CEC receives a submission on transboundary impacts from agricultural burning in Mexico

Montreal, 16 January 2018—On 10 January 2018, the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) received a submission from a resident of the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation in the United States along the US (Arizona)/Mexican border, asserting that her village is being impacted by “unannounced episodes of smoke drift from Mexico (agricultural burns).” According to documents filed by the Submitter, agricultural burning episodes have been occurring since June 2016 and that these are the result of a failure to effectively enforce Mexican environmental laws.

In submission SEM-18-001 (Transboundary Agricultural Burning), the Submitter, whose name is being kept confidential by the Secretariat, asserts that Mexico’s federal and state laws subject to “ongoing violations” include the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente, LGEEPA) and the Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection of the State of Sonora (Ley del Equilibrio Ecológico y Protección al Ambiente del Estado de Sonora).

The Secretariat has now 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-18-001 (Transboundary Agricultural Burning).