GUIDE TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS IN MEXICO, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND CANADA This project was made possible by the support of the North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation (NAFEC). The following participated in and contributed to the creation of this project: E-LAW. - Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide Jennifer Gleason Chris Wold IDEA. - Instituto de Derecho Ambiental Raquel Gutiérrez Nájera, Ph.D. Jacqueline Brockmann Cochrane Alicia Loeza Corichi Teófilo Humberto Guerrero Manzo WCELA. - West Coast Environmental Law Illustrations by: Eduardo Montelongo Avalos Translation by: William Quinn of Linguas - Centro de Idiomas y Traducciones TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction ........................................page 1 Abbreviations and Acronyms.. ........................2 Chapter 1. Citizen Participation in Environmental Decision-Making in Mexico...............................................4 1.1 Background of public participation in Mexico..............................................4 1.2. The right to information and to public participation........................................5 1.3. Environmental public participation in Mexico in an institutional context................................8 1.4. The citizen`s view of participation in environmental decision-making in Mexico.....................................10 Chapter 2. Authorities in Environmental Matters, In Mexico...............................................13 2.1. Federal Government..............................13 2.2. State Govermment................................30 2.3. Municipal Government............................32 Chapter 3. Legal Framework for Citizen Participation in Mexico Regarding the Environment............................35 3.1. General information: Citizen participation as a form of social participation.........................................35 3.2. Basis for citizen participation in the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States............................37 3.3.General basis for citizen participation in the General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA) and in other laws that directly affect environmental protection ........42 3.4. Citizen participation in preventiva instruments of environmental protection (elaboration of standards, Environmental Policy Instruments and other measures) .........................47 3.5. Citizens as subjects of the right to environmental information in Federal legislation..................................62 3.6. Legal Procedures provided for in Environmental Llaws.................................66 3.7. Conclusion......................68 Chapter 4. Procedures for Environmental Matters in Mexico......................................................69 4.1. Specific environmental procedures related to its legal protection......................................................69 Chapter 5. Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making in the United States.......................................89 5.1. Outline of government structure in the United States in relation to environmental decision-making...........................90 5.2. Rulemaking and the Administrative Procedures Act..........91 5.3. Agency permitting......................................94 5.4. National Environmental Pollcy Act....................96 5.5. Public meeting laws..................................99 5.6. Access to information..............................................100 5.7. State Initiative Process...................................................109 5.8. Examples of how public participation has helped protect the environment..............................................110 5.9. Conclusion..........................................111 Chapter 6. Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making in Canada ....................................................112 6.1. Outline of government structure in Canada in relation to environmental decision-making .....................................................112 6.2. Citizen participation in the development of environmental law and policy .......................................................115 6.3.Permitting and approvals ....................................................120 6.4. Key environmental legislation with public participation requirements .................................................123 6.5. Access to information ...................................................131 6.6. Examples of how public participation has helped protect the environment ................................................134 6.7.Conclusion ...................................................139 INTRODUCTION One issue that seems to grow more and more relevant every day, is that of environmental problems which as time goes by impinge on us ever more insistentiy, because they manifest themselves in such tangible realities as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we put on our table every day. The environmental problems we face question not only human activity in the face of nature and the resources that nature offers us, but also the sustainability of the economic models that govern human undertakings in the present age. Law can be defined as a rational system of binding social norms of behavior, considered fair solutions to problems that arise from historic reality. That is to say, Law is the instrument that attempts to guide human behavior through binding norms, so that the common good is obtained, this being Law’s primordial objective, in response to historic reallty. Consequently, we believe that Law is the most sultable instrument, without excluding others, whose importance is also relevant for protecting the environment. For this to be so, it is crucial that citizens utilize legal tools. For that reason we have created the present guide so that citizens, both individuais and groups, become the main agents not only of decision-making on environmental matters, but also of demands that environmental norms be applied. The elaboration of this guide arose out of workshops conducted with lawyers and non-cyovernmental organizations dedicated to environmental protection. These workshops were conducted in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Monterrey, Oaxaca, Mérida, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. All the participants agreed on the need to use Law as a tool for protecting the environment. The guide is intended as an aid for NGO’s so that they can become familiar with and use the legal channels that exist to defend the environment, by means of the main opportunities for citizen participation that exist in Mexican environmental legislation. The final goal of the guide, then, will be the strengthening of citizen participation in environmental decision-making in Mexico. Along these lines, only through extensiva social pariicipation can our remaining natural resources be protected for future generations. As Abraham Lincoin aptly put it: “Wlth the support of public sentiment, nothing can go wrong; with it nothing can triumph”. The guide looks at five main headings, which are: Citizen participation in Mexico-what it has been and what we understand it to be, the authorities in environmental matters, the legal framework for citizen participation in environmental matters and the procedural tools that guarantee the exercise of environmental substantiva rights, incorporating them into a series of “outlines” of the different environmental procedures that we can initiate. Without a doubt, the next challenge is the validation of this instrument through its use by environmental NGO`s and its dissemination among the society in general, with the aim of protecting legal resources of public interest for environmental matters, guarantecing the continuity of life on this planet. ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS AC Environment Canada ANP Protected Natural Areas AOX Chlorinated halogens APA Environmental Protection Agency CAR Regulatory Consultant Committee CCA Council for Environmental Quality CEE European Economic Communlty CGHI Government Conference of Industrial Hygienists CLPC Local Contingency Committee CMCMA Canadian Ministers’ Council on Environmental Matters CNA National Water Commission CTCNF National Forestry Technical Consultation Council DDAO Declaration of Environmental Rights of Ontario DFMAC Canadian Federal Department of the Environment EIA Environmental Impact Evaluation INEC National Inventory of Pollution Emissions JP Justice of the Peace LA Agrarian Law LAN National Waters Law LC Hunting Law LCEIA Canadian Law on Environmental Impact Evaluation LCFA Law for Special Consultation Commissions LCPA Canadian Environmental Protection Law LCRR Resource Conservation and Recovery Law LF Forestry Law LFV Federal Housing Law LGAH General Law for Human Settlements LGEEPA General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection LGS General Health Law LGNN General Law for Metrology and Standards LLI Freedom of Information Law LNPA National Environmental Policy Law LOAPF Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration LPA Administrative Procedure Law LPCDSC Law for Contingency Planning and the Community’s Right to Know LSOS Occupational Health and Safety Law MIA Environmental Impact Statement ODSM Material Safety Data Sheet ONG’s Non-Government Organizations PROFEPA Federal Prosecutor’s Office for Environmental Protection RETAPFC Regulation on Environmental Impact Evaluations for Projects outside of Canada SAGAR Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development SCDA Department of the Comptroller and Administrative Development SCT Department of Communications and Transportation SE Department of Energy SECOFI Department of Commerce and Industrial Promotion SECTUR Department of Tourism SEDENA Department of National Defense SEDESOL Department of Social Development SEGOB Department of Government SEMARNAP Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries SEP Department of Public Education SHCP Department of the Treasury and Public Credit SM Department of the Navy SRA Department of Agrarian Reform SER Department of Foreign Relations SS Department of Health STPS Department of Labor and Social Insurance TPQ Principie of Quality Planning CHAPTER 1: CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION- MAKING IN MEXICO 1.1. Background of public participation in Mexico. In order to discuss public participation in environmental decision-making in Mexico, one must mention public awareness and understanding of scientific data generated as a result of increasing environmental problems. These problems, new scientific data, and public knowledge of this information have given rise to a new group of people in society: groups of ecologists, now called environmentalists. lt is difficult to characterize environmentalism in Mexico because it involves such diverslty in social groups, subjects and problems. However, we can mention the following characteristlcs,. a. A shared interest among different groups of people in halting environmental deterioration; b. A collective struggle against projects that harm the environment, and c. Multiple political and ideological projects that present alternativa forms of survival in the face of environmental crisis. The causes that have been taken up by Mexican environmental groups as well as environmentalists throughout the world, go hand-in-hand with issues raised by important international events, of which we can name some of the more important ones: 1. The United Nations meeting in 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden, dealing with the environment, in which the participating countries embraced the principle "that we all have the right to enjoy a clean environment;" 2. The World Conservation Strategy. This document was published on behalf the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, in 1980, and has a global diagnosis of the socio-environmental and political state of the world. lt also discusses how the concepts of sustainable development and citizen participation have begun to take shape; and lastly, 3. The Rio de Janeiro meeting in Brazil, 1992, in which a new intemational, environmental vision was developed that questioned the very concepts of sovereignty and the state of law. This vision also effected widespread societal participation in environmental matters. The idea of and strategies for public participation in environmental decision-making were strengthened. As previously noted, the environmental movement in Mexico has followed different trends. Gongora Soberanes classifies them in three types: 1. The conservationist trend. This trend characterizes the first environmentalist groups that started in the 1950s, parallel to the creation of the Mexican Institute of Natural Resources (IMERNAR) in Mexico City. Its main objectives were to investigase the status of natural resources within the country; to provide counsel regarding the best measures for natural resource conservation, development, and use for the benefit of the society; and to carry out the intensiva task of publicizing and advertising the issues. These groups were developed and fostered mainly by scientists conducting research on natural resources. Their main efforts were dedicated to slowing the deterioration and destruction of the natural environment, such as flora, fauna, forests, etc. 2. The ecologist trend. This trend is most often identified with the intenational de public environmental movement. lt was expressed with greatest force during the beginning of the 1980s. Members and groups of this movement are mainly from Mexico Clty, and are supported by intellectuais and young activists that have had access to information from environmental projects and Green parties in the USA and Europe. The people involved are from the urban middle class, have a university background, and many of them have experience in social justice struggles, such as the student movement in 1968, political parties, labor unions, etc. 3. The environmentalist trend. This trend not only groups together specific movements that were created out of concern for and interest in the environmental crisis, but is broader than the social movements. Membership in this group ranges from intellectuais to people in rural communities. Because the resources from which they gain their livelihood, such as their lands, forests and lakes, among other things, have been affected, the rural communities have well as oreanized to defend these resources. This trend is of a more practicar character and takes the position of solving specific environmental problems which are almost always related to production practices and policies affecting communities. We can infer that the origin of public participation (be it in an individual or collective capacity) in environmental problems is related to and has existed alongside the recognition and internationalization of the problems that we as a planet have today, which have been lumped together under the concept of “environmental crisis”. In this manner, the gains that ecologists or environmentalists have made from state actions are a reflection of organizad, active public participation. As a result, especially with respect to issues of quality of life and environmental disaster, society as a whole has an interest in staying informed, and in times of environmental problems, in taking to the streets to demand a coherent policy that leads to enviromnental conservation for present and future generations. 1.2. The right to information and to public participation. The right to public participation in environmental decisions undoubtedly presumes the coexistence and exercise of two rights: the right to information and the right to democracy. The first, because an informed society is a prerequisite for responsibly inciting actions or omissions on the part of government agencies; and the second, because through the exercise of political rights, people will have in their hands the development of the Nation and therefore its institutionalization. Such has been the posture of Spaniard Ramon Martin Mateo, when he defines in general terms the Right to Administrative Information as “the citizens` legal instrument to obtain from the Administration the information that it has in its archives and registers, sharing with them, with certain limitations, its available data. “Therefore as the author mentions, the above presumes that the Public Administration has to accept two principles: 1) Transparency (the elimination of public secrets); and 2) openness to indirect control by the citizens. The Right to Administrative Information is thus connected to the right of expression and free communication of news and ideas. Martin Mateo concludes, "more than with the right to expression, which is a fundamental right, the right that we consider here is the one related to democratic control of the Administration, this demands transparency in its actions and the possibility that the citizens can be present in the tasks of fulfilling jurisdictions and public responsibilities, which are not foreign to them, and leads us to techniques for participation." For the European Economic Community (EEC), the right to information and the right to citizen action come together when it is established that, "the right to information that we mention has its own profiles that directly affect citizens, in attempts to stimulate the adoption of a wider consciousness of their environmental responsibilities, which is expected to provide a larger contribution to the protection and improvement of the environment." This tone being set, the Community Program is reorganized under the following principles: a) prevention, b) shared responsibility, and c) the polluter pays. The EEC has proposed the following strategies in order to achieve the goals of the Community Program: 1. Increase the dialogue with industry; 2. Improve physical and strategic planning through environmental impact evaluations; 3. Improve the management and control of manufacturing processes through environmental audits, and by evaluating and recording environmental damages; 4. Establish a system of eco-labeling; and 5. Self-regulation and the right to information. In this vein, “public participation” is contemplated in the right to information about environmental issues (EEC 90/3 13) which states that the public must be able to participate in the most complete manner possible in environmental decision-making processes of the construction authorities, and in decisions about operating permits, permits for emissions or dumping, etc. Citizens have a direct interest `n the quality of the environment in which they live and can apply considerable pressure to encourage the good behavior of businesses in their area, perhaps even as directors or employees. This principle should also apply to information that is at the disposal of community institutions. However the right to participate in environmental decision-making is analyzed, they majority of experts undeniably agree that it is the right to information that makes it possible to act upon the available information. Related to this, Mexico’s SEMARNAP has stated that, “the main tool for public participation in environmental protection is information; putting it within reach of everyone when one speaks about common environmental resources such as clean water or air. This causes important changes in the attitude of the citizens who enjoy the resources and in those responsible for emissions that can contaminate them. In such a way, environmental information contributes to increasing cohesive action toward common goals. Information also helps broaden the authority’s scope of activities in accordance with its investigations and adoption of the social consensus. For some criminologists, the freedom of thought expounds on the freedoms of opinion and expression, and these together form the basis for freedom of information. The freedoms of opinion, expression and information become the action of freedom of thought, in so much as they form the externalization of thought. Currently, freedom of information has the characteristics of an authentic social right because it interests and engages not only individuals but all of society. In this context the “right to receive information”, is fundamental to empower citizens to participate in those decision-making processes from which they can derive benefit. Therefore, citizen participation may invade private or public spheres. Thus the right to participate in environmental decision-making always has the connotation of a “res publica” or public act. “public interest” as all that permits the public to more effectively exercise its rights and better fulfill its obligations to society and its individuals. Other authors, like Victor Toledo, place public participation in the framework of what Toledo calls "environmental democracy," which he defines as "the process of opening and mobilizing society for the construction of various forms of production and different lifestyles, based on new ethics and on the potencia¡ of natural processes magnified by the power of science and technology, and the collective evaluation of its social and environmental impacts." Lucia Alvarez presents the following concepts of "public participation": Guimares explains that "to participate means a voluntary act of social interaction intended to take part in some public activity, to intervene in its course of action and benefit from it." Fadda defines it as llan encounter with different sectors of society, particularly those excluded and those that maintain or cause exclusion." Bibiand de Brutto defines participation "as a social term, associated with the needs and aspirations of the members of a society; a relationship that may, depending on the circumstances, assume the characteristics of a social conflict." Alvarez concludes that "participation refers in the first place to an activity that some members of a society carry out in relation to the state, or in re action to the conduit` ions that such a state establishes. In the second place, it refers to an activity that can be carried out on an individual or collective basis, but always pursues a collective objective. In the third place, it refers to a series of actions that are performed within or with respect to the public sphere; understanding that the matters of public interest are usually regulated by the state. Lastly, it refers to an activity with social repercussions and specific characteristics such as internationality, a certain consciousness and capacity for transformation." There is no doubt that public participation in Mexico, its content and ideas, has taken clear, intentional, conscious actions tending towards transforming or touching upon problems of public interest. Therefore we agree with criminologists when they say that the freedom of expression and ideas precedes public participation. In the environmental -realm, one of the aims is to build, strengthen and guarantee the right to environmental information, as well as to make social and legal structures more flexible. 1.3. Environmental public participation in Mexico in an institutional context. The Program for the Environment 1995-2000 foresees, among other objectives, a "greater sponsorship of organized participation in society in environmental policies, meaning that in the participation of society in decision-making, the execution and evaluation of environmental policies is a necessary condition to give legitimacy to these actions and generate favorable conditions for its application." In this order of ideas, the Program tries to maintain the principle established in the Rio Declaration No. 10 which establishes that, "Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of al¡ concerned citizens, at the corresponding level. At the national level, each individual shall have access to environmental information held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, as well as the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilities and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, among them the compensation for damages and relevant remedies shall be provided. The strategy that this program promotes in order to encourage public participation is the development of national and regional advisory councils. These councils are conceived as "bodies of citizen participation, in which a permanent and fluid relationship is established between social sectors and environmental authorities. " The regional councils are formed by members of the academic sector, NGOS, the social sector and each state government. For this reason the country was divided into four regions with all states participating. The national advisory council is made up of the regional councils, with the additional participation of congressional representatives, federal authorities, centers for higher education, and social and commercial organizations. Among the functions of the NAC, we mention the following: 1. Encourage public deliberation and consultation and the formation of national strategies- 2. Draft recommendations to improve legal ordinances and procedures; 3. Carry out or promote studies that contribute to the design, improvement or evaluation of policies; 4. Assess the environmental authorities in the design, application and evaluation of strategies; 5. Exchange experiences with similar international organizations; 6. Form opinions about the environmental policies at the international level-, and 7. Periodically evaluate the results of the programs. There are also other avenues for participation such as the National Council for Natural Protected Areas, the Advisory Council for Environmental Standards, Technical and Public Hearings Systems in relations to issues of environmental impact, the Coordination Committees for Environmental Law, the Combined Inspection and Monitoring Committees, and the Metropolitan Councils for Air Quality Management. In the context of the environmental program, there are two major headings that incorporate different kinds of public participation: 1. Participatory monitoring, understood as creation and coordination of committees to inspect and monitor the natural resources of non-urban agricultural] areas, mainly with the community, the state structures, municipal and local governments, agricultural] producers and cooperatives, indigenous communities, and scientific and research bodies, among others. 