Media Release

CEC receives a submission on Mexico City Metrobús Line 7 Project

Montreal, 6 February 2018—On 2 February 2018, Academia Mexicana de Derecho Ambiental and La Voz de Polanco (the “Submitters”) filed a submission with the CEC Secretariat, asserting that Mexican federal authorities, the government of Mexico City (CDMX), and three of its boroughs are failing to effectively enforce environmental laws with respect to the construction of Line 7 of the bus rapid transit system (“Metrobús”).

In SEM-18-002 (Mexico City Metrobús), the Submitters maintain that the granting of permits for the construction of Metrobús Line 7 has been “illegal and opaque” because the project sponsor, the CDMX Government, is supposed to respect environmental law “by ensuring adequate planning, communication, participation and compliance—which unfortunately has not happened.” According to the Submitters, the project was initiated in 2015 with modifications to the decree establishing the Chapultepec Forest protected area, which has an important historical, environmental and landscape value for CDMX. The Submitters base their submission on several international, federal, and state laws and cite provisions which they allege are not being effectively enforced by Mexican federal and state authorities.

The Secretariat 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-18-002 (Mexico City Metrobús).

SEM Submissions

In SEM-18-002 (Mexico City Metrobús), the Submitters maintain that the granting of permits for the construction of Metrobús Line 7 has been “illegal and opaque” because the project sponsor, the CDMX Government, is supposed to respect environmental law “by ensuring adequate planning, communication, participation and compliance—which unfortunately has not happened.”

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