Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:
The Submitters assert that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law with respect to alleged illegal acts occurring during the operation, closing and dismantling of a facility for pigments for paint production operated by BASF Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (“BASF”) from 1973 to 1997. A prior submission with similar claims (SEM-06-001-Ex Hacienda El Hospital) filed by another submitter was withdrawn on 8 June 2006.
Submission SEM-06-003 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital II) lists 17 actions and omissions that, according to the Submitters, constitute a failure to enforce or effectively enforce various federal laws, including the General Law for Waste Prevention and Comprehensive Management (Ley General para la Prevención y Gestión Integral de Residuos). The assertions made by the Submitters include the following: that BASF used the federal government’s environmental audit program to successfully avoid the enforcement of legislation; that the Federal Attorney General for Environmental Protection (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente-Profepa) failed to sanction BASF for having permitted, during the facility’s closing, contaminated soil and other material to be taken from the site by community inhabitants for their use; that Profepa has not been successful in ensuring a full assessment and clean-up of the contamination caused by the operation and dismantling of the facility.
On September 22, 2006, the Secretariat received submission SEM-06-004 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital III), presenting the same facts, containing the same assertions, and citing the same environmental laws of SEM-06-003 (Ex Hacienda El Hospital II). Thus, pursuant to Section 10.3 of the Guidelines, the Secretariat determined to consolidate both submissions.
Summary of the response provided by the Party:
In its response, Mexico asserts that it ordered soil assessment and restoration actions, that it applied sanctions to BASF, and that it ordered the closing of the building occupied by the company. It further states that it followed up on the recommendations contained in an environmental audit and that it gave timely attention to citizen complaints filed in relation to Ex Hacienda El Hospital. The response asserts that the owner of the building occupied by BASF obstructed the site restoration process.
Invoking NAAEC Article 14(3)(a), Mexico maintains that the Secretariat should give no further consideration to the submission because it is the subject of a pending administrative proceeding. Mexico indicates that information concerning criminal law enforcement in relation to BASF was not provided to the Secretariat because it is confidential.
Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:
Articles 414, 415 (paragraph I), 416 (paragraph I), 420 quater and 421 of the Federal Penal Code (Código Penal Federal -CPF).
Articles 4, 5, 6, 134, 135, 136, 139, 140, 150, 151, 151 bis, 152, 152 bis, 160, 161, 162, 167, 167 bis, 167 bis 1, 167 bis 3, 167 bis 4, 168, 169, 170, 170 (paragraph III), 170 bis, 171, 172 173, 174, 191, 192 and 193 of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente-LGEEPA).
Articles 68, 69, 75, 78, 101, 103 and 106 of the General Law for Waste Prevention and Comprehensive Management (Ley para la Prevención y Gestión Integral de Residuos - LGPIR).
Articles 8 (paragraphs II, III, VI, VII and IX), 14, 15 (paragraphs II, VII) and 17 (paragraph II) of the hazardous waste regulation (Reglamento de Residuos Peligrosos).
Articles 29 (paragraph VI) and 119 (paragraphs VI, V
Myredd Alexandra Mariscal Villasenor, Justina Dominguez Palafox, Felix Segundo Nicolas, Karina Guadalupe Morgado Hernandez, Santos Bonifacio Contreras Carrasco, Florentino Rodriguez Viaira, Valente Guzman Acosta, Maria Guadalupe Cruz Rios, Cruz Rios Cortes, Silvestre Garcia Alarcon
The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 18/07/2006
Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 17/07/2006
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 30/08/2006
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 10/01/2007
Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 16/01/2007
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 12/05/2008
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
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
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 29/08/2012
The Secretariat submitted a draft factual record to Council, for a 45-day comment period on the accuracy of the draft.
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 27/11/2013
The Secretariat received comments from Canada.
The Secretariat submitted a final factual record to Council for Council's vote on whether to make the final factual record publicly available.
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 15/05/2014
The final factual record was publicly released.
Final Factual Record - Final Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 12/02/2014