Ecuador: Environmental Regulation For Electrical Activities (Presidential Decree No. 1761/Official Gazette No. 396 of August 23, 2001)

Last Updated: 10 September 2001

The Regulation defines the environmental procedures and measures applicable in the Electrical Sector for electrical power generation, transmission and distribution, in all of their phases (construction, operation, maintenance and phase-out) in order to prevent, control, mitigate and/or compensate adverse environmental impact and to enforce the measures necessary to cause the least environmental impact. Specifically, the Regulation contains rules related to Environmental Impact Studies and Environmental Management Plans (requirements for the issuance of Environmental Licenses granted by the Ministry of the Environment) and Environmental Audits and other control and prevention duties undertaken by CONELEC, as the authority in charge of environmental issues in the electrical sector.

Appropriate Entity: CONELEC, in concordance with the local environmental policy issued by the President of the Republic and based on the Law (Environmental Management Law, Ministry of the Environment), will define the environmental policies applicable to the electrical sector. For this purpose, CONELEC must consider the identification and estimate of environmental impacts that will be caused by the application of Ecuador’s Electrification Plan, programs and projects, as well as the strategies to attenuate negative impacts while promoting positive effects and to incorporate effective strategies for the protection of the quality and quantity of natural resources.

Obligations of concessionaires, permit holders and licensees of the electrical sector:

  • Submit for the consideration and qualification of CONELEC an Environmental Impact Study (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for new projects, work or facilities. Once approved by CONELEC, the interested party submits the Definitive Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) to the Ministry of the Environment for the issuance of the Environmental License;

  • In their operations, implement processes, activities, technologies and methods that attenuate and, to the extent possible, prevent the magnitude of adverse environmental impacts;

  • Develop environmental and informative training as well as job security programs in benefit of every level of their staffs. Electrical power distribution companies are required to establish and maintain permanent training and communications programs addressed to users so as to promote usage efficiency and energy conservation;

  • Effect environmental monitoring anticipated in the Environmental Management Plan and conduct internal environmental audits, and submit the findings thereof for the consideration of CONELEC and when required by the Ministry of the Environment;

  • Facilitate access to the information needed for independent audits made directly by CONELEC or through third parties; permit and cooperate with the inspections necessary for the verification of compliance of environmental rules;

  • Submit the information required by the Ministry of the Environment; and,

  • Submit any other information or documentation required by CONELEC in application of the Electrical Sector Regime Law and regulations.

Environmental Protection Rules: The Regulation contains some rules related to environmental protection measures:

Submission Clause: Submission to legislation in effect must be stipulated in concession contracts, permits or licenses for the electrical sector.

Permissible limits and other parameters: Natural or juridical persons authorized by CONELEC to engage in electrical power generation, transmission or distribution are required to take technical and operative measures to ensure that pollutants in emissions and discharges from their activities do not exceed the permissible limits established in national and sectional rules on environmental protection and contamination control. Pollution includes emissions into the atmosphere, noise levels, discharges into water, soil contamination prevention and control, solid wastes, and other rules on the unauthorized use of pesticides for agricultural use in Ecuador, storage, transportation and marketing of petroleum and petroleum byproducts, the rules of the municipalities in the areas of their jurisdiction and environmental protection ordinances issued by sectional governments.

With respect to the right to lay transmission and distribution lines and/or make other electrical service installations, concessionaires, permit holders and licensees must abide by the provisions contemplated in the Electrification Project-Related Rights and Encumbrances Law (Official Gazette 472 of November 28, 1977).

Technical prevention measures: CONELEC will establish the regulations by observing technical measures so as to avoid environmental impacts, depending on the characteristics of the project, work or installation and the natural conditions of the ecosystems and affected areas. Any measures that cannot be taken must be explained in the Environmental Management Plan (EMP).

Environmental Instruments: Environmental instruments for the development of electrical activities are:

  1. Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP). The object of the EIS is to assess in advance the potential environmental impacts an electrical project, work or installation can pose and to propose the measures to prevent, attenuate and/or compensate adverse impacts while promoting positive impacts. Only electrical power generation projects or work with a total capacity equal to or greater than 1MW, and transmission and distribution lines, at voltage and length levels approved by CONELEC, need to submit an EIA and PMA.
  2. Levels of EIS preparation: The EIS is prepared on two levels: Preliminary and Definitive. In case the interested party has a Definitive EIS, it will not be required to draw up a Preliminary EIS so long as the former contains a thorough analysis on alternatives, including technical and environmental reasons for the selected option.

