Chapter VII

LAW No. 19
(of June 11, 1997)

Chapter VII - Environment and Canal Watershed

Article 120. Any regulation adopted by the Authority concerning water resources in the Canal watershed shall have, among others, the following purposes:

  1. To manage the water resources for the operation of the Canal and the supply of water for consumption by surrounding communities.
  2. To safeguard the natural resources of the Canal watershed, especially in critical areas, for the purpose of preventing a reduction in the indispensable supply of water to which the above paragraph refers.

Article 121. The regulations adopted by the Authority shall consider, among other matters, the following:

  1. The protection, conservation, and maintenance of the water resources of the Canal watershed in coordination with competent authorities.
  2. The protection, conservation, maintenance, and improvement of the environment in Canal operations areas of compatibility and its system of lakes, in coordination with competent authorities.
  3. The cleanup of Canal waters and coordination with competent authorities to protect the quality of the waters in the Canal Watershed.
  4. The supervision of quantity and quality of water in the Canal watershed and its areas of impact.
  5. The assessment of the environmental impact of any projects and activities that might significantly impact the environment in interdisciplinary consultation within the Authority, as well as measures relative to environmental protection in the Canal area and the Canal Watershed, taking into account the general provisions in force in Panama.
  6. The routing of water through spillways to control flooding and pollution.
  7. The maintenance of principal and auxiliary dams.
  8. The regulating and damming of waters required for the operation of the Canal, as well as for consumption in surrounding communities.
  9. The maintenance of an updated database on rainfall, spills, runoffs, and silting.
  10. The coordination with State authorities having jurisdiction within the Canal watershed, including those to whom the law confers authority to issue prohibitions and penalties concerning the use of water resources.
  11. The operation and modernization of the hydro-meteorological network within the Canal watershed.
  12. The control of the spread of aquatic vegetation.
  13. Prevention and control of oil spills and hazardous substances to protect the environment and maintain the ecological balance of the natural resources within the Canal watershed, as well as its buffer zones and protected areas. The disposal of material dredged from the channel of the Canal, ports, and adjacent waters.

Chapter VIII Final Provisions