PANAMA CITY, Panama, November 13, 2007 – After months of public consultations with various stakeholders and a comprehensive study on how to manage and mitigate impact on the environment, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) received a seal of approval from the National Environmental Authority of Panama (ANAM), for the environmental impact study (EIA) on the construction of the third set of locks project. The ACP today announced that ANAM provided the approval resolution and presented it to ACP’s Environmental Management and Monitoring officer.

The ACP worked on the EIA in conjunction with URS Holdings, Inc. This firm worked with well-established, local and international professionals and organizations such as Fundación de la Universidad de Panamá, Fundación Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Chiriquí (UNACHI) and Entrix, a professional environmental consulting company responsible for Quality Control. The study entailed analyzing baseline information and extensive data obtained by the ACP, identifying and evaluating potential impacts, and formulating a Community Participation Plan and an Environmental Management Plan (EMP). Both the EIA and the EMP will be included in the specifications package for the construction of the new locks.

“ANAM’s certification of approval validates the ACP’s commitment to the highest standards of environmental management and stewardship for the Canal expansion project. We are pleased that they have acknowledged the thorough and comprehensive approach we have taken to expand the Canal in an environmentally-friendly and responsible manner. As always, we continue to pursue excellence not only in our regular day-to-day operations, but in caring for the Canal watershed and the surrounding environment.”

The ACP and ANAM both agreed to monitor the developments of the construction of the third set of locks and ensure that the environmental impact study guidelines are followed accordingly.

The ACP solicited bids for the environmental impact study contract in December 2006 and, after thorough evaluation of the proposals it received, awarded the contract to URS Holdings, Inc. URS Holdings’ proposal received the highest score in a technical evaluation and had the most competitive price. The bidding process was based on technical aspects such as methodology, company and technical personnel experience, quality control, creation of consortiums with national institutions and references. URS Holdings was required to show it is registered with the Record of Environment Consultants of the National Environmental Authority of Panama and is certified to prepare environmental impact studies.

About URS Holdings, Inc.
URS Holdings, Inc. is one of the largest engineering design firms worldwide and a leading U.S. federal government contractor. URS focuses primarily on providing professional and technical services in the engineering, construction services and defense markets. URS executes large and complex engineering projects and provides a comprehensive range of professional planning and design, systems engineering and technical assistance, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance services.

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The ACP is governed by its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the Panama Canal Authority’s Web site: For Panama Canal video, please visit