The Federal Environmental Liability Law was recently published in the Federal Official Gazette, and will become effective on July 7, 2013. It expressly establishes liability to whoever causes environmental damage and degradation in Mexico.

It is the first federal regulation that establishes the concept of “environmental damage”, and recognizes that environmental damage is independent of the property damages suffered by the owners of the elements and natural resources. Further, it provides several schemes for repairing and compensating environmental damage, while creating an Environmental Responsibility Fund, which will aim to pay for the repair of the environmental damages when it is required for reasons of urgency or importance.

This law is accompanied by amendments to other legislation, such as the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, the General Law for the Prevention and Management of Waste, of the General Law for Sustainable Forest Development, the National Waters Law, of the Federal Criminal Code, the Law of Navigation and Maritime Commerce and the National Assets Law.

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