2. Informal opportunities for participation. Under this heading we include different kinds of citizen organizations for the purpose of incorporating in them tasks mainly related to the he development of and dissemination of information that enables the public to be familiar with the legislation and rules in force, and likewise gives immediate answers to local problems beginning with public participation. The following are some of the highest priority projects of the Environmental Program: Project and/or action: 1. Create and operate a National Council for Sustainable Development. 2. Create and operate regional Councils for Sustainable Development. 3. Create a system for focusing attention on the Denuncia Popular. 4. Create a system for public and technical hearings concerning environmental impacts. 5. Promote the air quality policies of the Metropolitan Advisory Councils. 6. Strengthen and increase representation at the National Advisory Council for Environmental Standards. 7. Coordinate the functions of the National Council of Natural Protected Areas and the Technical Committees of Natural Protected Areas with other mechanisms for public participation. 8. Develop opportunities for informal] public participation. 9. Install and operate various protection and monitoring committees. On the other hand, the General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA), dedicates Title V to public participation, and establishes the need for the federal government to promote society`s responsibilities and participation in formulating policies, applying instruments, providing information and monitoring actions which permit the achievement of the law`s objective and establishes a basis for: a. Defining the principles of the general environmental policies and regulating the instruments for their application. b. Environmental law. c. Preservation, restoration and improvement of the environment. d. The rational use of natural resources in a manner that allows for economic benefit while sustaining environmental balance. e. The prevention and control of air, water, and soil pollution. f. The agreement in this matter of the federal government, states and municipal government, and, g. The coordination between the different institutions and entities of the federal public administration, as well as the corresponding public participation in the issues of this law. 1.4. The citizen`s view of participation in environmental decision-making in Mexico. In this section, we will review the results of public participation in Mexico, starting with the workshops we are conducting, in order to create a more precise and clear picture of opportunities for public participation and the different kinds of public participation in environmental problems. Approximately 20-25 members of NGOs regularly participated in the workshops held in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Merida, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and the majority were environmental leaders with professional degrees. There were approximately 15 lawyers who did not work in-depth with environmental problems, contrast to the NGOs which were using some legal tools, but in a very limited and scattered manner, often relying upon their common sense rather than a thorough knowledge of legal mechanisms of public participation in Mexico. Among the most commonly used public participation tools one can find references to resolving environmental problems, or at least expressing an opinion about the acts of the authorities and/or legislative processes. We can list the following: 1. Press conferences. 2. Meetings with government officials at all three levels. 3. Participation in public forums. 4. Marches, speeches and petitions. 5. Production of reports and demands. 6. Environmental education programs. The majority of the participants recognized the following obstacles to or limitations of their activities for the protection of the environment: a. There are not enough tools to assert the right to environmental information. b. Citizen participation is passive and apathetic. c. Negligence and corruption on the part of government officials. d. Bureaucracy. e. A lack of technical and legal capacity. From the results of the workshops, the participating organizations reaffirm the importance Public and necessity of the production of the present guide as a practical instrument for citizen participation in environmental problems in Mexico. Now that we have reviewed the background and the experiences in the workshops, we can define "public participation" as those opportunities for reflection, action, demand and pronouncements -- from which the interested party (be it a citizen, business person, environmentalist, etc.) proposes, reconstructs, reaffirms or promotes a project of society. In conclusion, from an environmental perspective, public participation in Mexico has generally responded to decisions on environmental issues that have been constructed through prior scientific knowledge. However, public participation per se is far from the creation of legal opportunities that definitively limit the proceedings of the authorities in favor of defense of the public interest. Thus, this guide reviews the legal aspects and the procedural tools that guarantee pu participation in the management of the environment and in this way goes to establish le criteria for the interpretation of Mexico`s environmental laws. CHAPTER 2: AUTHORITIES IN ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS, IN MEXICO Now that the background and concepts of citizen participation in environmental matters in Mexico has been analyzed in general terms, and before examining the legal framework of this participation in Chapter 3 of the present Manual, in this chapter we will try to formulate an outline that will explain who the authorities in environmental matters are on all three levels of government: Federal, State and Municipal, as well as their mandates. With regard to the state and municipal levels, we will only mention the mandates that the Federal Political Constitution, as well as the General Law for Ecological Balance, confers on them, since each State has its own state Law for ecological balance and the municipalities have their own regulations and authorities in charge of enforcing them. In accordance with article 40 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States (hereinafter the Constitution) our country is a "representative, democratic, federal Republic..." whose sovereignty resides in the people, who exercises it through the Powers of the Union (constitutional article 41), these being the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Powers. This separation of powers exists at the Federal level and at the State level, as set forth in article 116 of the legal ordinance in question. The functions of these powers on both levels are similar-, they differ mainly in the scope of their exercise and in certain concrete matters defined by the Constitution itself 2.1. Federal Government. Legislative Power.- According to article 50 of our Constitution, the Legislative Power is deposited in the General Congress, which is divided into to Deputies` Chamber and the Senate. b) Judicial Power.- The exercise of the Judicial Power is deposited in the Supreme Court of Justice, the Collegiate and Unitary Circuit Courts, the District Courts and the Judiciary Council. (art. 94). c) Executive Power.- The exercise of the Executive Power is deposited in a single person, the President of the United Mexican States. The President of the Republic, in order to fulfill the obligations listed in constitutional article 89, has at his disposal an administrative apparatus made up of the centralized public administration, which includes the President of the Republic, the Cabinet-level Departments (State Secretariats), and the administrative Departments. Likewise there is the public administration of state-controlled enterprises, which encompasses decentralized organisms, i.e., entities of the Executive Power that have their own legal personality and hierarchical autonomy to carry out administrative tasks, companies with state investment, national credit institutions, national auxiliary credit institutions, national insurance and bond organizations, and trusts. In view of the fact that in environmental matters, the Executive Power not only is in charge of applying the norm but also of enforcing it and resolving the procedures in the event of concrete disputes, we will look at this area in greater detail. It is important to point out that recourse to the Judicial Power is available only when there is direct and personal injury legitimizing the plaintiff, in which case he may claim criminal or civil redress, or any other redress if necessary. The Executive Power has the following Cabinet-level Departments (State Secretariats), which we will list in order to locate, within the overall organization, those authorities that concern us in this study. - Department of Government - Department of Foreign Relations - Department of National Defense - Department of the Navy - Department of the Treasury and Public Credit - Department of Social Development (SEDESOL) - Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (SEMARNAP) - Department of Energy - Department of Commerce and Industrial Promotion - Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development (SAGAR) - Department of Communications and Transportation - Department of the Comptroller and Administrative Development - Department of Public Education (SEP) - Department of Health (SS) - Department of Labor and Social Insurance - Department of Agrarian Reform (SRA) and - Department of Tourism Of the above departments, we will only analyze those whose jurisdictions in one way or another give them the mandate to apply the LGEEPA or any of the other laws that coincidentally have to do with environmental protection. These departments are: SEDESOL, SEMARNAP, SAGAR, SEP, SS, and SRA. 2.1.1. The chief department of the environmental sector is SEMARNAP. SEMARNAP`s function is defined in the first article of its Internal Regulations as follows: "The Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, as an agency of the Federal Executive Power, is responsible for carrying out the mandates and powers conferred upon it by the Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration, the General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, the National Waters Law, the Forestry Law, the Federal Hunting Law, the Fishing Law, the General Law for National Property and other laws, as well as the regulations, decrees, agreements, official Mexican norms, memoranda and orders of the President of the United Mexican States." Its mandates are also listed in article 32 of the Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration (LOAPF) as follows: ARTICLE 32.- bis.- The Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries is responsible for dealing with the following matters: I. Promoting the protection, restoration and conservation of ecosystems and natural ties that resources and environmental goods and services, for the purpose of favoring their utilization and sustainable development; II. Formulating and conducting national policy in matters concerning natural resources, as long as they are not expressly mandated to another agency; as well as in matters concerning ecology, environmental clean-up, water, environmental regulation of urban development and development of fishing activities, with the participation that corresponds to other agencies and entities; III. Managing and regulating the use, and promoting the sustainable utilization of the natural resources corresponding to the Federation, with the exception of petroleum and all liquid, solid and gaseous hydrocarbons, as well as radioactive minerals; IV. With the participation that corresponds to other agencies and state and municipal authorities, establishing official Mexican norms regarding the preservation and restoration of environmental quality; regarding natural ecosystems; regarding sustainable utilization of natural resources and of wild animal and plant life, both land and aquatic; regarding discharges of sewerage; and in matters of mining, regarding hazardous materials and hazardous solid waste; V. In coordination with federal, state and municipal authorities, enforcing the laws, official Mexican norms and programs related to natural resources, environment, waters, forests, wild animal and plant life, both land and aquatic, and fisheries; and other matters over which the Department has jurisdiction, as well as imposing appropriate sanctions, if necessary; VI. Proposing to the Federal Executive Branch the establishment of protected natural areas, and for their management and oversight, promoting the participation of federal or local authorities, and of universities, research institutes and private citizens; VII. Organizing and managing protected natural areas, and supervising the work of of the conserving, protecting and overseeing said areas when their management is the responsibility of state and municipal governments or of individuals or legal entities; VIII. Exercising the nation`s possession and ownership of beaches, federal maritime lands and land reclaimed from the sea; IX. Taking part in international forums regarding matters encompassed by the Department`s mandate, with the participation that corresponds to the Department of Foreign Relations, and proposing to this Department the negotiation of international treaties and agreements on such matters; X. Promoting the ecological ordinance of national territory, in coordination with the federal, state and municipal authorities, and with the participation of private citizens; XI. Evaluating and issuing final judgments on environmental impact statements of development projects submitted to it by the public, social and private sectors; making final determinations on environmental risk studies, as well as on accident prevention programs that have ecological implications; XII. Elaborating, promoting and disseminating technologies and know-how required for the sustainable utilization of ecosystems and having to do with the environmental quality of productive processes and transportation services; XIII. Promoting and carrying out reforestation and ecological restoration projects, with the cooperation of Federal, State and Municipal authorities, in coordination, if necessary, of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development; XIV. Evaluating environmental quality and establishing and promoting the environmental information system, which shall include monitoring systems for the atmosphere, soil, and bodies of water under federal jurisdiction, and inventors of natural resources and wildlife populations, with the cooperation of state and municipal authorities, research and higher education institutions, and corresponding agencies and entities; XV. Developing and promoting economic appraisal methodologies and procedures regarding natural capital and the environmental goods and services that this capital represents, and cooperating with agencies and entities in the development of an integrated environmental and economic accounting system; XVI. Conducting national policy on climatic change and on protection of the ozone layer; XVII. Encouraging the participation of the citizenry and of the scientific community in the formulation, application and oversight of environmental policy and coordinating actions and investments with the social and private sectors to protect and restore the environment; XVIII. Carrying out a census of forested and pasture lands and their products- compiling, organizing and managing forest cartography and statistics, as well as keeping track of, and caring for, historic and notable trees throughout the country; XIX. Proposing, and if necessary, making final determinations on the establishment and lifting of restrictions on the exploitation of forests, hunting and fishing, in agreement with applicable legislation, and establishing hunting seasons and seasons for songbirds and ornamental birds; XX. Imposing such restrictions as are established in applicable regulations regarding the circulation or transit through national territory of species of wild animal and plant life coming from or heading to foreign countries, and promoting before the Department of Commerce and Industrial Promotion, the establishment of measures regulating or restricting their importation or exportation when required for their conservation or utilization; XXI. Directing meteorological, climate, hydrological and geohydrological studies, work and services, as well as the national meteorological system and taking, part in the international agreements that exist in these areas; XXII. Coordinating, arranging and carrying out educational, training and updating projects for the purpose of improving environmental stewardship and the sustainable use of natural resources; stimulating institutions of higher learning and research centers to set up with the programs for training specialists, to provide environmental know-how and to encourage scientific and technological research on the subject, encouraging cultural promotion organizations and the information media to contribute to the formation of attitudes and values that favor environmental protection and the conservation of our natural heritage; and in coordination with the Department of Public Education, strengthening the environmental content in curricula and teaching materials used on the different educational levels and in different educational modes; XXIII. Organizing, directing and regulating hydrological work in river basins, riverbeds and river channels corresponding the national waters, both surface and underground, in accordance with applicable law; XXIV. Managing, controlling and regulating the utilization of nationally-owned hydraulic basins, bodies of water, springs and waters, and of the corresponding federal zones, except those expressly under the jurisdiction of another agency; establishing and overseeing the specific conditions that sewage discharge must meet when under federal jurisdiction; authorizing, if necessary, the dumping of sewage into the sea, in coordination with the Department of the Navy, when said sewage comes from moving sources or fixed platforms; in nationally-owned basins, river channels and other bodies of water; and promoting, and if necessary, carrying out and operating infrastructure and services necessary for improving water quality in the basins; XXV. Studying, projecting, building and conserving, with the corresponding participation of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, irrigation, drainage, and land protection and improvement projects and small-scale irrigation projects, in accordance with the programs formulated and mandated to the Federal Government, alone or in cooperation with state and municipal authorities or private citizens; XXVI. Regulating and overseeing the conservation of rivers, lakes and lagoons under federal jurisdiction, in the protection of tributary basins and in runoff correction projects; XXVII. Managing the hydrological system of the Valley of Mexico; XXVIII. Controlling rivers and other streams and carrying out flood protection projects; XXIX. Organizing and managing the exploitation of national irrigation systems, with the involvement of the users, in the terms set forth by law, in coordination, if necessary, of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development-, XXX. Carrying out hydraulic projects that derive from international treaties; XXXI: Participating, if necessary, in supplying water to population centers and industry, promoting and providing technical support for the development of drinking water drainage, sewer and sewage-treatment systems undertaken by local authorities- as well as programming, projecting, building, managing, operating and conserving on its own, or through such delegation or concession as the case may require, or under the terms of such agreement as may be reached, projects and services involving the catchment, purification, sewerage treatment, conveyance and supply of waters under federal jurisdiction; XXXII. Regulating fisheries, and issuing the corresponding official Mexican norms, as well as promoting, encouraging and giving technical assistance for, the production, industrialization and marketing of its products in all aspects, in coordination with the appropriate agencies; XXXIII. Studying, projecting, building and conserving the fishing and aquiculture infrastructure facilities required for the development of the fishing sector, with the participation of state and municipal authorities and private citizens; XXXIV. Regulating the formation and organization of the fishing fleet, as well as fishing gear, by issuing the corresponding official Mexican norms in this regard; XXXV. Participating with the Department of the Treasury and Public Credit in the determination of general criteria for establishing the fiscal and financial incentives needed for the sustainable utilization of natural resources and for the care of the environment; XXXVI. Carrying out directly, and authorizing under the terms of the law, matters regarding aquiculture; as well as establishing hatcheries, nurseries and reserves for aquatic species, with the participation, if necessary, of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development; XXXVII. Promoting the establishment of fishing port zones, as well as their conservation and maintenance; XXXVIII. Promoting, in coordination with the Department of Commerce and Industrial Promotion, the human consumption of fishing products, ensuring the supply and distribution of said products and of raw materials to the national industry; XXXIX. Granting contracts, concessions, licenses, permits, assignments, and recognizing rights, as appropriate, in matters concerning waters, forests, ecology, fishing, utilization of wild animal and plant life, beaches, federal maritime lands and land reclaimed from the sea; XL. Designing and operating, with the participation corresponding to other agencies and entities, the adoption of economic instruments for the protection, restoration and conservation of the environment; XLI. And all else that laws and regulations may mandate. The second article of the Internal Regulations of this administrative agency establishes an organic structure. It has two types of offices: administrative units and decentralized offices. Administrative Units: - General Office - Planning Office - Office for Natural Resources - Fisheries Office - Chief Administrative Office - Coordinating Unit for Economic and Social Analysis - Coordinating Unit for International Affairs - Internal Control Unit - General Office for Legal Affairs - General Office for Social Communication - General Planning Office - General Office for Regional Programs - General Office of the Center for Education and Training in Sustainable Development - General Office for Statistics and Information Technology - General Office for Federal Maritime Lands - General Office for Soil Restoration and Conservation - General Forestry Office - General Office for Fishing Policy and Promotion - General Office for Fisheries Management - General Office for Fisheries Infrastructure - General Office for Aquiculture - General Office for Human Resources and Organization - General Office for Programming, Budget and Evaluation - General Management Office - Federal Delegations Decentralized Administrative Offices. The decentralized offices are offices that carry out an administrative function, belong to the centralized public administration, but enjoy a certain freedom of action in technical aspects, specific to some matter included in the mandate of the central office on which they depend (Department) and have no legal personality of their own . - National Water Commission - Mexican Institute for Water Technology - National Ecology Institute - Federal Prosecutor`s Office for Environmental Protection - National Fisheries Institute We will not go into an analysis of the administrative units because it seems to us that little or no citizen participation can be achieved with or through them. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the functions and organization of the decentralized administrative offices because they are main actors in citizens demands and legal proceedings regarding environmental matters. National Water Commission. In accordance with article 37 of the Internal Regulations of the SEMARNAP, the CNA has the mandate that is assigned to it by the LAN and its regulations, as well as all other applicable provisions. In general we can say that the CNA is the agency through which the Federal Executive exercises its authority and management in matters concerning national waters and their inherent public goods. (cfr. art. 4 of LAN) Mexican Institute for Water Technology. Its mandates are listed in article 53 of the Internal Regulations of the SEMARNAP and from them we can deduce that it is mainly responsible for the technical aspect of sustainable and integral water management. Federal Prosecutor`s Office for Environmental Protection. ARTICLE 62.- The Federal Prosecutor`s Office for Environmental Protection shall have the following mandates: I.- Enforcing the applicable legal provisions related to the prevention and control of environmental Pollution, natural resources, forests, wild animal and plant life, both land and aquatic, fisheries, and federal maritime lands, maritime beaches and land reclaimed from, the sea or administrative petitions and procedures that pursue the achievement of such ends; II. Receiving, investigating and handling, or channeling to the proper authorities lf necessary, the administrative complaints and charges filed by the citizenry and the public, to the social and private sectors, for non-compliance with the applicable legal provisions related to the environment, natural resources, forests, wild animal and plant life, both land and aquatic, and fisheries; III.- Safeguarding the population`s interests and offering it assistance in matters concerning the protection and defense of the environment and natural resources encompassed within the Department`s mandate; IV.- Assisting federal, state and municipal authorities in the control of the application of environmental regulations; V.- Issuing determinations resulting from administrative procedures within the scope of its mandate; VI.- Issuing recommendations to the appropriate authorities for the purpose of controlling the proper application of environmental regulations; as well as enforcing their compliance and following up on said recommendations; VII.