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Mexico — Environmental Assessment of Transmission Lines

Key Objectives:

A workshop to discuss the environmental impact assessment of transmission lines

Completed in 1998

Following two previous workshops organized by the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) – the “EIA for Hydroelectric Projects” workshop held in September 1994 and the "Environmental Management for Thermoelectric Generating Stations" workshop held in November 1996 – the environmental assessment of power lines initiative was proposed by the Mexican Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

The CFE proposal was approved in September 1997 and a fact-finding mission to Mexico was then conducted in May 1998.

As a result, a four-day workshop on “Environmental Assessment of Power Line Projects” was organised and held from November 16-19, 1998. Approximately 120 of the following people attended and participated in the workshop:

  • The Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) had the largest representation with employees coming from various departments:
    • environmental affairs
    • social affairs
    • legal 
    • distribution
    • engineering
    • construction
    • regional offices
  • Other participants:
    • Mexican Governments Agencies:
      Department of the Environment & Forestry (SEMARNAP & INE)
      Department of Cultural Anthropology & History (INAH)
      Department of Energy
    • Inter-American Development Bank
    • Private Sector
      Industry associations (PRONARE, CONIECO)
      Mexico city power co (Luz y Fuerza del Centro S.A.)
    • Academics
      Electrical Research Institute
      National School of Sciences

The workshop was comprised of presentations by GSEP experts and representatives from Latin American countries (Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador), followed by exercises to build on the presentations, facilitated by CFE with the assistance of GSEP experts. Summary discussions were held at the end of each day and debriefing sessions with CFE facilitators were held each evening. At the workshop, there were also non-commercial GSEP member utility displays.

The workshop was a great success. The presentations were very interesting and an excellent foundation for the participatory component of the workshop. By designing and leading the workshop exercises, the CFE staff was coached in line siting procedures and in group facilitation. Furthermore, working relationships were enhanced among all participants as a result of the exercises. The feedback received from all of the participants was positive. 

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