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Media Release

CEC receives a submission on agricultural waste burning activities in Sonora, Mexico

Montreal, 26 January 2016— The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) received a submission on 22 January 2016 asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its climate change and air quality laws in relation to the burning of agricultural waste.

The Submitter, an individual in Mexico, asserts that every year an estimated 100 metric tons of agricultural waste is being burned on nearly 13,000 hectares of agricultural land in the vicinity of Caborca, Sonora. The Submitter maintains that this activity generates pollution following the harvesting of asparagus and that the matter has been communicated to Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa).

The Secretariat now has 30 days to review the submission and determine whether it meets the admissibility requirements in Article 14(1) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

For more information, please visit the CEC’s Submissions on Enforcement Matters webpage, and the registry of Submission SEM-16-001 (Agricultural Waste Burning in Sonora).

Agricultural Waste Burning in Sonora

In Submission SEM-16-001 (Agricultural Waste Burning in Sonora) the Submitter asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its municipal air quality laws in relation to the burning of agricultural waste in Caborca, Sonora.

The CEC SEM Process

The CEC Submissions on Enforcement Matters process supports public participation, information-sharing between governments and the public, and transparency and openness in the effective enforcement of environmental law in North America. If you have reason to believe that an environmental law is not being effectively enforced by Canada, Mexico or the United States, the SEM process may address your concerns.

As of 1 July 2020, the CEC’s SEM process is governed by USMCA Articles 24.27 and 24.28 of the Environment Chapter of the free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States (CUSMA, T-MEC, USMCA).

Want to learn more about the SEM process? Please watch this two-minute video for an introduction:

The SEM Process