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Media Release

CEC Receives Environmental Enforcement Submission Regarding the Time Ceramics Company in Hidalgo, Mexico

Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), 2 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 with regard to unauthorized land use change and water extraction.

In submission SEM-24-001 (Time Ceramics), the Submitter asserts that Mexico is failing to address the environmental impacts of a ceramics factory, including unauthorized forest land use change to build the factory, inadequate environmental impact assessment, the unauthorized development of water wells, and the alleged lack of water extraction concessions for the factory’s operations. Accordingly, the Submitter alleges that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce land use change laws to authorize the forest clearing activities that are alleged to have occurred on the site. The Submitter makes similar allegations regarding the failure to effectively enforce water laws for the development of wells and water extraction, raising concerns about the overexploitation of the aquifer in the Valle de Tulancingo region.

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), the General Act on Sustainable Forest Development (Ley General de Desarrollo Forestal Sustentable), and the National Waters Act (Ley de Aguas Nacionales) and related regulations.

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-24-001 (Time Ceramics).

Time Ceramics - water extraction

Submission on Enforcement Matters filed under USMCA/CUSMA Chapter 24 asserts failure to effectively enforce environmental law in Mexico related to the construction and operation of a ceramics factory in Hidalgo, 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