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Media Release

Reminder: May 17 deadline for written comments on proposed changes to Citizen Submissions on Enforcement Matters Guidelines

Montreal, 15 May 2012—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) wants to hear from you about proposed changes to the CEC’s Guidelines for Submissions on Enforcement Matters (SEM) under Articles 14 and 15 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

NAAEC Articles 14 and 15 include procedures allowing private parties to make submissions to the CEC Secretariat asserting “that a Party [to the NAAEC] is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law.”

The CEC’s Council of federal environment ministers, at their session last year in Montreal, formally announced a trilateral review to “modernize and improve” the submission process.

As a result of this review, a Council-directed Task Force on SEM Modernization presented proposed changes to the Guidelines at the 18 April session of JPAC’s public forum in Toronto.

JPAC would like your feedback on the draft changes, which are available online. Please send written comments by Thursday, 17 May on this web page or by e-mail to jpac@cec.org.

The current Guidelines and more information about the SEM process are available on the Citizen Submissions on Enforcement Matters website.

JPAC also submitted an Advice to Council (No. 11-04) with recommendations on the SEM process following their last meeting in El Paso, Texas, in November 2011.

About the CEC

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.

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