COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION
THREE COUNTRIES WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT OUR SHARED ENVIRONMENT
Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:
The Submitters assert that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law with respect to alleged illegal acts occurring during the operation, closing and dismantling of a facility for pigments for paint production operated by BASF Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. ("BASF") from 1973 to 1997. A prior submission with similar claims (SEM-06-001-Ex Hacienda El Hospital) filed by another submitter was withdrawn on 8 June 2006.
Submission SEM-06-003 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital II) lists 17 actions and omissions that, according to the Submitters, constitute a failure to enforce or effectively enforce various federal laws, including the General Law for Waste Prevention and Comprehensive Management (Ley General para la Prevención y Gestión Integral de Residuos). The assertions made by the Submitters include the following: that BASF used the federal government's environmental audit program to successfully avoid the enforcement of legislation; that the Federal Attorney General for Environmental Protection (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente-Profepa) failed to sanction BASF for having permitted, during the facility's closing, contaminated soil and other material to be taken from the site by community inhabitants for their use; that Profepa has not been successful in ensuring a full assessment and clean-up of the contamination caused by the operation and dismantling of the facility.
On September 22, 2006, the Secretariat received submission SEM-06-004 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital III), presenting the same facts, containing the same assertions, and citing the same environmental laws of SEM-06-003 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital II). Thus, pursuant to Section 10.3 of the Guidelines, the Secretariat determined to consolidate both submissions.
Summary of the response provided by the Party:
In its response, Mexico asserts that it ordered soil assessment and restoration actions, that it applied sanctions to BASF, and that it ordered the closing of the building occupied by the company. It further states that it followed up on the recommendations contained in an environmental audit and that it gave timely attention to citizen complaints filed in relation to Ex Hacienda El Hospital. The response asserts that the owner of the building occupied by BASF obstructed the site restoration process.
Invoking NAAEC Article 14(3)(a), Mexico maintains that the Secretariat should give no further consideration to the submission because it is the subject of a pending administrative proceeding. Mexico indicates that information concerning criminal law enforcement in relation to BASF was not provided to the Secretariat because it is confidential.
Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:
Articles 414, 415 (paragraph I), 416 (paragraph I), 420 quater and 421 of the Federal Penal Code (Código Penal Federal -CPF).
Articles 4, 5, 6, 134, 135, 136, 139, 140, 150, 151, 151 bis, 152, 152 bis, 160, 161, 162, 167, 167 bis, 167 bis 1, 167 bis 3, 167 bis 4, 168, 169, 170, 170 (paragraph III), 170 bis, 171, 172 173, 174, 191, 192 and 193 of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente-LGEEPA).
Articles 68, 69, 75, 78, 101, 103 and 106 of the General Law for Waste Prevention and Comprehensive Management (Ley para la Prevención y Gestión Integral de Residuos - LGPIR).
Articles 8 (paragraphs II, III, VI, VII and IX), 14, 15 (paragraphs II, VII) and 17 (paragraph II) of the hazardous waste regulation (Reglamento de Residuos Peligrosos).
Articles 29 (paragraph VI) and 119 (paragraphs VI, VII, XI, XIV and XV) of the National Water Law (Ley de Aguas Nacionales).
Articles 135 (paragraphs IV, V, VI and VII) of the Regulation of the National Water Law (Reglamento de la Ley de Aguas Nacionales).
Submitter(s):Myredd Alexandra Mariscal Villasenor, Justina Dominguez Palafox, Felix Segundo Nicolas, Karina Guadalupe Morgado Hernandez, Santos Bonifacio Contreras Carrasco, Florentino Rodriguez Viaira, Valente Guzman Acosta, Maria Guadalupe Cruz Rios, Cruz Rios Cortes, Silvestre Garcia Alarcon