Submission ID: SEM-05-002
Party concerned: Mexico
Date filed: May 3, 2005
Submission Status: Closed
Latest Update: March 26, 2007
The process was terminated.
Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:
The Submitters assert that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce the provisions of its environmental legislation by permitting the construction of a liquid natural gas re-gasification terminal, immediately adjacent to the Coronado Islands-situated near the coast of the state of Baja California-and a breeding colony of the endangered seabird Xantus’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) and other species considered at risk. The Submitters assert that Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretar¡a del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales-Semarnat) released a decision approving the Environmental Impact Assessment related to the construction of this re-gasification terminal. They assert that this constituted a failure in the effective enforcement of Articles 78 to 83 of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (General del Equilibrio Ecol¢gico y de Protecci¢n al Ambiente-LGEEPA), as well as Article 5 of the General Wildlife Law (Ley General de Vida Silvestre). The Submitters assert that the Environmental Impact Assessment that Mexico approved was insufficient in that it did not adequately take into account the impacts of light pollution on nocturnal seabirds, the risk of catastrophic explosions, the risks of introducing rats to the Coronado Islands or other impacts related to tanker and gas terminal activity in concluding that the environmental impacts of the project would be insignificant. They also assert that the terminal project fails to satisfy several substantive standards under the LGEEPA and the General Wildlife Law. The Submitters further allege that in approving the project, Mexico failed to account for the Coronado Islands’ alleged status since July 2003 as a specially protected natural area.
Summary of the response provided by the Party:
In its response, Mexico asserts that the Submitters based their allegations on the environmental impact assessment prepared by the project proponent without taking into account the requirements, conditions, and mitigation measures imposed by Mexico in approving the project, and without acknowledging that compliance will need to be demonstrated through an environmental quality monitoring program and backed by a bond to be posted by the proponent, Chevron Texaco de M‚xico, S.A. de C.V. According to Mexico, the studies, programs, plans, and the restrictions imposed on the project proponent show that the environmental authority, in approving the project, thoroughly assessed each issue identified by the Submitters. Mexico further asserts that consideration of the submission should proceed no further in view of the existence of pending proceedings, and requests that the Secretariat keep confidential the files related to those proceedings.
Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:
Articles 78 to 83 of the Ley General del Equilibrio Ecol¢gico y de Protecci¢n al Ambiente (General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection) and Article 5 of the Ley General de Vida Silvestre (General Wildlife Law)
The Center for Biological Diversity; Greenpeace Mexico; Mr. Alfonso Aguirre; Ms. Shaye Wolf; American Bird Conservancy; Los Angeles Audubon Society; Pacific Environment and Resources Center; and Wildcoast
The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 04/05/2005
Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 02/05/2005
The Secretariat notified the submitter(s) that the submission did not meet all of the Article 14(1) criteria and the submitter(s) had 30 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 02/06/2005
The Secretariat received a revised submission and began to analyze it.
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 12/07/2005
Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 06/07/2005
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 30/09/2005
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 10/01/2006
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 18/01/2007