    Preliminary Environmental Impact Study (PEIS): The PEIS is prepared during the initial phases of electrical project studies. The PEIS must include an initial and basic assessment of the environmental impacts posed by the project and will be a basic tool for decision making with respect to the selection of alternatives concerning both site and technology. In addition, the PEIS must contain a general technical description of the electrical project, baseline, thorough analysis of site or route alternatives and characteristics of the project’s key elements aimed at reducing environmental impacts, identification and basic description of major environmental impact the project will cause for each proposed alternative, and a general description of the project’s Environmental Management Plan.

    Definitive Environmental Impact Study (DEIS): The DEIS is prepared in the advanced stage of electrical project studies. The DEIS must include a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impacts posed by the project and will be a basic tool for decision making with respect to the prevention, mitigation and/or compensation of major adverse impacts and for the promotion of identified positive impacts.

    The DEIS must contain an executive summary, detailed technical description of the electrical project, complete environmental reasons for the alternative concerning the site or route chosen intended at reducing environmental impacts, baseline, definition of areas of direct and indirect influence based on CONELEC’s guidelines, identification, characteristics and assessment of negative and positive impacts with a complete description of impacts considered major, and a detailed Environmental Management Plan.

    The EMP must include the programs and actions for preventing, mitigating, remedying and/or compensating potentially adverse environmental impacts and for promoting the positive impacts of the project during its construction, operation-maintenance and phase-out; environment and job security programs, contingencies and risks, and waste management, including hazardous wastes; project related environmental training programs; a citizen participation program; program monitoring, control and follow-up for evaluating EMP compliance and effectiveness; the budget, schedule and costs of each program and the person in charge of carrying through the EMP.

  3. Environmental Audit (EA): The EA is a tool for assessing the compliance and effectiveness of the EMP, for verifying compliance of applicable environmental rules, and for proposing recommendations during the construction, operation-maintenance and phase-out of electrical power generation, transmission and distribution systems.

Environmental audits are Internal and Independent and are conducted in the frequency contemplated in the Environmental Management Plan. The cost of the audit is paid by the concessionaire, permit holder or licensee, and the results of the environmental audits will be available to the public at large.

For the granting of a contract for a specific concession, permit or license for a new project, besides fulfilling the requirements listed in the Electrical Power Service Concession, Permit and License Regulation, holders of concession certificates, permits or licenses will be required to submit to CONELEC their DEIS for the analysis and approval of CONELEC, along with a certified copy of the authorizations, permits or licenses obtained and required from any other governmental entity with jurisdiction to authorize the use and exploitation of natural resources. These include the license issued by the Ministry of the Environment and a letter of commitment to submit the DEIS to CONELEC.

Special Cases:

Generic Cases: The Ministry of the Environment conducts an analysis of the PEIS and DEIS for projects under a generic concession and issues the corresponding environmental license.

Electrical activities in areas of National Wealth of Protected Natural Areas: Anyone interested in obtaining a concession, permit or license to carry out an electrical power generation, transmission or distribution project located in part or entirely in areas of National Wealth of Protected Natural Areas, the State Wealth of Forests, or Protected Forests and Vegetation, are required to obtain, prior submission of the PEIS with CONELEC, clearance from the Ministry of the Environment.

Hydrographic basin management: Natural or juridical persons holding a concession, permit or license issued by CONELEC for hydroelectric power generation, are required to abide by the provisions established in the Hydrographic Basin Management Plan steered at preserving the quality and quantity of hydric resources. CONELEC will coordinate with the appropriate entities and promote the study and execution of the project through participative processes.

Control and Supervision: CONELEC will oversee the compliance and effectiveness of environmental management plans to be executed by concessionaires, permit holders and licensees, and the environmental obligations established in their contracts, the Electrical Sector Regime Law and regulations, as the case may be. CONELEC will also directly or through third parties conduct independent environmental audits, inspections, monitoring or any other control and overseeing activities.

In case of accidents or acts of God triggered by adverse environmental impacts, the concessionaire, permit holder or licensee will take all the measures included in the Contingency and Risk Program, which must be attached to the Environmental Management Plan, and will immediately inform CONELEC and the Ministry of the Environment.

Accusations filed with CONELEC: Any natural or juridical person can file accusations with CONELEC with respect to environmental pollution or degradation occurring as a result of electrical activities, even when not directly affected by an action or inaction. Furthermore, anyone can file an accusation with CONELEC concerning the nonperformance of environmental management plans during the construction, operation-maintenance or phase-out of generation, transmission and distribution installations. CONELEC has the power to conduct the inspections and environmental audits it deems necessary.

Offenses and penalties: The violation or noncompliance of the rules of the Regulation are administrative offenses and will be penalized by the Executive Director of CONELEC. CONELEC’s jurisdiction does not cover offenses, which due to their seriousness or content, must be resolved by other authorities.

In addition to the penalties listed in the Penal Code and in the Environmental Management Law, concession contracts, permits or licenses must include a penal clause for cases of nonperformance of environmental obligations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions