Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:
The Submitters assert that the Government of Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws with regard to the protection of the Laguna de Cuyutlán, Manzanillo, which-according to the Submitters-represents 90 percent of wetlands in the state of Colima, Mexico and is the fourth largest wetland in the country.
The submission further asserts that Mexican authorities should not have granted favorable environmental impact authorizations to two infrastructure projects: a liquified natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal filed by the Federal Electricity Commission (Comisión Federal de Electricidad) and another, for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) operated by Z Gas del Pacifico. The Submitters assert that the process was conducted without following a proper review under the applicable environmental law.
Likewise, the Submitters assert that municipal authorities in Manzanillo modified the urban development program by changing the zoning restrictions from eco-tourism to heavy industry, which-they assert-is a violation of the environmental zoning criteria designated for the Laguna de Cuyutlán.
Summary of the response provided by the Party:
On 12 October 2010, Mexico filed its response to submission 09-002 in accordance with NAAEC 14(3). The Party asserts that the submission does not meet the eligibility criteria, nor the criteria for requesting a response under Articles 14(1) and (2); it reports the existence of pending proceedings, and it argues that the submission refers to provisions that are not environmental law in the sense of the NAAEC. The response presents information on acts justifying the modification and comprehensive overhaul of the Regional Environmental Land Use Plan for the Laguna de Cuyutlán sub-basin and argues that this initiative increased the protected area of the sub-basin and reduced the areas subject to exploitation. Mexico maintains that the Ramsar Convention was enforced by means of Article 60 Ter of the Wildlife Act (Ley General de Vida Silvestre-LGVS), which prohibits activities that alter the water balance in mangroves, but the Party clarifies that this provision “does not impose an absolute ban.”
Concerning the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Manzanillo LP Gas Project, Mexico states that it identifies, describes, and assesses the environmental impacts, considering the sum total of elements making up the ecosystem in the project area; includes measures to prevent and reduce the project’s environmental impact; relates the project to the environmental legal framework, and includes a detailed risk analysis. The Party maintains that it requested additional information from the Zeta Gas company that “coincides with the information which the Submitters consider should have been presented.”
In relation to the EIS for the Manzanillo Liquid Natural Gas Terminal project (Manzanillo LNG Project), Mexico notes that the EIS identifies the possible impacts of the project on ecosystems; it contains measures to prevent or minimize negative environmental impacts; it considers the relationship of the project to the applicable legal provisions, and it includes a risk study. Mexico adds that the responsible authority requested additional information from the CFE, which was submitted in due course; that it considered other alternatives proposed by the company, and that it found that the “2 Omega” alternative did not entail impacts that would affect the attributes, functional integrity, or water balance of the ecosystem.
The Party states that it carried out a public consultation process on the Manzanillo LNG Project and that it made the project conditional on the implementation of programs for wildlife salvage and relocation, endangered species protection, marine turtle conservation, bird monitoring, protection of species vulnerable to LNG tanker noise, restoration and monitoring of coastal dunes, and monitoring of environmental quality. Mexico further states that it made the project conditional on a water balance study “in order to prevent, mitigate, or offset the corresponding environmental impacts” and maintains that in any case the project “would contribute to the rehabilitation of Laguna de Cuyutlán.”
Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:
Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA); Federal Administrative Procedure Law; Federal Wildlife Law; Organic Law of Federal Public Administration; LGEEPA Regulations on Ecological Zoning; NOM-022-SEMARNAT-2003; NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2001; Environmental Law for Sustainable Development for the state of Colima; Coordination Agreement for the Preparation, Issuance and Implementation of the Ecological Zoning program for the Laguna de Cuyutlán; Urban Development Program of Manzanillo
Bios Iguana, A.C.(a Mexican organization) and Esperanza Salazar Zenil
The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 04/02/2009
Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 02/02/2009
Under guideline 3.10, the Secretariat requested the submitter(s) to correct minor errors of form.
Other Documents - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 19/02/2009
The Submitters corrected the minor errors of form.
The Secretariat began reviewing the submission under Article 14(1)
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 04/03/2009
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 09/10/2009
The Secretariat received a revised submission and began to analyze it.
Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 02/11/2009
Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 13/11/2009
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 13/08/2010
The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.
Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 14/10/2010
Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 11/10/2010
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 19/08/2013
The Council decided to defer voting on whether to instruct the Secretariat to prepare a factual record.
Other Documents - Other document authored by Council on 15/11/2013
The Secretariat supplemented its recommendation to Council that a factual record be prepared.
Other Documents - Other document authored by Secretariat on 29/01/2014
The Council voted to instruct the Secretariat to develop a factual record.
Other Documents - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 08/07/2014
Resolution - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 08/07/2014
The Secretariat placed a work plan on its web site or otherwise made it available to the public and stakeholders.
Workplan - Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 14/08/2014
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 15/08/2014
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 Canada.
The Secretariat received comments from Mexico.
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 06/09/2016
The final factual record was publicly released.
Final Factual Record - Final Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 07/09/2016