Submission

Pollution in Playa Hermosa

Submission ID: SEM-22-001
Party concerned: Mexico
Date filed: June 1, 2022
Submission Status: Closed

Latest Update: November 4, 2022

The Secretariat determined not to recommend the preparation of a factual record under Article 24.28(1), and terminated the process.

Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The Submitters assert that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws to protect the coastal ecosystem of Playa Hermosa, a local beach located in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

The Submitters assert that the state and municipal governments are undertaking a boardwalk and beachfront development project in Playa Hermosa without the necessary federal environmental impact permits. The Submitters also maintain that water quality in the area is compromised due to discharges that are occurring without adequate treatment. According to the Submitters, the Playa Hermosa sand dune system was destroyed last year as a result of construction and no restoration actions have been taken.

The Submitters state that Playa Hermosa is a popular beach frequented by residents of Ensenada, it is the only beach accessible from the city, and it plays an important role in the local economy. Additionally, they state that it is one of the few areas where outdoor activities are safe in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In its response, Mexico states that certain legal provisions cited in the submission are not applicable to the Submitters’ assertions. Mexico also notifies the existence of pending administrative proceedings related to the “Playa Hermosa Boardwalk and Services Area Construction Project” and states that these proceedings address the same provisions cited in the submission. Mexico further notifies the existence of administrative and judicial proceedings related to the pollution of Playa Hermosa due to the discharge of wastewater without adequate treatment.

Mexico also notifies several administrative proceedings on environmental impact and others related to the protection of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone.

Finally, Mexico reports on enforcement actions under Article 4, fifth and sixth paragraphs of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States; Articles 2: Sections I and V, 157, 117, 123, 189, 194, 195 and 202 of the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection; Articles 47, 95, and 96 Bis 1 of the National Waters Law; Articles 55, 57, 58, 59 and 65 of the Regulations on Environmental Impact Assessment; Articles 84 and 145 of the Regulations of the National Waters Law; and Official Mexican Standard NOM-001-SEMARNAT-1996, which establishes the permissible limits for pollutants in discharges of wastewater into national water bodies.

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente); and its regulations on environmental impact; the National Waters Law (Ley de Aguas Nacionales), and associated regulations; and the General Law of Climate Change (Ley General de Cambio Climático) as well as other provisions of federal laws and regulations.

Submission Timeline

June 1, 2022

The Secretariat began reviewing the submission under Articles 24.27(2) and (3).

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 24/05/2022

June 8, 2022

The Secretariat requested the Submitter(s) to correct minor errors of form.

June 13, 2022

The Submitters corrected the minor errors of form.

July 1, 2022

The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 24.27(2), and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 24.27(3).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 24.27(2) and Article 24.27(3) of the CUSMA/USMCA authored by Secretariat on 01/07/2022

September 2, 2022

Under Article 24.27(4), the Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record under Article 24.28(1).

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 24.27(4) of the CUSMA/USMCA authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

Annex - Other document authored by Mexico on 02/09/2022

November 4, 2022

The Secretariat determined not to recommend the preparation of a factual record under Article 24.28(1), and terminated the process.

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 24.28(1) of the CUSMA/USMCA authored by Secretariat on 04/11/2022