The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

Mexico `fails` to enforce environmental law over contaminated electronics site

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On 22 February, the Instituto de Derecho Ambiental, Colonia Jardines del Sol and Colonos de Bosques de San Isidro (the 'Submitters') filed a submission with the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law in connection with a contaminated site located in Zapopan, Jalisco, on which construction of the La Ciudadela development is planned.

In submission SEM-08-001 (La Ciudadela Project), the Submitters assert that the environmental authorities failed to ensure soil remediation on a site contaminated with heavy metals (including thallium, cadmium, nickel and lead, among others) where electronic component manufacturing took place for over 30 years.

The Submitters state that the lot selected by SSC Inmobiliaria for the development of La Ciudadela, is still contaminated with heavy metals, even though the company carried out final disposal of thallium-contaminated soil.

The CEC Secretariat will now analyze the submission to determine whether it meets the requirements of Article 14 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

The CEC citizen submission mechanism allows citizens to play an active 'whistleblower' role in matters relating to environmental law enforcement.

Pursuant to NAAEC Article 14, any citizen or nongovernmental organization may file a submission with the CEC Secretariat when it believes that a NAFTA partner is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law.

After reviewing the submission, the CEC may investigate the matter and publish a factual record of its findings.

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