- Promoting and securing the conciliation of interests between private parties and in their relations with the authorities, in matters resulting from the application of laws, regulations, official Mexican norms and environmental programs; VIII.- Performing environmental audits and expert appraisals, regarding systems of exploitation, storage, transportation, production, transformation, marketing, use and disposal of wastes and compounds, as well as regarding activities that by nature constitute an environmental risk; IX.- Formulating, upon request of the appropriate authorities or private parties, technical determinations regarding damages or losses caused by violations of environmental regulations; X.- Imposing technical and safety measures, as well as the penalties that fall within its mandate under the terms of applicable legal provisions; XI.- Investigating violations of environmental legislation, and if necessary, informing the appropriate authorities when the violations do not fall within its mandate; XII.- Bringing charges before the Federal Attorney General`s Office for acts, omissions or deeds that imply the commission of crimes, for the purpose of protecting and defending the environment and natural resources and fisheries; XIII.-Coordinating with other federal, state and municipal authorities in the fulfillment of its mandate, as well as taking part in dealing with environmental contingencies and emergencies. XIV.- Participating with the appropriate authorities in the elaboration and application of official Mexican norms, studies, programs, projects, actions, improvements and investments for the protection, defense and restoration of the environment and natural resources; XV.- Through the Department`s Internal Control Unit, channeling the irregularities committed by federal public officials in the discharge of their duties against the environment or natural resources, so that it may intervene under the terms of the law or else remit the matter to the appropriate authority, XVI.-Coordinating efforts with federal, state and municipal authorities in order to handle such complaints and charges as may be filed for irregularities committed by local public officials to the detriment of the environment or natural resources, so that action may be taken in accordance with applicable legislation, and XVII.- Resolving such administrative appeals as fall within its mandate. For the discharge of its duties, the PROFEPA has the following Administrative Units: - Assistant Prosecutor`s Office for Environmental Auditing - Assistant Prosecutor`s Office for Industrial Verification - Assistant Prosecutor`s Office for Natural Resources General Offices: - Planning and Coordination - Operations - Environmental Emergencies - Industrial Technical Assistance - Industrial Inspection - Laboratories - Verification of Ecological Ordinance - Inspection and Oversight of Forests and Wild Animal and Plant Life - Inspection and Oversight of Fishing and Marine Resources - Legal Affairs - Charges and Complaints - Administration - Internal Control - Coordination of Delegations and PROFEPA Delegations in the States. National Ecology Institute. ARTICLE 54.- The National Ecology Institute shall have the following mandates: I.- Formulating, conducting and evaluating national policy concerning ecology and environmental protection, for the purpose of ensuring the conservation and restoration of ecosystems, as well as their sustainable utilization and development; II.-Formulating, conducting and evaluating national policy concerning ecology and the environmental regulation of urban development, with the participation corresponding to other agencies and entities; III.- Carrying out the general ecological ordinance for national territory, in coordination with the corresponding agencies and entities of the Federal Public Administration, with the to governments of federal and municipal entities and with the participation of the social and private sectors, and promoting regional and local ecological ordinances; IV.- Formulating and conducting general policy regarding environmental clean-up, in coordination with the appropriate areas of the Department, with the Department of Health and other appropriate agencies; V.- Proposing the establishment of protected natural areas of interest to the Federation and promoting for their management the participation of federal and local authorities and of universities, research centers and private citizens; VI.- Organizing and managing the protected natural areas that are not expressly mandated to other agencies, and together with other appropriate administrative units of the Department, supervising the conservation and protection efforts of said areas, as well as setting up the National System of Protected Natural Areas; VII.- Managing and promoting the utilization and conservation of wild animal and plant life; VIII.- Formulating and conducting general policy regarding hazardous wastes and environmental risks, as well as lobbying appropriate authorities for the establishment of general policies applicable to non-hazardous urban, municipal and industrial wastes; IX.- Establishing and promoting the environmental information system, which shall include systems for monitoring the atmosphere, soil and water bodies under federal jurisdiction, as well as inventories of natural resources and populations of wild animal and plant life, with the participation that corresponds to other appropriate administrative units, agencies and entities, in conjunction with the governments of federal and municipal entities and in cooperation with research institutions and institutions of higher learning; X.- Evaluating, issuing judgments and resolutions regarding the special protection status decreed for species of animal and plant life, both land and aquatic, in accordance with applicable legal provisions; XI.- Evaluating, issuing judgments and resolutions regarding environmental impact statements of development projects submitted by the public, social and private sectors, that fall within its mandate, in accordance with applicable legal provisions; XII.- Evaluating, issuing judgments and resolutions regarding environmental risk studies submitted by those responsible for carrying out high-risk activities in operational establishments, as well as issuing judgments on environmental contingency programs; XIII.- Coordinating, together with the appropriate administrative units of the Department, actions and investments with the social and private sectors for protecting and restoring the environment and the participation of the scientific community in formulating and applying environmental policy; XIV.- Granting permits, concessions, authorizations, licenses, judgments, resolutions, certificates and records within its mandate, in accordance with the stipulations found in applicable legal provisions; XV.- Publishing and disseminating the Ecological Gazette and assisting the appropriate administrative units in the promotion and advancement on a national level of ecological culture among the population, through the publishing and if necessary, distribution and marketing of all manner of publications on the subject; XVI.- Elaborating, promoting and disseminating technologies and uses required for the sustainable utilization of ecosystems and concerning the environmental quality of productive, service and transportation processes; XVII.- Fomenting and carrying out ecological restoration projects, in cooperation with federal, state and municipal authorities; XVIII.- Assisting the appropriate administrative units in the development and promotion of economic instruments for environmental policy, as well as methodologies and procedures for the economic appraisal of natural capital and the environmental goods and services that this capital provides, and cooperating with agencies and entities in order to develop an integrated system of environmental and economic accounting; XIX.- Fomenting, conducting and evaluating national policies on climatic change and protection of the ozone layer; XX.- Performing studies in coordination with the administrative units of the Department, and proposing the declaration of protected natural areas in the interest of the Federation. ARTICLE 55.- For the fulfillment of its mandate the institute shall have the following administrative units: - Presidency - Coordinating Unit for Protected Natural Areas - General Office for Wildlife - General Office for Environmental Proceedings and Information - General Office for High-Risk Materials, Wastes and Activities - General Office for Ecological Ordinance and Environmental Impact - General Office for Environmental Regulations National Fisheries Institute. ARTICLE 83.- The National Fisheries Institute shall have the following mandates: I.- Designing, conducting and evaluating priorities in fisheries and aquiculture research policy for the country, in accordance with the objectives, policies and strategies of the programs for development, environmental protection and rational utilization of aquatic biotic resources over the short, medium and long term; II.- Coordinating, establishing and developing the bases for scientific and technological research and studies into fisheries and aquiculture that will serve to give unity and consistency to the sector`s programs and actions aimed at achieving sustainable development; III.- Designing research with an integral, interdisciplinary and systemic focus bringing together the natural, economic and social processes involved in fishing; IV.- Acting as the Department`s scientific and technical consulting agency for matters concerning fisheries and aquiculture; V.- Elaborating judgments and technical opinions so that the Department`s appropriate administrative units can establish regulatory, management and conservation measures for fishery resources; VI.- Coordinating, orienting, carrying out and fomenting scientific research into aquatic wildlife susceptible to fishing, its habitat, availability, management and integral utilization, developing and applying original and innovative methodologies; VII.- Coordinating, orienting, carrying out and fomenting technological research into equipment, methods, gear, systems and processes that ensure efficiency in the different stages of fishery and aquiculture production; VIII.- Issuing judgments on technological models and developments in fishing gear and methods, and formulating recommendations for the appropriate administrative unit on the advisability of use; IX.- Supporting, developing and promoting the transfer of technology generated by institution, making it accessible to national fishing and aquiculture producers; X.- Orienting, fomenting and developing research into aquiculture, without affecting mandates of other appropriate administrative units; XI.- Elaborating and updating species inventories and the areas set aside for fishing, cultivation and protection, and participating in the elaboration of the National Fisheries Chart, as well as the state versions; XII.- Making technical contributions to exploration for the purpose of establishing new areas and species susceptible to exploitation by fishing, aquiculture and for the protect of resources; XIII.- Participating, in coordination with the appropriate authorities, in the elaboration studies that help to define the causes, effects and solutions of ecological deterioration a water pollution, when these affect fisheries, or when fishing or aquiculture activities a ecosystems; XIV.- Assisting appropriate administrative units in carrying out ecological ordinance a environmental impact studies regarding projects undertaken by the Department in t areas of fishing and aquiculture; XV.- Promoting research and studies on fisheries and their sustainable utilization and, coordination with the Department`s administrative units, establishing a documentary information center on areas within its mandate and designating a select editorial committee to promote and expedite the publication of results of the research; XVI.- Promoting the training of technicians and scientific researchers of excellence, by providing training and scholarships in areas of the institution`s interest; XVII.- Participating, together with the Department`s appropriate administrative units, in the formulation of training programs on integral and sustainable management of plant and animal life susceptible to fishing and aquiculture; XVIII.- Drawing up and signing, upon authorization of the Secretary and taking into consideration the opinion of the Coordinating Unit for International Affairs and the Department`s General Office for Legal Affairs when appropriate, agreements with third parties for carrying out research and studies and for exchanging scientific and technical information, as well as research materials, by means of bilateral and multi-lateral agreements and arrangements. XIX.- Establishing coordination and collaboration programs with national and international scientific institutions and organizations related to fisheries research; XX.- Offering public and private users professional scientific and technological research services, opinions and technical determinations, and environmental consulting, in areas within the Institute`s mandate. For the fulfillment of its mandate, this institute has the following Administrative Units: - Presidency - General Office for Fisheries Research, Evaluation and Management - General Office for Fisheries Management and Technological Development - General Office for Aquiculture Management - General Office for Research into Sustainable Development Processes 2.1.2. Department of Social Development (SEDESOL). The main function of this Department is formulating, conducting and evaluating general policy regarding social development. While this does not involve specifically environmental issues, it can have direct influence on the environment. Here we will transcribe only those mandates that generate said influence: Article 32 LOAPF: "The Department of Social Development is in charge of dealing with the following matters; I. Formulating, conducting and evaluating general social development policy for effectively editorial combating poverty; particularly policy regarding human settlements, urban development and housing; II. Projecting and coordinating regional planning, with the participation that corresponds to state and municipal governments; III. Projecting population distribution and zoning of population centers, in conjunction with the agencies and entities of the corresponding federal public administration, as well as coordinating efforts agreed to by the Federal Executive with state executives for carrying out actions conducive to this end, with the participation of the social and private sectors; IV. Foreseeing, at the national level, the need for land for urban development and housing, taking into account the availability of water as determined by the Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, and regulating, in coordination with state and municipal governments, the mechanisms for meeting said needs; V. Drawing up, supporting and executing programs for meeting demands for urban space and the establishment of territorial provisions and reserves for the proper development of population centers, in coordination with the corresponding agencies and entities of the federal public administration and state and municipal governments, and with the participation of different social groups; VI. Promoting and coordinating housing and urban development programs, and supporting their execution, with the participation of state and municipal governments, and the social and private sectors. 2.1.3. Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development (SAGAR). This Department discharges its duties in the rural setting. Its main objective is conducting general policy regarding rural development issues. In view of the important influence the rural setting has on natural resources, the policies that this agency establishes can seriously affect or substantially benefit the status of said natural resources and therefore, of the environment itself. This government agency`s mandates are listed in article 35 of the LOAPF; of these, we will mention only the following: Article 35.- "The Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development is in charge of dealing with the following matters: I. Fomenting, conducting and evaluating general rural development policy, for the purpose of raising the standard of living of families living in rural settings, in coordination with appropriate agencies; II. Organizing and fomenting research into agriculture, livestock, poultry breeding, beekeeping and forestry by establishing experimental institutes, laboratories, breeding stations, seedbeds and nurseries, and connecting with institutions of higher learning in the corresponding localities, in coordination, lf necessary, with the Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries; III. Participating, together with the Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, in the conservation of agricultural land, prairies and woods, and applying suitable techniques and procedures; IV. Programming and proposing, with the corresponding participation of the Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries., the construction of small irrigation projects; and projecting, executing and conserving car-then dams, canals, ditches, watering holes and pools that fall within the mandate of the Federal Government alone or in cooperation with state or municipal governments or private citizens; V. Participating, together with the Department of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, in the promotion of tree farms, in accordance with the programs that have been formulated and that fall within the mandate of the Federal Government alone or in cooperation with state or municipal governments or private citizens; All others expressly mandated to it by laws and regulations." 2.1.4. Department of Health (SS). Under article 39, first section of the LOAPF, the Department of Health is responsible for: "Establishing and conducting national policy regarding social welfare, medical services and general public hygiene with the exception of matters relating to environmental clean-up... " The foregoing allows us to infer that this department must deal with the health consequences resulting from environmental deterioration, but it may not take measures to foresee health- threatening situations related to the environment in order to prevent them. The studies, research, statistics and determinations formulated by this department can have a direct influence on the policies or decisions corresponding to environmental authorities. 2.I.5. Department of Public Education (SEP). In the same LOAPF, article 38, which defines this agency`s mandate, has nothing to say about environmental issues, although it does include cultural, athletic, artistic, historical and other matters. Therefore, the only item of present interest is the coordination that the SEMARNAP must have with the SEP and that was mentioned earlier within the mandate or functions of the former. 2.1.6. Department of Agrarian Reform (SRA). This Department is important because its main function is to apply the agrarian principles found in constitutional article 27, an essential foundation of the protection of our country`s environment. To effectively protect the rural environment, the coordination of the SRA with the SEMARNAP is indispensable, since the former is responsible for: A) Allocating and returning land and water to rural communities; B) Creating new centers of agricultural population with the corresponding allocation of land C) The National Agrarian Registry and, D) Finally, cooperating with the appropriate authorities to carry out soil and water conservation programs effectively in ejidos and agrarian communities. (Cfr art. 41 of the LOAPF). 2.2. State Government. As far as environmental protection on the state level is concerned, each state has its own State Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, as well as the corresponding regulations, and therefore, has its own authorities. It would be overwhelming to analyze each of the laws, regulations and authorities of each of the states, for which reason we will mention only state jurisdiction in environmental matters as set forth in the Constitution and the LGEEPA: In constitutional terms we can say that anything that is not mandated to the Federation, is considered reserved for the States. Furthermore, article 7 of the LGEEPA establishes: “In accordance with the stipulations of this law and local laws on the subject, the States are empowered with: I. Formulating, conducting and evaluating state environmental policy; II. Applying the environmental policy instruments foreseen in local laws on the subject, as well as preserving and restoring ecological balance and protecting the environment in goods and zones under state jurisdiction, in matters not expressly mandated to the federation; III. Preserving and controlling atmospheric pollution generated by fixed sources functioning as industrial establishments, as well as by moving sources which under the stipulations of this law do not fall within the federal mandate; IV. Regulating activities not considered high-risk for the environment, in accordance with the stipulations of article 149 of the present law; V. Establishing, regulating, administering and safeguarding the protected natural areas foreseen in the local legislation with the participation of the municipal governments; VI. Regulating collection, transportation, storage, handling, treatment and final disposal systems for solid and industrial wastes that are not considered hazardous under article 137 of the present law; VII. Preventing and controlling pollution caused by the emission of noise, vibrations, and thermal energy, luminous energy, electromagnetic radiation and smells that harm ecological balance or the environment and that originate from fixed sources functioning as industrial establishments, as well as moving sources that under this law do not fall within the federal mandate: VIII. Regulating, sustainable utilization and preventing and controlling pollution in waters under state jurisdiction; as well as in national waters that have been assigned to them; IX. Formulating, issuing and executing ecological ordinance programs for the territory referred to in article 20 bis 2 of this law, with the participation of the respective municipalities; X. Preventing and controlling pollution generated by the utilization of substances that are not reserved for the Federation, that are made up of deposits similar in nature to the components of the land, such as rock or products of their decomposition which can be used only for manufacturing construction materials or putting constructions in order; XI. Dealing with matters that affect the ecological balance or environment of two or more municipalities; XII. Participating in environmental emergencies and contingencies in accordance with such. policies and programs of civil participation as are established for this purpose; XIII. Enforcing the official Mexican norms issued by the Federation in matters and assumptions referred to in sections III, VI, and VII of this article; XIV. Conducting state information and dissemination policy in environmental matters; XV. Promoting society`s participation in environmental matters, in accordance with the stipulations of this law; XVI. Evaluating the environmental impact of the projects or activities that are not expressly reserved in the present law for the Federation and, if necessary, issuing the corresponding authorizations as set forth in article 35 bis 3 of the present law; XVII. Discharging such functions as the Federation may transfer to them in matters concerning the preservation of ecological balance and environmental protection, as set forth in article 11 of this ordinance; XVIII. Formulating, executing and evaluating the state environmental protection program; XIX. Issuing recommendations to the appropriate authorities in environmental matters, for the purpose of promoting compliance with environmental legislation; XX. In coordination with the Federation, dealing with matters that affect the ecologic balance of two or more Federative Entities, when the respective Federative Entities deem it suitable, and XXI. Dealing with other matters that this law or other ordinances consistent with it grant them for matters involving ecological balance and environmental protection and that are not expressly assigned to the Federation. 2.3. Municipal Government. On the municipal level the same rule that was mentioned above is applied: it is taken for granted that whatever is not expressly reserved for the Federation and the States, 1 conferred on the municipalities. Constitutional article 115 establishes, among other things the municipalities` mandate with regard to environmental matters. The third section legislates as follows: "The municipalities... shall be responsible for the following pubic services: a) Drinking water and sewers b) Street cleaning c) Markets and supply centers d) Cemeteries e) Slaughterhouses f) Streets, parks and gardens g) and such others as the local legislatures may determine..." Furthermore, the fifth section stipulates: "The municipalities, under the terms of relevant federal and state laws, shall be empowered to formulate, approve and administer municipal urban development zoning and plans; to participate in the creation and administration of territorial reserves- to control and enforce ground use in their territorial jurisdictions; to intervene in the regularization of urban property ownership; to grant construction licenses and permits, and to participate in the creation and administration of ecological reserves. To this effect and in accordance with the objective indicated in the third section of article 27 of this Constitution, they shall issue such administrative regulations and provisions as may be necessary." Article 8 of the LGEEPA stipulates: "The municipalities are responsible for....: I.- Formulating, conducting and evaluating municipal environmental policy; II.- Applying environmental policy instruments provided for by the relevant local laws and preserving and restoring ecological balance and protecting the environment in zones under municipal jurisdiction, in matters not expressly assigned to the Federation or the States; III.- Applying legal provisions regarding prevention and control of air pollution generated by fixed sources functioning as commercial or service establishments, as well as of air pollutants coming from moving sources not considered under federal jurisdiction, with the participation that the state legislation assigns to the state government; IV.- Applying legal provisions regarding the prevention and control of environmental impact caused by the generation, transportation, storage, handling, treatment and final disposal of solid and industrial wastes that are not considered hazardous, as set forth in article 137 of the present law; V.- Creating and administering ecological preservation zones in population centers, public gardens and other analogous zones foreseen by local legislation; VI.- Applying legal provisions regarding the prevention and control of pollution caused by noise, vibrations, thermal energy, electromagnetic radiation, luminescence and smells that harm the ecological balance and the environment, coming from fixed sources functioning as commercial or service establishments, as well as enforcing the provisions that, if necessary, turn out to be applicable to moving sources except those that by law are considered to be within Federal jurisdiction; VII.- Applying legal provisions regarding the prevention and control of polluted water that is discharged from the drainage and sewers of population centers, as well as pollution of national waters that have been assigned to them, with the participation that local legislation assigns to the state governments; VIII.- Formulating and issuing local ecological ordinance programs for the territory referred of relevant to in article 20 bis 4 of this Law, in the terms set forth in it, as well as controlling and overseeing ground use and change of use, as established in said programs; IX.- Preserving and restoring ecological balance and protecting the environment in population centers from effects deriving from sewers, street cleaning, markets, supply centers, cemeteries, slaughterhouses, local transit and traffic, as long as it is not power assigned to the Federation or the States under the present Law; X.- Helping to deal with matters that affect the ecological balance in two or more municipalities and that generate environmental effects within their territorial boundaries; XI.- Participating in environmental emergencies and contingencies as set forth in the civil protection policies and programs established for this purpose; XII.- Enforcing the official Mexican norms issued by the Federation, in the matters and assumptions referred to in sections III, IV, VI, and VII of this article; XIII.- Formulating and conducting municipal information and dissemination policy regarding environmental matters; XIV.- Participating in the evaluation of the environmental impact of projects and activities under state jurisdiction, when these are carried out within their territorial boundaries; XV.- Formulating executing and evaluating the municipal environmental protection program, and XVI.- Dealing with all other matters that this law or other ordinances consistent with in grant them for matters involving ecological balance and environmental protection and that are not expressly assigned to the Federation or the States. To conclude: Despite reforms made to the LGEEPA, there is still a strong centralism reflected in the mandates that federal authorities have regarding those mandates that are exercised by the states and municipalities in environmental matters. This directly affects the level of protection that the environment has in general and that Natural Resources have in particular, especially with regard to the application of environmental norms and their enforcement. (See Table of Environmental Authorities). CHAPTER 3: LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN MEXICO REGARDING THE ENVIRONMENT 3.1. General Information: Citizen participation as a form of social participation. It is important to point out that Mexican environmental legislation does not concretely and specifically refer to citizen participation as such; when mentioning participation, it always refers to social participation. lf we start with the assumption that social participation implies that certain individuals and/or legal entities take part in the social interaction that pursues environmental protection, it is undeniable that citizen participation, as one of the types of social participation, fits in perfectly with the consideration given by Mexican legislation when speaking of participation, since social participation, and therefore citizen participation, be that presence, activation and strict participation, contributes and can contribute to environmental protection. In this sense, Mexican legislation offers multiple and varied forms of citizen participation. The present chapter intends not only to list them, but to analyze them, so as to illustrate in the following chapters how citizens or any type of non-governmental organizations, can use these instruments as an effective means for protecting the environment. Therefore, we will analyze the laws in the order of their importance, first the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, the basis of all laws in the country, then the General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, the legal framework for the subject in question, and finally other laws relevant to the topic such as the Forestry Law and its regulations, the Hunting- Law, the National Waters Law, the General Health Law, the Federal Law on Metrology and Standards, the Federal Law on Human Settlements and the Federal Housing Law. It is important to point out that the study that will be made of the aforementioned laws does not intend to be exhaustive in terms of their content, but only to analyze them from the perspective of citizen participation, For the study of the legislation in question, we have divided the chapter as follows: 3. 1. GENERAL INFORMATION: CITIZEN PARTICIPATION AS A FORM OF SOCIAL PARTICIPATION. 3.2. Basis for citizen participation in the Mexican Constitution. 3.3.- General basis for citizen participation in the General Law for Ecological Balance And Environmental Protection (LGEEPA) and in other laws whose purpose is direct influence on environmental protection Social participation in preventiva instruments for environmental protection (elaboration of norms, environmental policy instruments and others). 3.2. 1. Constitutional basis for environmental protection 3.2.2. Constitutional rights guaranteeing citizen participation 3.3. 1.- General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LEGEEPA) 3.3.2. Foresti-y Law (LF) 3.3.3. National Waters Law (LAN)3.3.4. Agrarian Law (LA) 3.3.5. Hunting Law (LC)3.3.5. General Law for Human Settlements «LGAH)3.3.6. Federal Housing Law (LFV) 3.3.8 General Health Law (LGS) 3.4. Social participation In preventive instruments for environmental protection (elaboration of norms, environmental policy instruments and others) 3.4.1 General basis 3.4.2. Governmental organizations for citizen participation 3.4.3. Negotiating Pacts and agreements Among the Federation, States, Municipalities And private citizens. Citizen participation Through environmental instruments. a) LF b) LAN c) LGAH d) LGV e) LGS a) LGEEPA-National Council for Protected Natural Areas b) LF-National Forestry Council for Technical Consultation c) LAN-Basin Council d) LGNN-National Normalization Commission A)LGEEPA b) LF c) LAN Environmental Policy Planning Territorial Ecological Ordinance.126.96.36.199. Environmental Impact EvaluationEconomic Instruments188.8.131.52. Environmental regulation of human settlements184.108.40.206. Official Mexican Norms220.127.116.11. Self-regulation and Auditing18.104.22.168. Protected Natural Areas (ANP), restricted or nn restoration zones or reserves 3.5. Citizens as beneficiaries of the right to information a) LGEEPA b) LF c) LAN d) LA 3.2. Basis for citizen participation in the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. Constitutional analysis is extremely important, since the Constitution establishes the essential legal framework from which all other federal environmental protection laws are derived. We will examine the Constitution using two criteria- on the one hand, the constitutional articles on environmental protection, and on the other hand, that articles that set forth rights and guarantees that allow for citizen participation, such as the right to petition, to be heard and to assemble, among others. 3.2. BASIS FOR CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN THE CONSTITUTION 3.2. 1. Constitutional Basis for environmental protection Article 3 Article 4 Article 25 Article 27 Article 28 Article 73 Article 115Article 124 Public education must, among Other aspects, cover the utilization of natural resources Law that is supposed to protect and promote the development of indigenous resources The state directs the country`s Economic Development; the criterion to follow is the care and conservation of the environment. The original ownership of the land and water within national territory belongs to the nation. The nation may impose upon Ownership such modes as public interest shall dictate. It must dictate the necessary measures for: Regulating the utilization of Natural elements in order to see to their conservation. Preserving and restoring ecological balance. Putting in order and conserving land, Water and forests. Mandates and concurrent authority of Federal, State and Municipal authorities in environmental mattes. Establishes as exclusive functions of the state all matters having to do with hydrocarbons, basic oil refining... The state has the authority to award concessions... for the exploitation, use or utilization of goods owned by the Federation. Establishes Congress`s power in legislative matters: section XXIX-G, to pass laws establishing concurrent authority of the Federal government, state governments and municipalities In environmental protection matters.Powers and organization of municipalities.The powers not expressly assigned to theFederation are considered reserved for theStates. 3.2.2. Constitutional rights guaranteeing citizen participation. Article 6 Article 7 Article 8 Article 9 Article 26 Article 35 Article 71 Freedom to express ideas. Freedom to write and publish articles on Any subject. Right to petition. Freedom to assemble. Social participation in elaborating Plans and programs for national development. Right to petition. Channels for making proposals of reforms or laws. 3.2.1. Constitutional Basis for Environmental Protection. Our Constitution, within the basic rights or guarantees that it sets forth, does not include the right to a healthy environment; environmental protection appears indirectly through the following articles: A) Article 3 establishes among the criteria to follow in public education, that this education must be "national, in the sense that without hostilities or exclusionist tendencies, it shall deal with understanding our problems, utilizing our natural resources... B) Article 4, when dealing with the indigenous peoples, sets forth: "the law shall protect and promote the development of their languages, cultures, usages, customs, resources and specific forms of social organization..." C) Article 23 of our Constitution sets forth the directive authority of the State with regard to national development. It clarifies that " ... in the national economic development, the public sector, the social sector and the private sector shall collaborate with social responsibility..." and that "...under the criteria of social equality and productivity, the enterprises of the social and private sectors of the economy shall be supported and advanced... the law shall encourage and protect the economic activity undertaken by private citizens and shall provide the conditions so that the development of the private sector contributes to the national economic development..." "...Under criteria of social equality and productivity, the enterprises of the social and private sectors of the economy shall be supported and advanced, subjecting them to such modes as the public interest shall dictate and to the utilization of productive resources for the general good, and caring for their conservation and the environment." D) Article 27 establishes:... "The nation shall at all times have the right to impose upon private property such modes as the public interest shall dictate, as well as to regulate on behalf of society`s good, the utilization of natural elements subject to appropriation for the purpose of making an equitable distribution of the wealth, assuring their conservation... Consequently, necessary measures shall be dictated to... preserve and restore ecological balance;... and to avoid the destruction of natural elements... The constitutional article in question is quite extensive, so it will suffice to say that it is the basic principle for the protection of natural resources. Moreover, article 73 indicates that Congress has the power: "XXIX-G.- To pass laws establishing the concurrent authority of the Federal Government, State governments and Municipalities, within the scope of their respective mandates, in matters concerning, environmental protection and the preservation and restoration of ecological balance...” While Congress has the power to pass laws covering these matters, it is important to point out that the power to initiate laws corresponds to the President of the Republic, Federal Deputies and Senators and the State Congresses; therefore private citizens should contact their own representatives (deputies or senators) to make said proposals of law or reforms. Finally, article 115 of our Constitution, in reference to the powers, organization and functioning. of the municipality, states in its third section: "The Municipalities, with the cooperation of the States when needed and so determined by law, shall be responsible for the following public services. a) Drinking water and sewers b) Public lighting c) Street cleaning d) Markets and supply centers e) Cemeteries f) Slaughterhouses g) Streets, parks and gardens h) Public safety and transit, and Such other services as the local legislatures shall determine, in accordance with the Municipalities territorial and socio-economic conditions, as well as their administrative and financier capacity. The Municipalities of a single State, subject to agreement between their municipal governments and with adherence to law, may coordinate efforts and associate in order to provide the public services mandated to them in a more efficient way. The fifth section of the article in question states: "The municipalities, under the terms of relevant federal and state laws, shall be empowered to formulate, approve and administer zoning and municipal urban development plans; to participate in the creation and administration of ¡heir territorial reserves, to control and oversee the authorization of ground use in their territorial jurisdictions; to intervene in the regularization of urban land ownership; to grant construction licenses and permits, and to participate in the creation and administration of ecological reserves, To this end, and in accordance with the objectives set forth in the third section of article 27 of this Constitution, the necessary regulations and administrative provisions shall be issued...” 3.2.2. Constitutional rights guaranteeing citizen participation. The essential basis for citizen participation is found in the content of some of the constitutional guarantees that establish freedom of expression, of assembly, the right to participation itself and the right to petition, among others. Article 6 of our Constitution states that that "the manifestation of ideas shall not be the object of any judicial or administrative inquiry, except in the event that it goes against morals, the rights of third parties, provokes a crime, or disturbs public order...” Likewise, article 7 establishes that "the freedom to write and publish writings on any subject is inviolable... Furthermore, article 9 states that "the right to assembly or meet peacefully for any licit purpose, shall not be abridged...", and that "...an assembly or meeting whose purpose is to make a petition, or lodge a protest for some act before an authority, shall not be considered illegal nor may it be dissolved, as long as no insults are pronounced against the authority, and no violence is committed or threats made to intimidate the authority or force it to resolve the question in the desired sense." Article 26 states that "...planning shall be democratic..." and that "...through the participation of the different social sectors, it shall gather the aspirations and demands of society in order to incorporate them into the development plan and programs... The law shall empower the Executive to establish the procedures for participation and consultation with the people within the national democratic planning system and for the formulation, instrumentation, control and evaluation of the development plan and programs...". Article 35 defines the prerogatives of the citizen, among which is included that of “exercising the right to petition in all manner of negotiations... " Article 71 states that the right to initiate laws or decrees, in accordance with this article, belongs to the President of the Republic, the Deputies and Senators of the Congress of the Union and the State Legislatures. The citizens should use any of these channels to propose for new laws. From the foregoing articles it can be inferred that there are fundamental rights in the Mexican Constitution that not only make possible, but guarantee social participation in various ways. 3.3. General basis for citizen participation in the General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA) and in other laws that directly affect environmental protection. In order to analyze and understand the opportunities for citizen participation that exist in environmental legislation, it is crucial to understand the purpose or raison d’etre of each law. To this end, we will mention the purpose of the laws that make up the entire corpus Of Mexican environmental legislation. These laws are: the General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA), the Forestry Law (LF), the National Waters Law (LAN), the Agrarian Law (LA), the Hunting Law (LC), the General Law for Human Settlements (LGAH), the General Housing Law (LGV) and the General Health Law (LGS). 3.3. GENERAL BASIS FOR CITIZEN PARTICEPATION IN MEXICAN ENVIRONMETAL LAWS 3.3. 1. LGEEPA 3.3.2. LF 3.3.3. LAN 3.3.4. LA 3.3.5. LC 3.3.6. LGAH Article I Article 5 Article 7 Article 15 Article 1 Article 1 Article 1 Article 1Article 1 To guarantee the right to live in an environment Conducive to development, health and welfare. To guarantee the people`s participation in the preservation and restoration of ecological balance and environmental protection. Power of the Federation to promote social participation in environmental matters. States` obligation to promote social participation In Environmental matters. Criteria to be followed when formulating and Conducting environmental policy: Section IX: Concerted action with society Section X: Persons involved in concerted ecological Action: individuals and social groups. Section XII: Authorities` obligation to guarantee an Environment conducive to development, health and Welfare. Purpose: To regulate and advance the protection, conservation, restoration, utilization, management, cultivation and production of natural resources. The LF must be subject to the principles, criteria and Provisions of the LGEEPA. Purpose: To regulate the exploitation, use, utilization, Distribution, control and preservation of national Goal: sustainable development of the resource. The LAN defines as matters of public interest: The promotion and execution of measures and actions for protecting water quality. The promotion and execution of citizen Participation in the construction, financing and Operation of federal hydraulic infrastructure Purpose: The present law is regulatory for Constitutional article 27 in agrarian matters, and is to be observed throughout the republic. Purpose: To orient and guarantee the conservation, Restoration and advancement of wildlife. Citizen participation occurs in two ways: A) In the ANP in accordance with the LGEEPA B) In bringing charges for hunting crimes.Purpose:Section I: To establish the concurrent authority of theFederation, States and Municipalities in the ordinance and regulation of human settlements. Section II: To set basic standards for planning and regulating the territorial ordinance of human settlements. Section III: To define principles for determining reserves, uses and purposes of areas and properties for human settlements. Section IV: To determine the bases for social participation in matters related to settlements. 3.3.1. The General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA). In 1988 the General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA) was published. This law underwent substantial reforms in October, 1996, some of which we will comment on below. The ordinance in question in its first article states that its provisions belong to the public sphere and pursue the social interest. Its purpose is to favor sustainable development and establish the bases for I: guaranteeing each person`s right to live in an environment conducive to his or her development, health and welfare and, VII: guaranteeing people`s mutually responsible participation, individually or collectively, in the preservation and restoration of ecological balance and environmental protection. lt affirms that said provisions are in the public interest; this is why we think that it is important to define the concept in order to understand its scope. The Mexican Judicial Dictionary, edited by the Institute of Judicial Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) defines it as follows: "Public interest is the set of pretensions related to the collective needs of the members of a community and protected through the direct and permanent intervention of the State.” In other words, when something is said to be in the public interest, reference is made to the needs of the community that must be protected and guarded by the State. Along these lines, the concept of public interest is a synonym of the term "public order." Furthermore, among the articles that generally promote social participation, we find the following: ARTICLE 5 SECTION XVI: Defines the promotion of the participation of society in environmental matters to be a power of the Federation... ARTICLE 7 SECTION XIV: Mentions that the state government is responsible for promoting citizen participation in environmental matters. ARTICLE 15 states: "When formulating and conducting environmental policy and issuing official Mexican norms and other instruments provided for in this law, in matters concerning the preservation and restoration of ecological balance and environmental protection, the Federal Executive shall observe the following principles: SECTION IX: The coordination among the agencies and entities of the public administration and among the different levels of government and the concerted action with society, are indispensable for efficiency in ecological actions. SECTION X: The main actors in concerted action for ecology, are not just individuals but also social groups and organizations. The purpose of concerted ecological action is to reorient the relationship between society and nature. SECTION XII: Each person has the right to enjoy an environment conducive to his or her development, health and welfare. The authorities under the terms of this and other laws, shall take steps to guarantee this right." Therefore, the participation of the citizenry is a key element, provided for in the LGEEPA for ecological actions and environmental repercussions. 3.3.2. The Forestry Law. The Forestry Law (LF) was reformed and for that reason published in the Official Journal of the Federation of May 20, 1997. In its first article, said law states the purpose it pursues as follows: " ... the purpose of the present law... is to regulate and advance the conservation, protection, restoration, utilization, management, cultivation and production of the country`s forest resources, in order to favor sustained development." In article 3, section XI, the LGEEPA defines how sustainable development should be understood, the concept being a crucial one for the matter at hand: "Sustainable development: is the evaluable process by means of indicator criteria of an environmental, economic and social nature that tends to improve people`s quality of life and productivity, based on appropriate means of preserving ecological balance, the protecting the environment and utilizing natural resources, in such a way that the satisfaction of future generations` needs is not compromised." That is to say, we must utilize and enjoy natural resources in a way that does not jeopardize the satisfaction of future generations` needs. Furthermore, this same first article of the LF, in its second paragraph, states that the Forestry Law must be subject to the principles, criteria and provisions provided for in the LGEEPA, and then adds the purposes and objectives of the LF, whose sections we will not transcribe here in view of the intention of the present paper. 3.3.3. National Waters Law. Article 1 of the National Waters Law (LAN) defines its purpose as : "...regulating the exploitation, use or utilization of said (national) waters, their distribution and control, as well as the preservation of their amount and quality in order to achieve their sustained integral development." The law in question establishes, among other things, the following topics of public interest: a) Article 85 states: "It is in the public interest to promote and execute measures and actions for protecting water quality, under the terms of the law." b) Article 102 sets forth: "it is considered in the public interest to promote and advance the participation of private individuals in the financing, construction and operation of federal hydraulic infrastructure, as well as in providing the respective services." Here the government acquires the obligation to provide opportunities for citizen participation in matters concerning financing, construction and operation of hydraulic infrastructure. 3.3.4. The Agrarian Law. The Agrarian Law regulates ejido, communal, and in general, al] rural property. Given the specific purpose of the law, participation is restricted to members both of the ejidos and of the indigenous communities, through their representative bodies, and to small-property owners, be they individuals or legal entities. The possibility of participation on the part of actors other than those mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exists in the case of the ANP under the terms of the LGEEPA, as will be seen below. 