Montreal, 29 May 2014—On 15 May, the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) agreed, in Council Resolution 14-03, to make public the factual record concerning the consolidated submissions SEM-06-003 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital II);and; SEM-06-004 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital III), filed respectively with the Secretariat on 17 July 2006, by Myredd Alexandra Mariscal Villaseñor, representing a group of nine persons, and on 22 September 2006, by Roberto Abe Almada (the “Submitters”).
On 12 February 2014, the CEC Secretariat delivered to the Council a final factual record in accordance with Article 15(6) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), regarding the Submitters’ assertions that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law in connection with alleged illegal acts that occurred during the operation, shutdown, and decommissioning of a paint pigment production plant (the “facility”) formerly operated by BASF Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., in the community of El Hospital in Morelos, Mexico.
The factual record provides information on the Submitters’ allegations that hazardous waste was disposed of illegally, that members of the El Hospital community were exposed to lead in pigment-containing material, and the alleged commission of crimes against the environment, following the dismantling of the BASF Mexicana facility. The factual record also brings to light details about evidence-gathering and contaminated site restoration.
The factual record reveals that:
The Secretariat administers the process set out in NAAEC Articles 14 and 15, which allows the public to make a submission asserting that a NAAEC Party (Canada, Mexico, or the US) is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law. The CEC has published Guidelines for Submissions on Enforcement Matters explaining the process.
The purpose of a factual record is to provide an objective presentation of the facts relevant to the assertion(s) set forth in a submission under NAAEC Article 14, and to allow readers to draw their own conclusions regarding a Party’s environmental law enforcement. Although a factual record is not to contain conclusions or recommendations, it is expected to outline the history of the environmental enforcement issue raised in the submission, the relevant legal obligations of the Party, and the actions of the Party in attempting to fulfill those obligations.
For further information, please visit the CEC Submissions on Enforcement Matters website.
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.