Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The Submitters assert that Mexico is failing to take actions to prevent air pollution in areas under state and municipal jurisdiction, to establish and keep up-to-date a national air quality information system, and to devise state and municipal urban development plans indicating the zones in which polluting industrial facilities may be sited. The Submitters allege that these actions are required by the Mexican Constitution, Mexico’s federal General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente-LGEEPA), rules on air pollution adopted under the LGEEPA, the federal General Health Law, a number of Mexican Official Standards on air pollution, and the environmental protection and public safety laws for the State of Sonora. The authorities cited by the submission as responsible for allegedly failing to effectively enforce environmental law are the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), the Office of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa), the executive branch of the government of the State of Sonora, the State Department of Urban Infrastructure and Environment, and the Municipality of Hermosillo.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

Mexico, in its response, maintains that the submission should have been dismissed because it did not meet some of the requirements of Article 14 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). As to the contents of the submission, Mexico asserts that, according to their information, unpaved roads are the source of 78% of suspended particle emissions and that this priority was addressed by the paving of approximately 28 ha of streets in Hermosillo. Mexico states that pollutant monitoring has been implemented at the federal level since 1988 and that the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) is in process. It states that it uses the available pollution control mechanisms including the Uniform Environmental License (Licencia Ambiental Unica-LAU), the Operating License (Licencia de Funcionamiento) and the Annual Release and Transfer Report (Cédula de Operación Anual-COA), and that it inspects and monitors air pollution sources. The state government of Sonora administers the environmental impact assessment procedure, issues operating licenses, inspects and monitors pollution sources, acts in coordination with other levels of government, and has implemented an air quality assessment and improvement program. Finally, Mexico states that the Municipality of Hermosillo has various relevant mechanisms including environmental impact assessment, response to environmental complaints, and an environmental contingency plan.

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

Mexico's federal General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente-LGEEPA), rules on air pollution adopted under the LGEEPA, the federal General Health Law, a number of Mexican Official Standards on air pollution, and the environmental protection and public safety laws for the State of Sonora.

Submitter(s):

Academia Sonorense de Derechos Humanos, A.C. and Mr. Domingo Gutiérrez Mendívil

Submission Timeline

August 30, 2005

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

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 01/09/2005

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 26/08/2005

November 9, 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 09/11/2005

February 16, 2006

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 16/02/2006

April 4, 2007

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 04/04/2007

June 15, 2012

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 15/06/2012

August 9, 2012

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 09/08/2012

August 21, 2012

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

Secretariat Information Request - Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 21/08/2012

August 30, 2013

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

October 21, 2013

The Secretariat received comments from Mexico.

Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record - Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record authored by Mexico on 21/10/2013

November 5, 2013

The Secretariat received comments from Canada.

Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record - Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record authored by Canada on 04/11/2013

November 27, 2013

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

March 11, 2014

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 11/03/2014

March 11, 2014

The final factual record was publicly released.

Final Factual Record - Final Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 27/11/2013