3.3.5. The Hunting Law. The purpose of this legal ordinance is " ... to orient and guarantee the conservation, restoration and advancement of wildlife subsisting in national territory by regulating its utilization." The citizen participation provided for in this law is limited to two forms: Participation as set forth in the LGEEPA in the case of protected natural areas; and Hunting crimes. In the case of hunting crimes, the situation is the same as with any other crime. Any person may bring charges before the appropriate authority. 3.3.6. The General Law for Human Settlements. This law`s first article defines its purpose as follows: Section I: To establish the concurrent authority of the Federation, the federative entities and the municipalities, for the ordinance and regulation of human settlements in national territory; Section II: To set basic standards for planning and regulating the territorial ordinance of human settlements and the founding, conservation, improvement and growth of population centers; Section III: To define the principles for determining the forecasts, reserves, uses and purposes of areas and properties that will govern property ownership in population centers, and Section IV: To determine the bases for social participation in matters concerning human settlements." 3.3.7. The Federal Housing Law. In its first article, the Federal Housing Law defines its purpose as: "... establishing and regulating the instruments and supports so that every family can enjoy suitable and decent housing." 3.3.8. The General Health Law. The purpose of the law is set forth in its first two articles: Article 1: "The present law regulates the right to the protection of health that each person has under the terms of Article 4 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, establishes the bases and modes of access to health services and the concurrent authority of the federation and the federative entities in matters concerning general public health. This law applies in a uniform manner to the entire Republic and its provisions belong to the public sphere and are in the interest of society." Although environmental problems cause health problems, the present legal ordinance affirms that the latter do not fall within its mandate. 3.4. Citizen participation in preventive instruments of environmental protection (elaboration of standards, Environmental Policy Instruments and other measures). Now that we have analyzed the constitutional bases from which environmental legislation is derived, and understood the purpose of each of the laws that make up said legislation, let us move on to the analysis of the preventive instruments of environmental protection that these laws provide for. We understand preventive instruments to be those channels, mechanisms or tools provided for in the legislation that citizens as individuals or as part of non-governmental organizations (NGO`s) can utilize to prevent and avoid a negative impact or damage to the environment. In general we can say that these interventions occur in the area of elaboration of standards; plans; proposals for the management, exploitation, protection or preservation of different natural resources, as well as their enforcement, the citizens acting either as private individuals, as part of an NGO or as a member of a government body which provides for channels of citizen participation. The chart presented below attempts to give an outline of the topics that will be dealt with in this section. 3.4 CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN PREVENTIVE INSTRUMENTS PROTECTION.3.4.1. General bases. 3.4.2. Government bodies with citizen participation. 3.4.3. Social participation through environmental policy instruments. 22.214.171.124. Environmental planning 126.96.36.199. Territorial Ecological Ordinance 188.8.131.52. Environmental Impact Evaluations 184.108.40.206. Economic instruments 220.127.116.11. Environmental regulation in human settlements 18.104.22.168. Official Mexican Norms 22.214.171.124. Self-regulation and environmental audits 126.96.36.199. Protected Natural Areas, restricted, reserved or restoration zones 3.4.1. General bases. Article 18 of the LGEEPA states that: The Federal Government shall promote social participation in the elaboration of programs for preserving and restoring ecological balance. When the laws says that the federal government "shall" promote, instead of "may" promote, the government acquires the obligation to act. It is not easy to comply, since the law does not indicate how it is supposed to act, since it must be legislated in a regulation that does not yet exist. 3.4.4. GENERAL BASES FOR CITIZEN PARTICLPATION IN PREVENTIVE INSTRUMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. LGEEPA LFLAN LGAHLGVLGS Article 18 Article 36 Article 23 bis1 Article 23 Article 18 RLAN Article 14 Article 16 Article 49 Citizens are instruments for fulfilling the purpose of providing Mexicans with suitable and decent housing. They do not participate in decision-making. The citizen participates as a Vehicle in the provision of health services He or she does not participate in decision-making. The Federal Government shall promote social Participation in the elaboration of programs for Preserving and restoring ecological balance Promotion of participation in the formulation and Organization of forest development programs. Participation in the elaboration of proposals (art. 33 bis 1) Participation in the elaboration and direction of Program (art. 23) The participating agents are the users. I Exploitation, use or utilization II Formulation, implantation and evaluation of Hydraulic programming "...the national urban development program shall be subjected to a permanent control and evaluation process..." The SEDESOL shall promote social Participation in the elaboration, updating, and Execution of the national urbanization program. The state urban development legislation shall Determine the form and procedures for social Participation in the founding, conservation, improvement and growth of population centers. Lists the channels of social participation in Matters concerning human settlements. A) The Forestry Law. Article 36 of the LF stipulates that the Department shall promote the participation of government agencies, of the social and private sectors, of the beneficiaries of environmental services provided by forest ecosystems and other individuals or legal entities interested in ecological recovery, in the formulation and organization of forest development programs related to the management of same. The foregoing implies two channels of citizen participation: The first channel of citizen participation consists of participating in the elaboration of proposals. In this sense, article 33 bis-1 states that: "The ejidos, communities, small-property owners, producers` organizations and other interested persons may draw up proposals for development, financing and promotion policies in forestry matters, and these proposals will be concerted with the Department and the appropriate agencies of the Federal Public Administration, for their application." A second channel of citizen participation consists in elaborating and directing forest management programs (utilization of timber resources, forestation and reforestation) that can be performed by individuals or legal entities that meet the requirements set forth by the LF Regulations (art. 23 of the LF). Said programs must conform to the stipulations of the Official Mexican Norms (NOMS). B) The National Waters Law. The LAN does not mention citizen participation as such. In this law, as well as in its Regulations, the main participating agents are the users. This is the sense in which article 14 establishes the following: "The Commission (National Water Commission, CNA) shall accredit, promote and support users` organization for the purpose of improving water utilization and the preservation and control of its quality, and of advancing the participation of the users on the state, regional or basin level...” With regard to the direct utilization of water, the participation occurs mainly in the following ways: 1) Article 18 of the LAN Regulations stipulates that "the users may exploit, use or utilize water, directly or through the type of organization that best suits them, for which purpose they may charter themselves as any of the legal entities recognized in the legislation currently in force." 2) Furthermore, in "the formulation, implantation and evaluation of the hydraulic programming by means of Section VII: the promotion of consultation, cooperation and participation mechanisms for the execution of programs and for their financing, that allow for the concurrent authority of the users and their organizations and of the agencies and entities of the Federal, state or municipal Public Administration." With regard to this same point, article 22 of the oft-cited law says: "The Commission ... shall organize the work needed to formulate and implement such short, medium and long-term actions as are included in the hydraulic programming. To this end it shall encourage the collaboration of different government bodies, the users of national waters and, in general, of interested social groups, through the basin councils and other mechanisms established under the terms of the law." C) The General Law for Human Settlements. Article 14 of the General Law for Human Settlements states: "The national urban development program shall be approved by decree by the President of the Republic and subject to a permanent control and evaluation process. The Department (Department of Social Development-SEDESOL) shall promote social participation in the elaboration, updating and execution of the national urban development program, adhering to the stipulations set froth in the Planning Law." In this same context, number 8 of the law in question states: "The federative entities, within their respective jurisdictions, are responsible for: Section III: Promoting social participation in accordance with the stipulations set forth in this law." Furthermore, with regard to this point, artic e 16 stipulates t at "state urban development legislation shall determine the form and procedures by which the social and private sectors may participate in the formulation, modification, evaluation and enforcement of urban development plans or programs." Therefore, each state must, in its corresponding law, provide for a form of participation for social sector. The LGAH includes a chapter that specifically refers to social participation. Article 48 stipulates: "The Federation, the federative entities, and the municipalities shall promote concerted actions between the public, social and private sectors that favor social participation in the founding, conservation, improvement and growth of population centers." Social participation encompasses the following: Art. 49, Section 1: "Formulating, modifying, evaluating and enforcing urban development plans or programs, under the terms of articles 15 and 57 of this law; Section II: Determining and controlling zoning, uses and purposes of areas and properties in population centers; Section III: Building and improving low-cost housing; Section IV: Financing, constructing and operating infrastructure, equipment and urban public service projects, (here reference could be made to private enterprise subcontracted to provide basic urban services); Section V: Financing and operating urban, housing, industrial, commercial, recreational and tourist strategic projects; Section VI: Doing work on urban projects for the improvement and conservation of low-cost housing zones in population centers and rural and indigenous communities; Section VII: Protecting the cultural heritage of population centers; Section VIII: Preserving the environment in population centers, and Section IX: Preventing, controlling and dealing with environmental and urban risks and contingencies in population centers." Finally, the last article of the present chapter of the law in question, establishes that states and municipalities within their respective mandates "... shall promote the formation of community groups to participate in the urban development of population centers, under any legal form of organization." In conclusion we can say that as far as the LGAH and the planning law are concerned, there is no ordinance whatsoever that regulates how to achieve this participation that is mentioned so often; for this reason there are no more than theoretical statements and obligations of the part of the authorities that for all practical purposes remain unfulfilled, due to lack of adequate instrumentation. As for the intervention of states and municipalities, it would be necessary to analyze the laws of each one of them and see how to implement federal legislation. D) The General Housing Law. Citizen participation in this law is mentioned only in the form of participation of the social and private sectors, as an instrument for achieving the goal of offering every Mexican suitable and decent housing. Here citizens do not participate in decision-making. E) The General Health Law. As in the previous law, this law does not provide for channels of direct citizen participation in decision-making that might affect health through the environment. Citizens, or the community, participate as vehicles for providing health services. 3.4.2. Government bodies for citizen participation. The same laws that we have been analyzing up to now, create or provide for different bodies made up of government representatives in which non-governmental agents may participate, i.e., citizens and non-government organizations. The following table lists them: 3.4.5. Government bodies that allow for citizen participation. A) A) LGEEPAB) B) LF C) LAN D) LGMN National ANP Council: consultation and support body for policy formulation, execution, follow-up and evaluation in the establishment, management and oversight of ANP`s. National Forestry Technical Consultation Council (CTCNF) and Its regional councils. Art. 6. Basin Council. Art. 15 LAN Regulations. National Normalization Commission (art. 59). National Normalization Consultation Committees (art. 62) National Normalization Bodies (art. 66). 3.4.3. Social participation through environmental policy instruments. We may construe environmental policy instruments as those instruments that translate into actions of the part of the Federal Public Administration for regulating, promoting, restricting, prohibiting, orienting or inducing actions of the part of private citizens on environmental matters, bearing in mind the environmental policy guidelines set forth in the National Development Plan (Cfr. art. 17 LGEEPA). The LGEEPA lists the following instruments: -Environmental planning -Ecological ordinance of Territory -Economic instruments -Environmental regulation of human settlements -Environmental impact evaluations -Official Mexican Norms -Self-regulation and environmental audits and, -Ecological research and education. Of these instruments, we will analyze those that have relevance to citizen participation, as shown in the following table: 3.4.3. SOCIAL PARTICIPATION THROUGH ENVIRONMIF-NTAL POLICY INSTRUMENTS. l. Environmental planning Art. 17 LGEEPA Art. 20 PlanningLaw National development planning must Incorporate environmental policy and Ecological ordinance. Planning must be democratic, with The participation and consultation of social Groups for elaborating, updating and executing the National DevelopmentPlan. 188.8.131.52. Ecological Ordinance of Territory Art. 19 bis 9 LF LGEEPA LGAH Social participation in planning and Carrying out programs for Increasing the efficiency of forest Conservation, ordinance, utilization, management and development. Art. 19: Criteria to be followed for its Elaboration Art. 20 bis: Promotion social participation in its elaboration Art. 20 bis 4: Establishing social Participation mechanisms. Art. 3: Territorial ordinance of human settlements. Environmental Impact Evaluations LGEEPALF Art. 34 Possibility of making the file Available to the public. Request for public consultation. Bases for this. Environmental impact evaluations for forest utilization. Environmental Regulation of Human Settlements. LGEEPA LGV Art. 23 Criteria for planning urban development and housing: ecological ordinance of territory must be taken into consideration. Integration of housing with its Ecological surroundings. Official Mexican Norms LFMN Art. 44 Any person may submit NOM Proposals Art. 47 Procedure to be followed when drawing up NOM`S. Art. 50: Exception: confidentiality of information. Art. 71: verification visits for Enforcement Self-regulation and Environmental Audits LGEEPA Art. 33 bis: Citizen participation in the technical committee ANP`S, Restricted, Restoration or Reserved Zones LGEEPALANRLF Art. 47 Establishment, management and administration of ANP`s. Art. 65: ANP management programs. Art. 78 Participation in the formulation, execution and follow-up of restoration programs. Art. 49 Publication of technical studies justifying forest resources susceptible to restriction. Art. 38: Possibility of establishing Restrictions or reserved zones 184.108.40.206. Environmental Planning. Article 17 of the LGEEPA establishes that "national development planning must incorporate environrnental policy and ecological ordinance. Furthermore, article 20 of the Planning Law states: "The National Democratic Planning System shall provide for the participation and consultation of different social groups, so that the population can express its opinions on the elaboration, updating and execution of the Plan and the programs referred to in this law. The workers`, farmers` and low-income groups` representative organizations, and those of academic, professional and research institutions, business associations and other social groupings, shall participate as permanent consulting bodies in those aspects of democratic planning related to their activity, through public consultation forums that shall be organized to this end. The deputies and senators of the Congress of the Union shall likewise participate in these forums. To this end, and pursuant to applicable legislation, the System must see to the organization and functioning, the formalities, frequency and terms to which the participation and consultation for national development planning shall be subject." Therefore, we can validly infer that social participation is of crucial importance in the National Development Plan; the problem that arises is how to carry out said participation. Furthermore, article 18 of the LGEEPA stipulates: "The Federal Government shall promote the participation of different social groups in elaborating programs whose purpose is preserving and restoring ecological balance and protecting the environment, as set forth in this and other applicable laws." Nothing is said about the mechanisms to be followed for promoting this participation; it would be advisable for future legislation to take this situation into account. One of the most substantial reforms to the LF regarding citizen participation might very well be the integration of a chapter called "Social Participation and the Right to Information." While the inclusion of this chapter does represent progress, it is rather poor as far as content is concerned, since it does not create any valuable channels of citizen participation, as was expected. Citizen participation occurs through regional councils that act as consultation bodies where opinions are expressed regarding requests for authorization to utilize forest resources or to create tree farms. This chapter contains two key points for this topic: On the one hand, article 19 bis 9 mentions that "the Regional Council or Councils may propose to the Department guidelines for promoting the participation of the social and private sectors in planning and carrying out activities aimed at increasing the quality and efficiency of forest conservation, ordinance, utilization, management and development in the region or state in question." The second discusses the right to information. Nothing is said on the topic, it simply refers us to chapter II, fifth title of the LGEEPA, whose contents were discussed previously. 220.127.116.11. Ecological Ordinance of Territory. A) The General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection. This corpus of laws conceives the ecological ordinance of territory as the presentation of reasons such as "the planning process aimed at evaluating and programming ground uses and natural resource management in national territory, in order to preserve and restore the ecological balance and protect the environment." Article 19 also considers the following criteria to be followed when elaborating the present instrument: “I.- The nature and characteristics of the existing ecosystems in national territory and in the areas over which the Nation exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction; II.- Each area or region`s potential, as a function of its natural resources, the population distribution and the predominant economic activities; III.- The imbalances that exist in the ecosystems as a result of human settlements, economic activities or natural phenomena; IV.- The balance that ought to exist between human settlements and their environmental conditions; and V.- The environmental impact of new human settlements, transportation routes and other improvements or activities." For the formulation, issuance, execution and evaluation of the territorial ordinances, article 20 bis of the present legal ordinance indicates that the SEMARNAP "... must promote the participation of social and business groups and organizations, academic and research institutions, and other interested persons..." Once again, no mention is made of how to implement this participation. In section VII of article 20 bis 4 of the law in question stipulates that in the elaboration of territorial ordinances, mechanisms must be established to guarantee citizen participation, to this end, local laws must contain the forms and procedures the private citizens may follow to participate. Said forms and procedures have not been spelled out in detail. It is important to point out that not al¡ legislation is intended to regulate different natural, resources. For example, the LF or the LAN discuss ecological ordinance of territory in specific terms, while in the case of the LGEEPA, the legislative framework, its provisions apply to areas regulated by other laws, and as far as ecological ordinance is concerned, all natural resources must be taken into consideration for its elaboration. 18.104.22.168. Environmental Impact Evaluations. The LGEEPA, in its number 28, defines environmental impact evaluation as "the procedure by which the Department establishes the conditions to which projects and activities must conform when they might cause ecological imbalance or exceed the limits and conditions established in the applicable provisions for protecting the environment and preserving and restoring ecosystems, in order to avoid or reduce as far as possible their negative impact on the environment." As for citizen participation regarding this topic, article 34 of the legal ordinance in question mentions that once the environmental impact statement is received and filed, it will be made available to the public, but nothing is said about subsequent procedures or the repercussions that non-conformity presented by private citizens might have. Moreover, in the part that refers to the environmental impact procedure of the LGEEPA regulations, no mention whatsoever is made of even a possible intervention on the part of citizens within the process. The same law considers one exception to the foregoing: the situation in which making information public could affect "rights to industrial property and the confidentiality of commercial information supplied by the interested party." The foregoing text implies that the authority has a power that it may exercise at its discretion, leaving the affected party with little defense. lt is also stipulated that any person from the community in question may request a public consultation... whose bases are indicated in article 34 sections I to V and whose text states: I.- The Department shall publish the request for authorization in environmental impact matters, in its Ecological Gazette. At the same time, the promoter shall publish, at his or her expense, an abstract of the project or activity in a newspaper with wide circulation in the federative entity in question, within a period of five days as of the date the environmental impact statement is submitted to the Department; II.- Any citizen, within a period of ten days as of the publication of the project abstract in the aforementioned terms may request that the Department make the environmental impact statement available to the public in the corresponding federative entity; III.- In the case of projects or activities that could cause serious ecological imbalances or damage public health or ecosystems in accordance with the indication of the present law’s regulations, the Department, in conjunction with local authorities, may organize a public informational meeting in which the promoter explains the technical environmental aspects of the project or activity in question; IV.- Any interested party, within a period of twenty days as of the date the Department makes the environmental impact statement available to the public in the terms set forth in section I, may propose the establishment of additional preventive or mitigating measures, as well as any observations he or she may consider pertinent and, V.- The Department shall add the observations made by the interested parties to the respective file, and in the resolution that it issues, it shall put down the public consultation process carried out and the results of the observations and proposals formulated in writing." In this case, only the people who might possibly be affected (any person from the community in question) may request that a public consultation be carried out. Furthermore, in the event that the public consultation does not yield favorable results within the resolution issued by the authority, there exists the possibility of the appeal for review provided for in articles 176 to 181 of the LGEEPA. In another field of ideas, it is important to point out that the LF, in article 12, which discusses authorizations for utilizing forest resources, establishes the need to submit an environmental impact evaluation, and therefore citizens will have the participation we have already mentioned in the sections dealing with these statements. 