The role of basin committees in environmental licensing processes: a case study of the Sorocaba and middle Tietê river basin committee (SP)

<p></p><p>Abstract One of the functions of CBHs is to promote discussions with the possible environmental and socio-environmental impacts of enterprises that want to establish in Basin regions. However, what is the impact of the committee on these environmental licensing processes? Is their role in public policy implementation processes aimed the protection of the waters? In order to contribute to the understanding of the role of CBHs in environmental licensing of enterprises with impact on water resources, this research conducted a case study of the Watershed Committee of the Sorocaba River and Middle Tietê, and used documents of three environmental licensing procedures for landfills that have gone through CBH-SMT as analysis tools. Regarding the landfills located in the cities of Sorocaba/SP and Iperó/SP, the licensing agency ignores Committee positions. Regarding the landfill at Araçariguama/SP, the agency references the committee at some places in the documentation, but most of these contradict the Committee's position. The results of the EIA analysis suggest that the power of the Committee is minimized and do not followthe proposed decentralized and democratic water management in Brazil. However, they may be contributing to the restlessness of the population and encouraging their active involvement in decision-making. However, CBHs should not be used merely as stimulators of public opinion, but should be empowered as instruments of public policies for the protection of water resources.</p><p></p>