment submitted by power company did not provide a comprehensive view of the impacts.
National Green Tribunal overturned an environmental clearance issued for a coal-fired power plant proposed by India’s largest thermal power producer. The Tribunal found that environmental information had been concealed and misrepresented, and the EIA and public participation processes were faulty.
The district court determined it was unreasonable for agencies to quantify the benefits of lease modifications for coal mining and then explain that a similar analysis of the costs of GHG emissions and climate impacts was impossible when such an analysis was in fact possible due to the availability of the Social Cost of Carbon Protocol, even if the cost-benefit analysis was not required by law. Thus, the court set aside the government authorizations of the proposed expansion of coal mining operations and ordered the intervening mining companies to stop exploration activities.