22.214.171.124. Environmental Regulation of Human Settlements. Article 23 of this ordinance establishes the criteria to be followed in planning urban development and housing. The first section of this article states: "Urban development plans or programs must take into account the guidelines and strategies contained in the programs for ecological ordinance of territory." Although no mention is made of citizen participation regarding these plans or programs, as was pointed out earlier, there is a channel of participation in the elaboration of the ecological ordinance of territory and this instrument must have a bearing on said plans and programs, whereby there is an indirect influence in human settlement programs. 126.96.36.199. Official Mexican Norms. Citizen participation has an important channel in the different stages that make up the elaboration of NOM`S. First, article 44 of the General Law on Metrology and Standards, in its fifth paragraph, says that any interested person may submit NOM proposals to agencies. Subsequently, article 47, section I establishes that NOM projects must be published in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF), as well as being available to the public so that commentaries may be made. The exception to the foregoing is found in article 50 of the General Law on Metrology and Standards (LGMN), which sets forth: "The information and documentation that is gathered by the agencies for the elaboration of preliminary projects of official Mexican norms, as well as for any administrative proceeding related to same, shall be used exclusively for this purpose and when the confidentiality of same is protected by Law, the interested party must authorize its use. Upon the interested party`s express request, it shall be classified as confidential, and shall not be revealed, but rather shall enjoy the protection established for intellectual property." Article 47 of the law in question describes the procedure to be followed in the elaboration of NOM`S. We consider this article to be important, and transcribe it below: "The projects of official Mexican norms shall adhere to the following procedure: I. They shall be published in their entirety in the Official Journal of the Federation so that during the following 60 calendar days the interested parties may submit their commentaries to the corresponding national consultation committee for standards. During this period, the analyses referred to in article 45 shall be available to the public for their consultation in the committee; II. At the end of the period referred to in the preceding section, the corresponding national consultation committee for standards shall study the commentaries it has received and, if necessary, proceed to modify the project within a period not exceeding 45 calendar days; III. The responses to the commentaries received, shall be published in the Official Journal of the Federation, as well as the modifications to the project, at least fifteen calendar days before the publication of the official Mexican norm, and IV. Once approved by the respective standards committee, the official Mexican norms shall be issued by the appropriate agency and published in the Official Journal of the Federation." Article 48 of this law mentions that the foregoing procedure may be bypassed in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, article 71 establishes that for the effects of enforcement of the law in question, verification visits may be made. The Law does not mention whether citizens may request that such visits be made or whether they may participate in them, but in accordance with the LGEEPA, a request may be made to restore the inspection and oversight procedure in order to check compliance with NOM`s in ecological matters. 188.8.131.52. Self-regulation and Environmental Audits. Article 38 bis stipulates that: “The Department shall encourage environmental audits... shall establish an approval and accreditation system... to this end it shall form a technical committee made up of representatives of research institutions, professional associations and organizations from the industrial sector... it shall arrange for environmental audits to be performed by public or private individuals or legal entities." 184.108.40.206. Protected Natural Areas, Restricted, Restoration or Reserved Zones. In the case of ANP`s, the channels for citizen participation are many, ranging from the request for their decree, to the submittal of studies supporting the declaration of such an area, and the PARTICIPATION in their administration. lt is in this sense that article 47 of the LGEEPA sets forth that in the establishment, administration and management of ANP`s, the participation of inhabitants, owners or possessors, local governments, indigenous groups and other social organizations, be they public or private, must be promoted. To this end, the Department may sign such concentration agreements as may be appropriate. There is a National ANP Council whose purpose is to function as a consulting and support body for the Department in the formulation, execution, follow-up, and evaluation of the policy for establishing, managing and overseeing ANP`s. Said council shall be made up of representatives from the Department and other agencies and entities of the federal public administration, as well as from academic institutions, research centers and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, the preliminary studies made before an ANP is declared, must be made available to the public and the Department must ask the opinion not only of local governments and agencies of the federal public administration, but also of public or private organizations indigenous people and other interested individuals or legal entities, as well as of public, social and private-sector institutions interested in establishing, administering and overseeing ANP`s. Article 59 of the LGEEPA sets forth that indigenous peoples, social, public or private organizations, and interested persons may promote the establishment of an ANP on their own property. Finally, the Department must formulate a management program for the ANP that includes the participation of the inhabitants, owners or possessors of the properties included,... of social, public or private organizations and of other interested persons. (art. 65 LGEEPA) In addition to ANP`s, the law provides for restoration zones, which are those areas "that present a degradation or desertification process, or serious ecological imbalances," for which the SEMARNAP must formulate and execute ecological restoration projects so that they can recover or reestablish conditions favoring the evolution and continuity of the natural processes they once had. The same article 78 establishes that the Department must promote the participation of owners, possessors, social, public or private organizations, local indigenous peoples and other interested persons in the formulation, execution and follow-up of restoration programs. Article 79 section IV of the same ordinance, in its first paragraph indicates the following criterion to be followed for the preservation and utilization of flora and fauna: the participation of social, public and private organizations... With regard to restoration and restriction programs in forestry matters, (art. 32 bis of the LF), citizens have no direct voice regarding the decree of such programs, but the CTCNF or regional council does, whereby participation is possible, as was mentioned above, by representatives of academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, research centers, etc. With regard to this point, the law`s regulations, in article 49, stipulate that the "Department shall in general make justifying technical studies available to the public, which it shall announce through the official gazettes of the states in question, and in the newspapers with the widest circulation in the place where the land and forest resources susceptible to restriction are located." Furthermore, article 38 of the LAN establishes that the Federal Executive "...may regulate the extraction and utilization of national waters, establish restriction zones or declare water reserves..." and indicates the specific cases in which this could happen. Such a declaration is made by means of a decree upon proposal by the CNA, and the basin councils or the users` organizations in the zones proposed for restriction or regulation, may participate in such technical studies as may be required to this purpose. In the regulated zones, the participation of the users shall be promoted for establishing mechanisms to oversee and enforce the decree. From the foregoing we can conclude that citizen participation in issues related to ANP`s, restoration zones, restrictions and other forms of protection, not only is very far-ranging as far as the Law is concerned, but also crucially important, and the influence it can have in this area is invaluable. 3.5. Citizens as subjects of the right to environmental information in Federal legislation. In the laws that we have been analyzing there are different means and procedures guaranteeing the right to information. In the present section we put together a table showing the main public instruments found in the different corpora of environmental laws. 3.5.1. LGEEPA. Article 5: "The Federation has the power to: section XVII integrate the National System of Environmental and Natural Resource Information and to make it available to the public..." Article 7: "The states are responsible for: section XIV: conducting state information and dissemination policy in environmental matters." Article 58: The preliminary studies made before declaring a protected natural area (APN) must be made available to the public. Article 159 bis: A National Environmental Information System shall be developed. Article 159 bis 2: The SEMARNAP must publish a gazette. Article 159 bis 3: "Every person has the right... to have such environmental information as he or she may request, made available to him or her...” Article 159 bis 4: exceptions: Section I.- Confidentiality for reasons of national security; Section II.- In the event of legal, inspection or oversight matters whose resolution is pending; Section III.- In the case of information belonging to third parties that they are not bound to disclose and, Section IV.- In the case of information on inventories and supplies and process technology. 3.5.2. The Forestry Law. National Forest Inventory. Article 9 of the LF sets forth the integration of a National Forest Inventory for which the opinion of the CTCNF must be taken into consideration and which must contain the following information: Section I: The surface area of forest land and land most suited to forestry, that the country has, for the purpose of integrating its statistical information and elaborating its cartography, in its different levels of ordinance and management; Section II: The types and localization of forest vegetation, its formations and use categories, with tendencies and projections that allow for the classification and delimitation of conservation, protection, restoration and forest production zones, in relation to hydrographic basins, geomorphologic units and protected natural areas; Section III: The dynamics of change in the country`s forest vegetation, so as to be able to know and evaluate deforestation rates and their main causes; Section IV: The quantification of forest resources, including the appraisal of environmental and productive services generated by forest ecosystems, as well as the impact caused to same, and Section V: Any other indicated by this laws regulations." The law`s regulation regarding the National Forest Inventory, in article 5 indicates that for its integration, the Department "... shall coordinate efforts with the agencies and entities of the Federal Public Administration connected to these matters and with the governments of the Federal District, states and municipalities, as well as social and private institutions related to this type of activity." National Forest Registry. Article 10 bis of the LF says that the National Forest registry shall be public and must register: Section I: Forest management programs and integrated environmental and forestation management programs, their authorizations, modifications and cancellations, as well as documents incorporated into the respective request; Section II: Forestation notices, as well as their modifications and cancellations; Section III: Authorizations to change the utilization of forest land; Section IV: Notice that storage and transformation centers for raw forest materials are functioning; In this chapter, there are two important points for the topic at hand: the first is that the Department must promote the participation... "of the social and private sectors in the planning and implementation of activities aimed at increasing the quality and efficiency of forest conservation, ordinance, utilization, management and development in the region or state in question, and the second is about the right to information, referring us to chapter II, fifth title of the LGEEPA, whose contents were already discussed above. 3.5.3. The National Waters Law. Public Registry of Water Rights. Section V: The data for identifying individuals or legal entities responsible for elaborating and directing technical execution or evaluating forest management programs or integrated environmental and forestation management programs, under the terms of this law; Section VI: The National Forest Inventory and the respective forestry zoning; Section VII: Agreements signed by the Department regarding forestry matters; Section VIII: The decrees establishing natural protection areas that include forest land and land most suited to forestry, and Section IX: Other acts and documents indicated in this law`s regulation." Article 10 bis 1 of the law in question establishes that tell information that makes up the national forest inventory and the entries of the National Agrarian Registry and other information related to forestry matters shall be integrated into the National System for Environmental and Natural Resource Information provided for by the LGEEPA. One of the most significant reforms of the LF regarding citizen participation might very well be the inclusion of a specific chapter called "Social Participation and Right to Information." Article 30 of the present federal legislation sets forth that "concession and transferal titles and permits referred to in the present law, as well as the extensions of same, their suspension, termination and the acts and contracts related to the total or partial transmission of titularity, shall be registered." The foregoing is important as a way to give publicity to the legal acts set forth in the article, in this way satisfying the citizens` right to information." 3.5.4. The Agrarian Law. The Agrarian Law provides for the National Agrarian Registry "which shall be public and any person may obtain information about its entries and inscriptions and obtain at cost such copies as he or she may request" (art. 151 of the LA). It should register "the documents which give a record of the original operations and the modifications that land ownership and legally constituted rights over ejidal and communal property undergo. The registry shall also have a special section for entries corresponding to corporate property." (art. 148 of the LA): 3.5. CITIZENS AS SUBJECTS OF TIJE RIGHT TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION. 3.5. 1. LGEEPA Art. 5 section XVII Art. 7 section XIV Art. 159 bis 2 Art. 159 bis 3 Art. 159 bis 4 National System for Environmental and Natural Resource Information The states are responsible for conducting State policy on environmental information And dissemination. Publication of the Ecological Gazette Right to environmental information. Exceptions to Right to Information 3.5.2. LF Arts. 5 and 9 Art. 10 bis National Forest Inventory National Forest Registry Social participation and right to information.- 3.5.3. LAN Art. 30 Water rights registry 3.5.4. LA Art. 151 National Agrarian Registry Registrations of operations modifying property and its rights. 3.6. Legal Procedures provided for in Environmental Laws. Although we will devote a specific chapter to this topic, we wanted to mention them within the present chapter as an integral part of environmental legislation. 3.6.1. LGEEPA. -Citizen’s complaint -arts. 189 to 204 of the law in question. Article 189 establishes: "Any person, social group, non-governmental organization... may bring charges." -Inspection and oversight procedure- arts. 161 to 170. -Criminal charges.- Article 182 stipulates that any person may press criminal charges for specific cases of environmental crimes defined by the Federal Criminal Code, since after the reform of the LGEEPA, these crimes are no longer found there. -Appeal for review.- arts. 176 to 181 of the law in question. 3.6.2. The Forestry Law. Appeal to Revoke. The LF does not provide for the appeal to revoke; this is found in articles 78 to 84 of the Regulations of the LF. The first of these articles establishes the causes for which the appeal may be admitted, and article 81 indicates those for which the appeal may not be admitted, among which are the fact that the appellant`s legal interests have not been affected, whereby not everyone can file an appeal. 3.5.3. The National Waters Law. -Inspection and Oversight Procedure.- (arts. 182 to 184 of the LAN). This is the same procedure provided for by the LGEEPA, in this case the CNA is the one who carries out the inspection and it is carried out to verify compliance with the following legal ordinances related to national waters: the LAN, LGEEPA, LFMN, Federal Rights Law, Law for Contributions to Improvements of Federal Public Hydraulic Infrastructure Works and other applicable legal provisions and regulations. (art. 182 LAN). -Appeal for Review.- articles 190 to 197 of the LAN. -Conciliation and Arbitration Procedure.- articles 198 to 202 of the LAN. 3.6.4. Federal Law for Metrology and Standards. -Administrative Appeal.- The procedure for this appeal is found in articles 121 to 127 of the LFMN and can be filed by any person affected by a resolution issued on the basis of the LFMN or any other provision resulting from it. 3.6. LEGAL PROCEDURES PROVIDED FOR IN ENVIRONMIENTAL LAWS A) LGEEPA Art. 189-204 Art. 161-170 Art.182 Art.178-181 -Citizen`s complaint -Inspection and Oversight Procedure -Criminal Charge -Appeal for Review B) RLF Art. 78-84 -Appeal to Revoke C ) LAN Art.182-184 Art. 190-197 Art. 198-202 -Inspection and Oversight Procedure -Appeal for Review -Conciliation and Arbitration Procedure D) LFMN Art. 121-127 -Administrative Appeal 3.7. Conclusion. The Mexican constitution does not set forth the right to a healthy environment, although it does legislate environmental protection in various ways and establishes guarantees for the protection of individual and social rights that can be effective instruments for protecting the environment through citizen participation. However, we consider it important to seek a constitutional amendment integrating the right to a healthy environment as a constitutional guarantee, by virtue of which the citizenry would have access to the constitutional control process, i.e., to a judgment protecting constitutional rights and therefore, to the jurisprudence that would guarantee the correct interpretation and application of environmental norms and of the procedures resulting from them. Furthermore, there are endless laws, in addition the law providing the framework for environmental matters (LGEEPA) in which the environment is protected directly and by chance. In these legal corpora different channels of social participation are opened, however, all of the laws discuss this participation in a generic way, i.e., unspecifically. The opportunities of social participation are not specified with procedures or mechanisms for this participation to occur. The foregoing implies that it is necessary to promote the regulation of citizen participation, and therefore, we propose the elaboration of regulations specifying how social participation is to take place, thereby making it possible to apply the law, since the function of regulation is just that; making it possible to execute the law from which it is derived. CHAPTER 4: PROCEDURES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS IN MEXICO 4.1. Specific environmental procedures relates to its legal protection. We have discussed the guarantees and legal protection that guarantee citizen participation in Mexico; now we will look at the procedures specified in the Laws that have to do with environmental protection. Needless to say, the Federal Law for Administrative Action is for supplementary application with regard to the special laws in question, and wanting that, the Federal Civil Procedures Code. Our guiding principle having been set forth, we will discuss the principles of the matter in an exegetical fashion, following our method of study. We consider it important to point out that since the process component is crucial in environmental matters, we will analyze the main procedures that the Federal Prosecutor`s Office for the Environment addresses; this Office is a Decentralized Body of the SEMARNAP, in charge of applying environmental laws. 4.1.1. The General Law for Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA). In accordance with the spirit of the LGEEPA, this law provides for procedures related to Inspection and Oversight, Citizen`s Complaint, Appeal of Non-conformity, now known as Appeal for Review in accordance with recent reforms to the General Law for Ecological Balance, and while it is true that in the chapter on environmental policy it provides for the environmental ordinance of territory and Environmental Impact Evaluation and Environmental Audits, it seems to us that in themselves they are special environmental procedures. From the articles that give a profile of these procedures, which are from 161 to 194 of the law in question, we could deduce that the foregoing procedures are of an entirely administrative character and nature. To better illustrate, we will try to outline them the moment they are addressed. Inspection and Oversight Procedure. Legal basis: articles 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, LGEEPA. · Steps to be followed: Its legal assumption: verifying compliance with the law, and it is carried out either by the environmental authority or by request. · Authorized personnel: The authority in environmental matters commissions his or her personnel to carry out the inspection, by means of a commissioning writ, which specifies the concrete activity that will be carried out, along with the place and the legal bases. The authorized personnel, the moment they present themselves at the place to be inspected, must identify themselves fully and draw up an Administrative Record of their visit to the place being inspected; this Record shall be signed, if possible, by two witnesses from the same place and/or the persons in charge of the place being visited. This record will be turned over to the authority that ordered the inspection. · Personal notice: The authority ordering the inspection shall personally notify the interested parties within 15 working days of having received the Administrative Record from the commissioned personnel, so that the interested parties may argue their rights in writing, and offer relevant evidence, which the administrative authority shall receive and process, and once the foregoing is carried out and testimony given by the parties is gathered, there being no more proceedings pending for processing, it shall issue the corresponding administrative resolution within twenty days and notify the parties personally in the following five days. OUTLINE I INSPECTION AND OVERSIGHT PROCEDURE · Legal Assumption: · Verification of Compliance with Environmental Law. - On Prosecutor`s Own Initiative. -Program of Inspection Visits. -Upon Request. Initiation Requests. -Issuing the Visit. (10 DAYS). · Making the Inspection Visit. (15 DAYS). For formulating their rights in writing and submitting and processing evidence. · Effects of the visit. -Irregularities exist. -No irregularities exist. -The Procedure is not Admitted. -Urgent Measures to be Applied. -Safety Measures. (3 DAYS) · Presents his or her arguments in writing. · Arguments received or deadline transpired for presenting them. (20 DAYS). - Resolution issued. (5 DAYS) Notification of the Resolution to the Parties. -They accept the Resolution. -They appeal. (FOLL0WING 15 DAYS). · Appeal for Review filed. Citizen’s Complaint. The legal basis is found in articles 189 to 200 of the LGEEPA. This procedure is initiated by any person before the Federal Prosecutor`s Office for the Environment, or the appropriate environmental authorities, and it can be motivated by any act, omission or deed that produces or could produce ecological imbalance or damage to the environment or natural resources. -Requirements for admission. · In order to file a Citizen`s Complaint, either in writing- or by telephone, and ratify it in the following three days, all that is needed is an indication of the information necessary for locating the polluting source, as well as the name and address of the plaintiff, so that the Department can initiate this procedure without further ado. · Once the Citizen`s Complaint is received, the PROFEPA shall notify the interested parties of the initiation of the procedure so that they may make use of their right to a hearing, and shall also notify the interested parties of the proceedings initiated in response to their complaint; so that they may submit the documents and evidence conducive to their rights over the following 15 working days: and · The initiation of an inspection and oversight procedure may result, or · The PROFEPA shall issue the relevant recommendations, which shall be public, autonomous and not encumbering, or · lf the complaint does not imply violations of environmental norms, or affect public order or the public interest, the PROFEPA may initiate a Conciliation Procedure and the parties involved shall be heard. (see Outline II). OUTLINE II CITIZEN`S COMPLAINT PROCEDURE. - Legal Assumption: - A ct, Omission or Deed that produces or could produce imbalance or damage to the environment or to natural resources. I. On Prosecutor`s Own Initiative. Il. Upon Request made by any person. - Personal Notification of interested parties. (15 DAYS). - For submitting documents and evidence conducive to their rights; and Substantiating the Complaint: 1. The initiation of an Inspection and Oversight Procedure may result; or 2. lf the complaint does not imply violations of environmental norms, or affect public order or the public interest, the PROFEPA may initiate a Conciliation Procedure and the parties involved shall be heard. 