The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (“PROFEPA”) detected the irregular handling of 408 tons of hazardous waste, including 36 tons of electronic waste, over the course of eight National Highway Operations conducted in 2015. The Operations were carried out to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations pertaining to the transport of hazardous materials, substances, and wastes.
The Secretariat of Environment ("SEMARNAT") has published its responses to comments received on NOM-133-SEMARNAT-2015, the proposed modifications to NOM-133-SEMARNAT-2000, Management Specifications for Polychlorinated Biphenyls ("PCBs"). The NOM applies to all entities that possess PCB-contaminated equipment and/or waste, as well as those entities that provide services to manage them.
Senate Steps Up Focus on Environmental Issues
- Climate Change. Two Agreements have been published in the Senate. The first Agreement urges the Secretariat of Environment (“SEMARNAT”) to continue to strengthen its climate change mitigation and adaptation programs, as well as those that aim to protect the ozone layer. The second Agreement urges the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, in coordination with SEMARNAT and other environmental authorities, to strengthen actions to promote public awareness on the negative effects of climate change.
- Responsible Plastic Bag Use. An Agreement has been published in the Senate, urging SEMARNAT, in coordination with state and municipal environmental authorities, to design and implement public awareness campaigns on the responsible use of plastics bags, in order to reduce waste.
- Integrated Waste Management of Cells and Batteries. An Agreement has been published in the Senate, urging SEMARNAT, in coordination with state and municipal environmental authorities, to strengthen actions for the integral management of cells and batteries. The Agreement calls for authorities to carry out public awareness campaigns that promote proper waste management for these end-of-life products.
The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation ("CEC") has received a revised submission from several individuals and NGOs, asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce federal environmental laws as it implements the "National Program for the Integral Management of Televisions Discarded Due to the Transition to Digital Televisions." Originally submitted August 24, 2015, Submission SEM-15-002 was rejected by CEC on September 22, 2015 after the Secretariat determined that the document did not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Article 14(1) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation ("NAAEC"). The submitting parties were given 60 days to provide a revised submission.
Chamber of Deputies Pushes for Integral Management of Discarded Analog TVs
Since the Commission for Environmental Cooperation ("CEC") received Submission SEM-15-002 on Mexico’s mismanagement of discarded analog TVs, several agreements have been published in the Chamber of Deputies that:
- Urge the federal government to develop a national campaign to inform and encourage the public to turn in their analog TVs to collection centers where they can be properly disposed.
- Call for the Secretariat of Environment ("SEMARNAT") and the Secretariat of Communication and Transportation ("SCT") to develop a policy and public awareness campaign on the collection process for discarded analog TVs, as well as the potential environmental and health risks associated with inadequate waste management.
- Urge the Executive Power to: conduct a study on the magnitude of analog TV waste mismanagement in Mexico; develop new metrics to gauge the efficacy of the Program; design a unified procedure for managing discarded analog TVs across the country; conduct public awareness campaigns on proper waste management; promote training and performance evaluation for involved waste management personnel; and ensure monitoring and evaluation of waste management infrastructure and processes.