CEC hero image, a photo of Array

Media Release

CEC Receives Environmental Enforcement Submission on Air Pollution from the Cadereyta Pemex Refinery in Nuevo León, Mexico

Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), 6 February 2024 — Yesterday, a Mexican citizen filed a submission, under Chapter 24 of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA/CUSMA) with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws to regulate air emissions from the Ing. Héctor R. Lara Sosa Pemex refinery (known as the Cadereyta Refinery) in Nuevo León, Mexico and to manage the resulting air pollution in the Monterrey metropolitan area.

In submission SEM-24-002 (Cadereyta Refinery), the Submitter asserts that Mexico is failing to address the air pollution issues caused by the operation of the Cadereyta oil refinery, owned and operated by Pemex. The Submitter alleges that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce environmental laws to manage air emissions and the resulting air pollution from the facility affects the Monterrey metropolitan area which has a population of 7 million people. The Submitter asserts that air pollution from the refinery has become worse over the last 5 years despite appeals from residents and the state of Nuevo León to the federal authorities to take action to improve air quality.

The Submitter cites provisions from the Mexican Constitution, the General Act on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente), Law of the National Agency of Industrial Safety and Protection of the Environment in the Hydrocarbons Sector (Ley de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad Industrial y de Protección al Medio Ambiente del Sector Hidrocarburos), Environmental Responsibility Act (Ley de Responsabilidad Ambiental) and other regulatory instruments.

The Secretariat will review the submission and determine, within 30 days, whether it meets the requirements of USMCA/CUSMA Articles 24.27(1), (2) and (3). To learn more, please consult the registry page for the submission SEM-24-002 (Cadereyta Refinery).

Cadereyta Refinery

Submission on Enforcement Matters filed under USMCA/CUSMA Chapter 24 asserts failure to effectively enforce environmental laws to prevent high levels of air pollution from the Cadereyta Pemex refinery, allegedly affecting residents of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.

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