3. lt follows its course, ending up with a Recommendation fro the Authority. · In cases 2 and 3 above, the Authority, in the event of there being acts or omissions of Federal, State or Municipal Authorities: -Presents a Conciliation Proposal. -Shall issue the necessary Recommendations. (15 DAYS): - The Authority informs whether it accepts or not. -A date is determined for compliance. · Assumed: -Compliance with the Recommendation. -Deficiencies, Errors or Omissions in the Citizen`s Complaint proceedings. *Second Stage: Before the "National Human Rights Commission". Here it is important to point out that the appropriate authority can respond to citizen`s complaints simply by means of an administrative document, which does not merit the initiation of any type of proceeding, be it inspection and oversight, or the actual citizen`s complaint proceeding; the fernier case would obviously end up with a resolution, and the case of a citizen`s complaint would end up with a "recommendation", which is a serious situation, favoring impunity in environmental matters and limiting the jurisdictional phase of the environment itself, unless the appeal did not proceed, since the environment is not addressed from a human rights perspective, the only recourse left would be an International Denunciation within the framework of NAFTA. Appeal for Review. This proceeding is pursued under the terms of the Federal Law for Administrative Action. Summary Environmental Proceeding: Finally, we might mention the existence of an atypical procedure, container in Article 170 of the LGEEPA, related to safety measures of a summary nature; the assumption for the procedure is the imminent risk of an ecological imbalance, or cases of pollution with dangerous repercussions for ecosystems or public health. Under these circumstances, the Department can order summary measures in the form of confiscation of materials or substances, temporary, partial or total shut-downs, and later promote the execution and procedures before the appropriate authorities in such cases. Given its importance, we will transcribe the article in question: ARTICLE 170.- When there is an imminent risk of ecological imbalance, or of serious damage or deterioration to natural resources, cases of pollution with dangerous repercussions for ecosystems, their components or for public health, the Department, having grounds, may order one or several of the following safety measures: I. The temporary, partial or total shut-down of the pollution sources, as well as of the facilities where specimens, products or by-products of wild animal and plant species or forest resources are handled or stored, or where activities are carried out that give rise to the assumptions referred to in the first paragraph of this article; II. The precautionary impoundment of hazardous materials and wastes, as well as of specimens, products or by-products of wild animal and plant species or their genetic material, forest resources, also the goods, vehicles, utensils or instruments directly related to the behavior giving rise to the imposition of the safety measure, or III. The neutralization or any analogous action preventing hazardous materials or wastes from causing the effects foreseen in the first paragraph of this article. The Department may likewise promote before the appropriate authority the execution of one or several of the safety measures established in other ordinances. Environmental Impact Evaluation Procedure. Concept: The environmental impact evaluation (EIA) is a tool for generating environmental information and an analytical process for evaluating more comprehensive elements of social costs and benefits in each development project. The EIA procedure is supposed to imply a practical capacity to make economic development objectives compatible with environmental criteria. The agency receiving the documentation, the National Ecology Institute, is responsible for: 1. Formulating the instructions for submitting the preventive report and the Environmental Impact statement in its general, intermediate and specific modes. 2. Formulating the instructions for submitting environmental risk studies in their different modes: preliminary risk report, risk analysis and detailed risk analysis. 3. Analyzing, evaluating and issuing judgments on projects involving construction or activities under federal mandate. 4. Issuing resolutions and establishing the terms or conditioning factors under which the project can be carried out or, rejecting it on the grounds that its environmental effects are considered adverse to the ecological surroundings or to the population and its goods. 5. Communicating with the project chief and notifying the PROFEPA for follow-up. The PROFEPA, among other functions, has the following: 1. Carrying out acts of inspection and oversight. 2. Enforcing the prevention and mitigation measures indicated in the resolution. 3. Effecting safety measures. 4. Determining administrative instructions, commission of crimes, their sanctions, and 5. Handling procedures and administrative recourses in matters under federal mandate. Contents of the Environmental Statement. (MIA). I. Information on the organization making the proposal. II. General information on the project. III. Description of the projected work or activity. IV. General aspects of natural and socio-economic environment. V. Association with norms and regulations regarding ground use. VI. Identification and description of the environmental impacts that the execution of the, project will cause in its different stages. VII. Prevention and mitigation measures for the identified environmental impacts. Projects and activities that require a MIA to be submitted. I. Hydraulic works, general transportation routes, oil pipelines, gas pipelines, carbon gas pipelines and multiple pipelines. II. Petroleum, petroleum refining, chemical, steel, paper, sugar, cement and electric industries. III. Exploration, exploitation and processing of minerals and substances reserved for the Federation under the terms of Mexican laws and regulations of Constitutional article 27 regarding nuclear matters. IV. Facilities for treatment, confinement or elimination of hazardous wastes, as well as radioactive wastes. V. Forestry operations in tropical jungles and with species whose recovery is difficult. VI. Tree farms; Changes in ground use in forested areas, as well as in jungles and arid zones. VII. Industrial parks where high-risk activities are foreseen. VIII. Real estate developments that affect coastal ecosystems. IX. Projects in protected natural areas under federal mandate. X. Projects and activities in wetlands, mangrove swamps, lagoons, rivers, lakes and estuaries connected to the sea, as well as on their shores or federal zones. XI. Fishing, aquiculture or agricultural/livestock activities that might endanger the preservation of one or more species or damage ecosystems, and XII. Projects or activities that might cause serious or irreparable ecological imbalances, damage to public health or to ecosystems, or exceed the limits and conditions established in legal provisions related to the preservation of ecological balance and environmental protection, as long as said projects and activities correspond to matters under federal mandate. (see outline III). OUTLINE III Administrative procedure (MIA). Inspection and verification procedure in Environmental Impact matters. To whom is the documentation submitted? National Ecology Institute. Functions of Mandated Authorities. (1) Prepares guidelines for submitting Environmental Impact Statement, In the following modes: - General - Intermediate, or - Specific. (2) Prepares guidelines for the formulation of Environmental Risk Studies in the following modes: - Preliminary Risk Study. - Risk Analysis, or - Detailed Risk Analysis. (4) Determines the level of environmental impact statement and whether it is necessary to make a risk study. (6) Analyzes and evaluates the possible adverse effects and, if necessary, requests additional information. (8) Issues resolutions and establishes terms or conditioning factors under which the work or project may be carried out in view of the fact that its environmental effects are considered adverse to the ecological surroundings or to the population and its goods (sic) authorizes under the proposed terms. Communicates the promoter and with the Federal Prosecutor`s Office for Environmental Protection. Federal Prosecutor`s Office for Environmental Protection Follow-up upon compliance with MIA. (6A) Integrating file. (8A) Information evaluated. (10) Formulates program of inspection and verification visits on the basis of the judgments. (11) Prepares duly grounded and justified inspection warrants. (12) Makes inspection visits and draws up circumstantial record. (13) In the event that irregularities or non-compliance with the terms established in the judgment are identified, temporary, partial or total shut-down is declared. (15) Formulates technical judgment, sanctions are established and, lf necessary, obligation is declared to repair the damage. What does the obligated party do? Individual or legal entity under obligation. Promoter of work or project. (3) Submits preventive report. (5) Submits the environmental impact statement. (7) Submits complementary information. (9) Gives notice of work start-up and compliance with conditioning factors. (14) Manifests in writing, within 10 working days, whatever is conducive to his or her rights regarding the inspection record. Public Consultation. (6B) Publishes the request in the gazette and in a newspaper with wide circulation in the federative entity. (10 days). (6C) The statement is presented for consultation in the federative entity. (20 days). (6D) The proposal of mitigation and observation measures is made. (6E) The observation of the public consultation is integrated. (6F) The file is integrated. (10 days). Environmental Audit Procedure. Concept: Environmental Audits consist of the exhaustive review of facilities, processes, storage facilities, transportation, safety and risk, which allows plans of action to be defined, which define, with set deadlines, the necessary works, repairs, corrections, acquisitions and actions resulting from the judgment, be they set forth as norms or not, and are signed by the authority and the business owner, the latter guaranteeing his or her compliance by means of a bond. Among the auditing mechanisms, the following stand out: a) Voluntary Norms and b) Certification Processes. Who receives the documentation: The Federal Prosecutor`s Office for the Environment under the terms of the SEMARNAP’s Internal Regulations, among other powers. Contents: · Cabinet Stage (analysis of all the documentation). · Field Stage (verification of process development). · Technical Appraisal Stage (analysis of technical/legal aspect) · Final Report (results of the audit). (see Outline IV). Th OUTLINE IV co OUTLINE OF ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT Process: th A). Elaboration of official notice of audit fo Contents I. Name of titleholder, business owner. II. Location of business. III. Purpose of the audit. IV. Duration of the audit. B). Notification of business owners or titleholders regarding activity to be audited. C). Audit visits (verification in presence of interested titleholder). I. Review of authorization and judgments. II. Verification of compliance with conditioning factors, restrictions imposed on processes. D). Verify follow-up and conditioning factors in the field. E). Drawing up records or reports. F). The record is submitted to the parties and recommendations are issued. G). lf there are irregularities: 1. Application of administrative sanctions (the administrative process will have to be followed through). II. Denunciation of crimes. 4.1.2. Forestry Law. The legal basis is found in article 44. The Forestry Law in force, in its procedures, also starts with the assumption: enforcement of the Forestry Law, for which ¡t has instituted two kinds of actions: inspection visits and technical audits to be carried out on forested land and/or in centers for storage and transformation of raw forest products. Inspection and Oversight. For carrying out this procedure, the Forestry Law sets overall guidelines that the LGEEPA provides for regarding inspection and oversight, i.e., personnel must first be commissioned and duly authorized by means of a written order specifying the place, purpose and basis of the visit or audit. It is noteworthy that in this Forestry Law, the procedures provided for are exempt from procedural rigor, therefore the time periods involved are left to the discretion of the mandated authority, or in its absence, it remits us to the respective regulation; given the importance of this procedure we attach the procedure that the PROFEPA follows through the Natural Resources Office. This law, in its article 54, provides for the appeal for revocation, which obviously proceeds against any resolution or act of authority, and its purpose is to revoke, confirm or modify the challenged resolution. There are other atypical procedures, such as those concerning restricted forest zones, or concessions, and that function, in the former case, almost summarily, i.e., on the basis of certain studies and acts of authority; the authority decides and resolves on its own whether the restriction proceeds or not. The latter procedure has more specific procedural norms, found in the Regulations of the law in question. (See Outlines V and VI). OUTLINE V. INSPECTIONAND OVERSIGHT PROCEDURE. (FOREST) Inspection visit programs. Issuing visit warrant. 10 days. Carrying out inspection visit. 5 days. Formulation of observations and presentation of evidence. Results of the visit. No irregularities. - Does not proceed. - Irregularities. - Urgent measures. Safety measures. 10 days. Citation. 15 days. Reception of evidence. 10 days. Admission agreement. 10 days. Notification of agreement. Processing evidence. From 3 to 15 days. Conciliation agreement for processing evidence. 10 days. Notification of agreement (1). Processing evidence. From 5 to 10 days. Formulation of arguments. 10 days. Resolution issued. 10 days. Notification of resolution. 15 days. (2). Appeal for review. 5 days. Agreement for admission of appeal. (3). Resolve admission of appeal. Resolve request for suspension. 10 days. Notification. 10 days. (4 and 5) Resolution issued. 10 days. Notification. (6). 1. The deadline may be extended for a period no less than 8 nor more than 15 days. 2. Possibility of deadline extension. (art. 31of the L.F.P.A.). 3. If no agreement is issued before the deadline, the suspension is granted. 4. lf the evidence merits proceedings for its processing, art. 51 of the L.F.P.A.S. shall be applied. 5. This deadline may be extended by 5 to 10 days, so that the appellant may present arguments and documents, when there are new facts that do not figure in the file. (art. 96 L.F.P.A.). 6. If not resolved in 4 months, the negative act is confirmed. OUTLINE VI. WHAT THE TECHNICAL AUDIT IS AND WHAT ITS PURPOSE IS. A) The technical forestry audit: Is a function of normative verification and falls within the federal prosecutor`s mandate of protecting the environment. B) Its purpose is: *To verify compliance with forestry norms currently in force. *To make sure that forest utilization is carried out without deteriorating the natural resources, i.e., to avoid destruction or misuse or unauthorized use of forest resources and of wild plant and animal life. *Its purpose is to oversee the protection of natural resources in the economic activities of the forest subsector on behalf of the state and society. C) Where it is applied: *For the purpose of checking compliance with the norms, the administrative procedure of authorization, control and follow-up is applied to: 1) The annual renovation of authorized utilization, on the basis of the 1986 forestry law. 2) Authorizations for timber utilization, on the basis of the 1992 law. 3) Authorizations for non-timber utilization. 3) Authorizations for change in ground use. GENERAL OUTLNE OF THE TECHNICAL FORESTRY AUDIT PROCESS Process: A) Elaboration of the official letter of the Commission and the verification order on the part of state PROFEPA delegations and the office for forest inspection and oversight of wild animal and plants, at headquarters. B) Notification of titleholders and technical forestry service providers. C) Audit visits (verification) in the presence of the titleholders and service provider. D) Verifying the follow-up and continuity of utilization and restoration work. E) In the event of irregularities, the application of administrative sanctions, or the denunciation of crimes to appropriate authorities. Drawing up the record. Contents: 1.- General information. (Name of the titleholder, location of the property, type of utilization, forest species, quantity and duration). 2.- Review of authorizations and judgments. (Review of technical norms and ecological protection restrictions.) 3.- Verifying the application of the authorizations (checking compliance with conditioning factors and restrictions in the forest management plans). 4.- Overseeing and verifying the forest management follow-up and evaluation measures. 5.- Observations on the residual condition of the mass (conditions of the forest natural resource that result after the utilization). 6.- Drawing up minutes, records or reports (administrative procedure). DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUDIT Cabinet stage. 1. The appropriate authority generals the written order. 2. Notifying the titleholder of the technical audit order. 3. Classifying the audit by type of utilization. A). Timber utilization. B). Authorizations for annual renovation. C). Non-timber utilization. D). Changes in ground use. Review of authorized technical documents and identification of aspects to be verified in the field. A). Integral forestry management studies. B). Forest management program. C). Justifying technical studies. - For the utilization of non-timber forest resources. - For change in ground use. D). Notifications. Review of utilization control and follow-up. I: For valid authorizations issued under the 1986 forestry law. A). Annual reports. B). Report on compliance with ecological restrictions. C). Reports on timber movement. D). Marking relationships. II.- For valid authorizations issued under the 1992 forestry law. A). Periodic reports on development of and compliance with management programs. B). Bimonthly reports of timber extraction. C). Reports on execution of changes in ground use. D). National forest registry. E). Periodic reports on utilization of non-timber products. Support information. A). Annual installments or review periods, B). Sampling systems and intensity. C). Production activities. D). Protection activities. E). Promotion activities. F). Environmental impact prevention activities. Field stage. A). Physical location of the short area. B). Observation tours and implementation of sampling. C). Formalization of results. D). Work minutes. E). Audit or verification record. F). General conclusion. G). Recommendations. - Carry out restoration activities. - Carry out protection activities. - Carry out promotion activities. - Carry out activities for preventing and mitigating environmental impact. 4.1.3. General Health Law. Legal basis: It is found in articles 428 to 450 of the General Health Law, in relation to article 396 of the same legal ordinance. The procedural part of the present law breaks completely from the principles of order, system and coherence that should guide any procedure; it only provides for pre-trial administrative acts (these being a type of summary judgments and/or pre judicial acts), and in the event that some irregularity is detected by these pre-trial procedures (inspection and/or verification), no ordinary procedure is initiated, but rather the case goes directly to the filing of a non-conformity appeal (Silva, 1990). However we must not forget that the Federal Law for Administrative Procedures is for supplementary application, and lacking that, the Federal Civil Procedures Code. - Guiding principles of the law`s application. - Grounds and justification, under articles 14 and 16 of the General Constitution of the Republic; - Priority of society`s and/or the nation`s general interests over private interests; - Observance of legal and administrative principles o£ legality, impartiality, effectiveness, economy, integrity, participation, publicity, coordination, efficiency, hierarchy and good faith. A) Health oversight: 1. Verification visits that shall include inspection and oversight (physical and adherence to Law). 2. Verification reports (of publicity concerning activities, products, services). - Nature of verification. 1. Ordinary. The shall be carried out on working days and during working hours. 2. Extraordinary. At any time. - Steps followed during verification. 1. The verifier must have the written order specifying the place, purpose and scope of the verification, and its legal grounds. 2. At the beginning of the visit, the verifier must identify him or herself and leave a copy of the order for the person in charge of the establishment. 3. He or she must propose to the person in charge of the place, the designation of two witnesses who will be present during the course of the visit. 4. He or she must draw up a record setting forth the circumstances of the inspection, the deficiencies or health irregularities observed, the number and type of samples taken or the safety measures carried out. 5. At the end of the inspection those responsible for the place will be given the opportunity to present arguments conducive to their rights. 6. The Record is signed and a copy is left for the person with whom the inspection was carried out. B). Measures to correct irregularities. On the basis of the verification results, the health authority may decree measures to correct irregularities. - Depending on the health irregularities reported in the Verification Record or Report, the authority shall summon the interested party personally so that in no less than five nor more than thirty days, he or she appears in order to: · Present arguments conducive to his or her rights. · Present evidence. - Once the evidence has been heard and processed over the following five days, the corresponding resolution shall be dictated. -The interested party shall be notified personally of the resolution. - In the event the interested party does not appear to enforce his or, her rights and present evidence, the procedure shall be carried out in contempt. - When the commission of a crime is induced from the Verification Record, the health authority shall file charges before the appropriate District Attorney, C) Appeal of Non-conformity. - Admissibility of appeal: Against acts and resolutions of health officials. - Deadline for filing the appeal: The appellant shall have fifteen working days as of the notification date. - With which authority is the appeal filed?: It shall be filed before the Administrative Unit that dictated the act or resolution, in person or by certified mail. - Contents of appeal of non-conformity. 1) Appellant`s name and address; 2) Facts that are the subject of the appeal; 3) Date on which the resolution was known; 4) Damages: 5) Responsible authority; and 6) Evidence. - Substantiation of the appeal of non-conformity: lf the appeal is admitted, the Unit, without resolving the admission of evidence, shall issue a technical opinion, and shall immediately send the appeal to the appropriate authority, who generally will be the Head of the Department of Health. In addition, the appeal shall suspend the sanctions that the appellant may have received, until the corresponding resolution is dictated and the legal situation is defined. 4.1.4. National Waters Law. Citizen`s Complaint Procedure. Its legal basis is found in content 174. This law grants any person People`s Action to denounce before the President of the Republic or the Secretary of Agriculture and Hydraulic Resources: 1. Concentrations of water that contravene the present Law; and 2. Acts and omissions of public officials and employees that under this law imply responsibility. Given the poverty of this procedure, we will then be assuming the Federal Administrative Acts Procedure, whose application is supplementary. - Appeal for Review. Its purpose is to appeal any resolution or act of authority in order to confirm, modify or revoke said resolution. This law also provides for procedures of a very special character, concerning procedures for restrictions and concessions, about which it mentions only generalities; the specific regulations are found in the Regulations of the Nationally Owned Waters Law, published in the Official Journal of the Federation on April 21, 1996, which in view of the recent reforms made to the law in question, has fallen behind especially with regard to the new policies on water management and treatment that carne into effect under the reforms made in 1992. 4.I.5. Federal Hunting Law. lt does not provide for any administrative procedure for the assumption of non-compliance with the law, not even inspections or oversight on the part of the authority in charge of applying this law. As can be observed, this law was one of the first to be passed, and therefore, its focus deserves a review and an evaluation within this legal instrument so that it can conform to environmental legislation in its most recent sectorial and general laws, since it lacks any kind of regulation at all and up to now this lack has been covered by the Hunting Calendar and the Regulation for Songbirds and Ornamental Birds, the CITES and NOM-059-ECOL-1994 and special protection decrees for certain animal species in danger of extinction, e.g., the Marine Turtle Decree. 