A New York Times article on the passage of the law highlighted the environmental concerns which prompted the legislation:
The risks of mining in El Salvador, however, are especially acute. The tiny country is densely populated and the second-most environmentally degraded country in the Americas, after Haiti, according to the United Nations.
“Mining is an industry whose primary and first victim is water,” said Mr. McKinley, who added that El Salvador faced a significant scarcity. “We are talking about an issue that is a life-or-death issue for the country.”
Mr. Wright, the legislator who worked to persuade his business-friendly party to support the law, said that climate change was already having an impact on El Salvador. “More than a theory or an uncertain science that it might have been 10 years ago, today for Salvadorans, it is a reality,” he said.