Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The Submitter asserts that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its climate change and air quality laws in relation to the burning of agricultural waste.

The Submitter, an individual in Mexico, asserts that every year an estimated 100 metric tons of agricultural waste is being burned on nearly 13,000 hectares of agricultural land in the vicinity of Caborca, Sonora. The Submitter maintains that this activity generates pollution following the harvesting of asparagus and that the matter has been communicated to Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa).

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In relation to the enforcement of provisions governing air quality measurement, Mexico states that while the municipality of Caborca lacks air quality measurement systems, the municipal authorities have arranged with the asparagus growers for a range of activities to address the problem of air pollution, including consent for inspector access to burn areas, determination of burning acreages and schedules, an agreement on monetary contributions per hectare burned, and the possibility for the municipality of Caborca to impose sanctions.

On the alleged lack of approval for crop residue burning, Mexico asserts that the Caborca municipal council issued permits and approvals for open-air burning of plant matter for the 2015-2016 season.

As regards the alleged harm to public health caused by the open-air burning, Mexico maintains that studies on this matter have concluded that the health effects noted in the municipality are related to low temperatures.

Finally, Mexico states that Mexican Official Standard NOM-015-Semarnat/Sagarpa-2007, Establishing technical specifications for fire use methods on forested land and agricultural land, is not applicable to the matter raised by the Submitter and that its enforcement is limited to land which, by virtue of its location, could influence the occurrence of forest fires. Mexico asserts that this is not the case of the agricultural land in the municipality of Caborca.

 

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

Mexico's climate change and air quality laws in relation to the burning of agricultural waste.

Submitter(s):

Identity of submitter withheld pursuant to Article 11(8)(a)

Submission Timeline

January 22, 2016

The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 21/01/2016

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 22/01/2016

March 2, 2016

The Secretariat notified the submitter(s) that the submission did not meet all of the Article 14(1) criteria and that the submitter(s) had 60 days to provide the Secretariat with a revised submission that conforms with Article 14(1).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) authored by Secretariat on 02/03/2016

April 29, 2016

The Secretariat received a revised submission and began to analyze it.

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 29/04/2016

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 02/05/2016

May 4, 2016

Under guideline 3.10, the Secretariat requested the submitter(s) to correct minor errors of form.

May 4, 2016

The Submitters corrected the minor errors of form.

June 13, 2016

The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 14(1) and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 14(2).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) and 14 (2) authored by Secretariat on 13/06/2016

September 5, 2016

The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 05/09/2016

Other Documents - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Individual or entity named in submission on 05/09/2016

Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 06/09/2016

Other Documents - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 05/09/2016

February 27, 2017

The Secretariat informed Council that the Secretariat considers that the submission warrants development of a factual record.

Recommendation - Secretariat Notification to Council under Article 15(1) authored by Secretariat on 27/02/2017

June 9, 2017

The Council voted to instruct the Secretariat to develop a Factual Record.

Resolution - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 09/06/2017

June 16, 2017

The Secretariat placed a work plan on its web site or otherwise made it available to the public and stakeholders.

Workplan - Overall workplan for Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 16/06/2017

July 7, 2017

The Secretariat posted a request for information relevant to the factual record on its web site.

Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record - Secretariat request for information for Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 07/07/2017

February 28, 2018

The Secretariat submitted a draft factual record to Council, for a 45-day comment period on the accuracy of the draft.

May 3, 2018

The Secretariat received comments from Mexico.

June 18, 2018

The Secretariat submitted a final factual record to Council for Council's vote on whether to make the final factual record publicly available.

September 17, 2018

Council voted to instruct the Secretariat to make the final factual record publicly available.

Resolution - Council decision on whether the factual record will be made publicly available authored by Council on 17/09/2018

Final Factual Record - Final Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 17/09/2018