On March 2nd 2016, the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development ("MADS") issued a norm ("Resolution 0376") listing which works and/or activities inherent to energy, reservoir, dams and river basin water transfer projects ("Project") do not require its executor to request before competent environmental authorities the amendment of its Project´s environmental license or equivalent permit ("License") prior to their execution, since they are considered as minor changes or activities of the ordinary course of the project ("Minor Changes").

Resolution 0376, will only apply to Projects already having a License which was duly granted by the competent environmental authority (either by the National Authority of Environmental Licenses-ANLA, or by local authorities such as Regional Autonomous Corporations, Great Urban Centers and other environmental authorities).

Resolution 0376 classified as Minor Changes works and/or activities such as: (i) changes in the alignment of watering systems; and/or drainage for irrigation management districts; (ii) changes in the alignment of temporary roads or internal mobilization routes that will be flooded by the project, provided that certain conditions are met; (iii) maintenance and recovery of existing roads associated to the project; (iv) installation and relocation of temporary shredding facilities and/or plants for the production of asphalt; (v) repowering of national and regional transmission lines; (vi) modification works to electrical substations; among other works and/or activities.

If the License holder intends to carry out an activity and/or work listed as a Minor Change, it require submitting before the competent environmental authority a detailed report describing all the activities that will be performed, specifically: (i) a description of the Minor Change that must include location maps and designs); and (ii) a technical explanation confirming that the work and/or activity is indeed a Minor Change according to Resolution 0376 conditions.

According to Resolution 0376 the work and/or activity cannot cause new and/or additional impacts to those initially identified and authorized in the Project´s License and it cannot fall along any of the grounds or events in which an amendment of a License is required as described under Decree 1076 of 2015 (Single Environmental Decree).

In any case, if the work and/or activity meets Minor Changes requirements set by Resolution 0376, but happens to be not listed among activities and/or works considered as such, the License holder may request the environmental authority to determine whether the activity and/or work may be classified as a Minor Change or if by the contrary it will have to undergo amendment an amendment License proceeding prior to its execution.

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.