Media Release

CEC receives submission on aqueduct project in Monterrey, Mexico

Montreal, 20 July 2016—The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) received a submission on 11 July 2016, which asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws in relation to the construction and operation of an aqueduct from Veracruz to Monterrey.

The Submitter, a group in Mexico which has requested confidentiality, asserts that the “Monterrey VI” project, promoted by the Nuevo León state government and which consists of the transfer of water by pipeline from the Pánuco river basin in Veracruz to the City of Monterrey, threatens the ecological balance and biodiversity of Veracruz, Nuevo León, and the two states in between—Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí. The Submitter contends that this transfer is not in compliance with Mexican federal and international law.

The Submitter also asserts that the removal of water from the Pánuco River, which Submitter characterizes as one of the most polluted basins in Mexico, will have adverse impacts on the indigenous communities that rely on the river as an important natural resource. Additionally, the Submitter contends that the Monterrey area does not need this water as it will have sufficient water quantity until 2050, if other water supply and conservation measures are implemented.

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-16-002 (Monterrey VI Aqueduct).

CEC SEM Submissions

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