Media Release

CEC Council votes against the development of a factual record concerning the Alberta Tailings Ponds submission

Montreal, 28 January 2015—On 27 January 2015, the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) decided by a unanimous vote in Council Resolution 15-01 to instruct the CEC Secretariat not to prepare a factual record concerning the revised submission SEM-10-002 (Alberta Tailings Ponds), which was filed in September 2010 by Environmental Defence (Canada), the Natural Resources Defense Council (United States) and three Canadian individuals: John Rigney (Fort Chipewyan, Alberta), Don Deranger (Prince Albert, Saskatchewan) and Daniel T’seleie (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories).

Council Resolution 15-01, as well as the Council’s reasons for voting against the preparation of a factual record, are posted in the public registry for Submission SEM-10-002.

On 29 July 2014, the CEC Secretariat recommended to the CEC Council the development of a factual record regarding the submitters’ assertions on Canada’s enforcement of subsection 36(3) of the federal Fisheries Act, which deals with pollution prevention, in relation to alleged leaking from oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta.

Articles 14 and 15 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) provide that the CEC Secretariat may consider a submission from members of the public and nongovernmental organizations concerning the effective enforcement of environmental law by a NAAEC Party (Canada, Mexico, or the US). The CEC has published Guidelines for Submissions on Enforcement Matters explaining the steps in the process.

For further information, please visit the CEC Submissions on Enforcement Matters website.

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

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