Introduction

The National Agency for Industrial Safety and the Protection of the Environment in the Hydrocarbons Sector (ASEA) recently filed the draft Emergency Mexican Official Standard NOM-EM-005-ASEA-2017 (NOM-EM-005) before the Federal Regulatory Betterment Commission. The draft:

  • establishes the criteria for classifying types of special and hazardous waste derived from the hydrocarbons sector;
  • determines which types of waste are subject to a waste management plan; and
  • details the procedures for formulating such a plan.

Classification criteria

NOM-EM-005 sets out classification criteria for the management of hazardous and special waste derived from the hydrocarbons sector. 'Hazardous' waste constitutes waste which:

  • possesses a corrosive, reactive, explosive, toxic, flammable or infectious trait; or
  • is considered hazardous under the applicable regulations.

'Special' waste is that which is not considered hazardous and:

  • is expressly listed within the scope of NOM-EM-005; or
  • constitutes solid urban waste with an annual generation rate of more than 10 tons.

Under NOM-EM-005, all hazardous waste – as well as any special waste listed in NOM-EM-005 or registered as such by the generator of the waste in its special management waste generator registry – must be subject to a waste management plan.

The types of special waste listed in NOM-EM-005 are some of those most commonly generated by hydrocarbons activities and projects, such as:

  • gravel;
  • drilling cuttings; and
  • non-hazardous waste that has been in contact with extraction fluids.

Waste management plan requirements

NOM-EM-005 includes a series of requisites for developing and filing a waste management plan in the hydrocarbons sector. Among other requisites, waste management plans must include the following information:

  • the name of the technician at the filing company responsible for the plan's implementation;
  • whether the plan's modality is 'individual' (ie, covering a single company) or 'collective' (ie, covering several companies);
  • details of each type of waste generated – whether hazardous or special – including the particular characteristics of each;
  • a flowchart detailing the generation of the different types of waste within the corresponding process;
  • the processes to which the waste will be subjected (eg, collection, recycling, co-processing, treatment and incineration) and the authorised third party responsible for each process.

Regulated companies must file their waste management plan before the ASEA for its approval. Should a modification to the plan be necessary, approval from the ASEA will also be required.

Enforcement

NOM-EM-005 will be valid for six months from its date of publication in the Federal Official Gazette. The following companies must file a waste management plan before the ASEA no later than 90 calendar days from the standard's publication:

  • companies that have already registered a special management waste plan with the local authorities;
  • companies that have already registered a hazardous waste management plan before the Federal Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; and
  • companies that have yet to register a waste management plan.

At present, NOM-EM-005 is under revision and has not been officially published; therefore, it may be subject to changes or additions before its final publication and enforcement. However, the draft provides a preview of its intended scope and application.

As a consequence of the energy reform enacted in 2013, and the creation of the ASEA as a new hydrocarbons-focused environmental agency, regulations enacted before NOM-EM-005's publication(1) continue to apply and will thus complement the specific matters that ASEA intends to regulate under NOM-EM-005. Therefore, as well as complying with their new obligations under NOM-EM-005, generators of hazardous and special waste must:

  • continue to observe the applicable provisions of the existing regulations;
  • deliver and handle both types of waste with companies authorised by the ASEA; and
  • continue to comply with their record-keeping and reporting obligations.

For further information on this topic please contact Brenda A Rogel Salgado, Jeanett Trad Nacif, Juan Francisco Torres Landa or Mario Jorge Yanez at Hogan Lovells BSTL, SC by telephone (+52 55 5091 0000) or email (brenda.rogel@hoganlovells.com, jeanett.trad@hoganlovells.com, juanf.torreslanda@hoganlovells.com or jorge.yanez@hoganlovells.com). The Hogan Lovells BSTL, SC website can be accessed at www.hoganlovells.com.

Endnotes

(1) For example, the General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Waste and its regulations, as well as other applicable Mexican Official Standards (eg, NOM-052-SEMARNAT-2005).

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