4.1.6. Fisheries Law. Inspection Procedure: Its legal basis is found in the stipulations of articles 22-23 of said law, and the purpose of the inspection procedure is to check compliance with the law. In order to carry out the inspection and oversight procedure, the same general guidelines are followed that we have already alluded to. There are other laws, such as the LGEEPA, the Forestry Law and other administrative laws, that consist of: · Issuing a duly grounded and justified inspection order. · Commissioning authorized personnel for carrying out the procedure. · Previous identification on the part of the personnel in order to have access to the boats. · Drawing up a circumstantial record signed by two witnesses interested party, and · Submitting said document to the authority that ordered the act, so that this authority can issue the corresponding resolution. - Appeal for Review. Its basis is found in the stipulations of article 30 of the law in question, and proceeds against resolutions handed down by fishing authorities for the purpose of confirming, modifying or revoking them; the appeal should be filed during the 15 working days following the date of notification of the challenged resolution, and it shall be filed with the Department, with manifestation of damages and evidence, and the Suspension of the act of authority may be requested. This appeal turns out to be completely atypical from a legal point of view, since with the appeal writ any type of evidence can be submitted, even documents, as long as they are related to the grounds of the claim, for the substantiation of the appeal the law remits us to its Regulation. We feel bound lo comment on this procedural situation, taking into consideration that the appeal for review becomes practically just another ordinary procedure, instead of representing, from the technical-procedural point of view, an appeal whose purpose would be to analyze the evidence records that existed during the ordinary procedure, in order to determine whether the inferior authority applied the law, the Constitution, Doctrine and general principles of Law correctly, as the proceduralists of our judicial system have determined. 4.1.7. General Law for Human Settlements. lt does not provide for any administrative procedure whatsoever in the event of non-compliance and non-observance of the law in question. Along these lines, we will apply the Federal Administrative Procedure Law. 4.1.8. Metrology and Standards Law. It does not provide for an administrative procedure that meets legal standards, but rather only attempts to guarantee the right to a hearing, and provides for an Administrative Appeal against resolutions in which all manner of evidence can be offered, except confessional. In view of the fact that the Official Mexican Norms constitute one of the most important instruments for applying general environmental policy in our country, we consider it necessary to present the content of these norms, because the activities and services that give rise to outflows, emissions, discharges or deposits that cause or might cause ecological imbalance or damage to the environment, or that affect or might affect the population`s welfare or goods owned by the state or private citizens, must observe the limits and procedures set forth in the Official Mexican Norms, which can be defined as: The set of scientific or technological rules issued by the Department establishing possible requirements, specifications, procedures, parameters and limits that must be observed when carrying out activities, or using and allocating goods that cause or might cause ecological imbalance or damage to the environment and also standardize criteria, principles, policies and strategies on the subject. - Content of the Official Mexican Norms. 1. The name of the norm, its code and, if necessary, a mention of the norms on which it is based; 2. The identification of the product, service, method, process, facility or, if necessary, the purpose of the norm; 3. The specifications and characteristics that correspond to the product, service, method, process, facility or establishment indicated in the norm by virtue of its objective; 4. The applicable testing methods, and if necessary, the applicable sampling methods; 5. The data and other information that the products must contain, or else their packaging, as well as the size and characteristics of the different indications; 6. The degree of agreement with international norms and recommendations; 7. The bibliography corresponding to the norm; 8. A mention of the agency or agencies that will oversee compliance with the norm when there is concurrent authority, and 9. Other observations considered conducive to the due understanding and scope of the norm. 4.1.9. Federal Law of the Sea. It does not provide for any procedure of an administrative character. 4.1.10. International Environmental Jurisdiction. By means of consensus of principles and on the basis of the exegetical analysis of each and every International Instrument that Mexico has signed in environmental matters, we can state that most of them do not establish special jurisdictions, except NAFTA, and, they endorse the following means in the event of conflict in the application of treaties or when controversies arise regarding their application: a) They give priority to resolution by looking for "Conciliatory mechanisms among the parties." b) In the event that no agreement is reached by consensus, then they assume "arbitration” among the parties, and in the event that this does not work either, c) The case goes to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. d) It is relevant to point out that in addition, the Federal Civil Procedures Code has a section on International Cooperation that could also be applied in the event of Litigation. Given the importance of NAFTA, we will briefly outline its procedure, knowing that the Mexican Center for Environmental Law has already put together a guide concerning the procedure set forth in the terms of the international instrument signed by our country. To conclude to present chapter, we will make the following comments: The procedural guidelines in environmental matters, with the exception of the Citizen`s Complaint, are complicated and require legal training for their initiation and follow-up, since like Environmental Substantive Law, they are of an integrational and horizontal nature because they encompass procedural and doctrinal concepts from criminal, civil, administrative and constitutional law and from the process itself. The foregoing notwithstanding, it is a tool that environmental groups need to master in order to be more effective in the defense of environmental assets in the public interest. The next challenge, therefore, will be the training of citizen and environmental groups in the use and practical handling of the guide. CHAPTER 5: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING IN THE UNITED STATES "The history of liberty has largely been the history of observance of procedural safeguards. " McNabb v. United States, 318 U.S. 332, 347 (1943). Government agencies and legislatures make critical decisions about the environment. In a growing number of countries around the world, citizens are gaining the opportunity to participate in these decisions. Citizens participating in decisions about the environment have the opportunity to influence the quality of the air they breathe, the amount of pollution in the water, and the manner in which land is used. Citizen participation often results in governments making better decisions about the environment, as citizens provide valuable information. Government agencies, knowing that citizens are reviewing their decisions, are more likely to consider relevant issues and make sound decisions. Citizen participation also strengthens participatory democracy and makes the government more accountable to the public. This chapter surveys administrative procedures for public participation in the United States. The federal Administrative Procedure Act governs federal agency decision-making processes. The law requires federal agencies to allow citizens to comment on certain agency decisions. Several other federal laws including the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act require agencies to notify citizens of proposed permits to allow a person to discharge pollutants into the environment. Citizens also have an opportunity to comment on proposed permits under these environmental laws. Another federal environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act, requires government agencies to allow public participation at several stages during the preparation of environmental impact statements. Other laws encourage public participation in government decision-making by allowing citizens to observe certain government meetings. The Government in the Sunshine Act requires certain government meetings to be open to the public. The Federal Advisory Committee Act similarly requires most meetings of federal advisory committees to be open to the public. An important factor in public participation is access to information. Therefore this chapter also examines the Freedom of Information Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act which give citizens access to information and the means to participate meaningfully in decision-making processes. Finally, this chapter analyzes the initiative process that exists under some state laws. This process allows citizens to directly participate in government and create binding laws by placing initiatives on the ballot for a popular vote. The last section of this chapter describes two examples of how these laws have helped citizens to participate in government decision-making. 5.1. Outline of government structure in the United States in relation to environmental decision-making. This chapter focuses on U.S. federal laws. However, it is important to look at some state law information to understand environmental decision-making in the United States. Therefore, this section briefly outlines the structure and law making processes of the federal government and state governments. 5.1.1. Federal Government. The U.S. federal government has three branches: executive, judicial and legislative. The executive branch consists of the President, Vice President, the President`s Cabinet, federal departments and some federal agencies. Several federal departments and agencies are involved in implementing and enforcing the federal environmental laws. The most important agencies for environmental law are the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which oversees implementation of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The EPA also reviews and comments on actions of other agencies in accordance with NEPA. A few other departments and agencies also play a role in implementing environmental legislation. For instance the Department of Agriculture oversees soil conservation and forest management. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oversees coastal zone management, air pollution, and marine mammals. The Army Corps of Engineers oversees navigable waters and ocean dumping. The Department of Energy oversees energy related issues. The Department of the Interior oversees endangered species, federal lands, and the outer continental shelf. The Federal Aviation Administration oversees aircraft noise. The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees some community water supply issues. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission shares responsibility with the EPA for controlling radiation. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Maritime Commission share responsibility with the EPA for controlling water pollution from o¡] and other hazardous substances. The legislative branch is Congress. The U.S. Congress enacts U.S. federal statutes. The U.S. Congress is divided into two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives (House). The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. It is under this authority that Congress has passed most of the federal environmental laws. The third branch of the federal government is the judiciary. The U. S. Constitution vests the judicial power in one Supreme Court and any lower courts that Congress establishes. U. S. Constitution, Art. III, § 1. Congress has created a system of district courts and courts of appeals. The Supreme Court is the highest court and its decisions are binding on all lower federal courts. Decisions from courts of appeals (called Circuit Courts) are binding on all lower courts within that circuit. For example, decisions from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are not binding on a court in the Fifth Circuit, but may be persuasive to the judge in the Ninth Circuit. 5.1.2. State Government. All powers not vested in the federal government by the Constitution reside in state governments. State governments are divided into the same three branches as the federal government. Each state has its own constitution. Most states have passed environmental laws which apply within the state. State courts have played an important role in developing environmental law in the U.S. In the U. S., most modern environmental law is statutory. However, before the U. S. Congress enacted specific environmental statutes in the late 1960`s, judges in state courts controlled some pollution through the common law. The common law tradition comes from the courts of England. Each state has developed its own common law. The law from one state does not apply in another state. Within a state, the law may be different from one judicial district to the next. This is similar to the federal court system describes above. People have invoked the common law to protect the environment. Generally people bring a case to protect their property or to prevent an injury to themselves. In environmental law, the most frequently used common law principles are nuisance, trespass, negligence, and strict liability. The first two, nuisance and trespass, originate from a person`s right to use and enjoy his or her property. The last two, negligence and strict liability are to protect a person from injury, or to compensate for injury which occurred in the past. 5.2. Rulemaking and the Administrative Procedure Act. The federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., defines “rule making” as "the agency process for formulating, amending, or repealing a rule." 5 U. S. C. §551(5). In most cases, rulemaking is triggered by passage of a new statute requiring new regulations or the need to amend existing regulations. Statutes, particularly environmental statutes, usually provide general goals and policies. As a result, the relevant agency must develop specific, legally-binding regulations (also called rules) to implement those statutes. The APA grants citizens "the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a federal rule. " Id. at § 553 (e). The APA does not include specific procedures that direct agencies to respond to petitions in a particular way and agencies must develop rules to respond to petitions. In some cases, a specific statute requires an agency to respond to petitions in a particular manner. For example, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) directs the EPA to grant or deny a citizen`s petition for rulemaking within 90 days. 15 U.S.C. § 2620(b)(3). lf granted, the EPA must initiate rulemaking promptly. Id. lf the EPA denies the petition, it must publish its reasons in the Federal Register and the petitioner has the right to challenge the denial in federal court. Id. at § 2620(b)(3)-(4). The APA governs the rulemaking process for federal agencies and requires an agency to develop regulations either through `informal` rulemaking or through `formal` rulemaking. An agency must use formal rulemaking when directed by Congress to make regulations "on the record and after opportunity for an agency hearing." 5 U.S.C. § 553(c). This chapter does not discuss formal rulemaking, which is similar to a formal adjudication or a court process, because Congress rarely requires an agency to use it. Thus, this chapter focuses on informal rulemaking, which governs the preparation of regulations under the federal environmental statutes. One of the most important aspects of informal rulemaking is the APA`s requirement that an agency provide "notice and comment" to citizens of proposed new regulations or changes to existing regulations. An agency must notify citizens of a proposal to draft, amend, or repeal a regulation and citizens must have an opportunity to comment on the proposal. Thus, informal rulemaking is often called "notice and comment" rulemaking. The A.PA specifically describes the content of the notice and the procedures for comment. It also grants the agencies discretion to hold a public hearing. 5.2.1. Notice and comment. Under most circumstances, an agency drafts a regulation to implement a specific statute or drafts changes to an existing regulation without consulting the public. Before this draft becomes final, however, the agency must publish a public `notice` informing interested persons about the proposed regulation. Id. at § 553(b). Under the APA, an agency must publish notice of the proposed rule in the Federal Register, a daily government publication which includes all proposed and final agency regulations. Id. lf the agency publishes a notice in the Federal Register, it fulfills its notice obligation. However, most agencies recognize that few citizens read the Federal Register. Agencies often keep a list of non-governmental organizations, industry groups and citizens that are interested in the agencies activities. Thus, many agencies mail a notice to those people whom the agency knows will be interested in the rulemaking. Some agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have mail servers that send Federal Register notices from the agency to subscribers by electronic mail. The notice must include the "time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings; reference to the legal authority under which the rule is proposed; and either the terms or substance of the proposed rule or a description of the subjects and issues involved." Id. at § 553(b)(I)-(3). The APA only requires that the agency include in the notice "the terms and substance of the proposed rule or a description of the subjects and issues involved." 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(3). To shield the agency from litigation over the adequacy of the notice, agencies generally publish the full text of the proposed rule. ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES, A GUIDE TO FEDERAL AGENCY RULEMAKING 173-174 (2d ed. 1991) (hereinafter A GUIDE TOAGENCY RULEMAKING). The agency is required to publish the time period during which the agency will receive written comments and the procedure for filing written comments. A GUIDE TO AGENCY RULEMAKING at 171. The APA does not prescribe a specific length of time for submitting written comments and courts have ruled that the agencies must provide citizens with a `reasonable` amount of time. Some statutes specify a minimum length of time for submitting comments. For instance, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires a minimum 60 day comment period for certain regulations. 42 U.S.C. § 1395hh(b)(1). Citizens may petition to extend the comment period. The agency has the discretion to grant or deny the extension. A GUIDE TO AGENCY RULEMAKING at 172. The APA requires agencies in informal rulemaking to "give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation." 5 U.S.C. § 553(c). The APA grants agencies the discretion to determine whether to hold a public hearing. Some statutes, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), require the agency to conduct public hearings during rulemaking. 42 U.S.C. § 6924(a). A public hearing may benefit both the public and the agency. Citizens may be satisfied that they have had the opportunity to voice their opinions directly to the agencies. At some hearings, the agencies give citizens an opportunity to ask questions and have them answered. The opportunity to ask questions permits dialogue so that unresolved questions may be asked and answered. In addition, oral hearings allow citizens to express their feelings or emotions, which often do not translate well in written comments. And for those who lack the ability to write effectively, oral presentations are the only way they can communicate. ARTHUR E. BONFIELD & MICHAEL ASIMOW, STATE AND FEDERAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW 300 (1989) (quoting ARTHUR E. BONFIELD, STATE ADMINISTRATIVE RULE MAKING 194 (1986)). Agencies benefit by receiving more information from the public to assist it in its decision-making. Courts have ruled that agencies must make proposed regulations and documents upon which the agency bases the proposed regulation available for comment. This is especially true for complex, scientifically-based regulations. A GUIDE TO AGENCY RULEMAKING at 191. For example, when the EPA published its final rule relating to emission standards and stated that it based the final rule on test results not made publicly available, a court ruled that the failure to allow citizens to comment on the test results caused a "critical defect" in the rulemaking process . Portland Cement Ass`n v. Ruckelshaus, 486 F.2d 375 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert denied, 417 U.S. 921 (1974). The court stated, "lt is not consonant with the purpose of a rule-making proceeding to promulgate rules on the basis of inadequate data, or on data that, [in] critical degree, is known only to the agency." Id. at 393. In contrast, if the agency uses documents not available to the public, but these documents only "expand on and confirm" studies mentioned in the notice, then a court may uphold the agency rule. Community Nutrition Inst. v. Block, 749 F.2d 50, 58 (D.C. Cir. 1984). This court distinguished the Portland Cement case cited above by stating that the agency in that case relied on entirely new information that was "critical" to the rule. Id. 5.2.2. Record. The development of a public record of information and documents used by an agency in the rulemaking process is a "critical factor in making public participation in the rulemaking meaningful. " A GUIDE TO AGENCY RULEMAKING at 211. Thus, it is surprising, that the APA does not require the agency to develop a rulemaking record. Courts, however, now require agencies to prepare a record, because a court cannot determine whether an agency`s decision is arbitrary or capricious (the standard of judicial review of informal rulemaking) unless the agency has prepared a record. When an agency tried to justify its rule with after-the-fact rationalizations, a court ruled that the agency decision was arbitrary. Home Box Office, Inc, v. FCC, 567 F 2d 9, 55 (D.C. Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 829 (1977). The APA contains no deadline for publication of the final rule after the end of the comment period. The APA only requires agencies to conclude matters "within a reasonable time." 5 U.S.C. § 555(b). But a court may compel an agency to complete the rulemaking process if it determines that the agency action is "unreasonably delayed." Id. at § 706(1). 5.2.3. Judicial Review. The APA allows judicial review of agency rulemaking decisions. Id. at §§ 701-706. Any person (including individuals, corporations, public or private organizations, etc.) "suffering a legal wrong because of an agency action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action within the meaning of a relevant statute, is entitled to judicial review thereof " Id. at §702. 5.3. Agency permitting. A permit is a legally binding document that establishes the conditions under which a person or a company may operate and the types and amounts of pollutants it may discharge. lt may also include reporting, record keeping, and inspection requirements. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INSTITUTE, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION 11 (January 1991). Permits can allow a person or company to pollute and establish the conditions for polluting and monitoring. Thus citizens should participate in decisions about whether to issue a permit and the conditions to include in the permit. 5.3.1. Permitting process Several U. S. environmental statutes require an agency to provide notice to the public of a permit application and, in some circumstances, provide an opportunity for public hearings. For example, the Clean Water Act requires the EPA to provide public notice within 15 days of receiving an application for a permit to discharge pollutants or dredge and fill material into the waters of the United States. 33 U.S.C. § 1342(a), § 1344(a). For a permit application to discharge pollutants, the agency may wait until it has prepared a draft permit to notify the public. EPA Procedures for Decision Making, 40 C.F.R. § 124. 10 (a). The notice should identify the applicant, include the address of the facility, and describe the applicant`s anticipated discharges. Id. at § 124. 10(d). Environmental laws generally do not require agencies to provide citizens an opportunity to comment on a permit application, but agencies often grant that right through their own regulations. For example, the EPA allows the public 30 days to provide written comments on permit applications. Id. at § 124. 10(b)(1). For permits that it issues under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA provides at least 45 days for public comment. Id. Similarly, environmental laws generally do not require public hearings prior to the issuance of permits, but agencies may hold public hearings. For water pollution discharge permits, citizens may request a public hearing and the agency must grant the request if there is a "significant degree of public interest in a draft permit(s)." Id. at §§ 124.11, 124.12(a)(1). For RCRA permits, the EPA must hold a public hearing if it receives any written opposition to a draft permit and a request for a public hearing. Id. at § 124.12(a)(3). The agency retains discretion to establish regulations relating to the length of time for each person`s testimony. 5.3.2. Enforcement. Environmental statutes often include citizen suit provisions that allow citizens to enforce the conditions established in permits. For example, the Clean Water Act allows citizens to enforce effluent standards or limitations included in permits. 33 U.S.C. § 1365(a). The Clean Air Act allows citizens to enforce emission standards and limitations. 42 U.S.C. § 7604(a). RCRA also allows citizens to enforce "any permit, standard, regulation, condition, requirement, prohibition, or order" established pursuant to RCRA. 42 U. S. C. § 6972(a)(1)(A). Citizen enforcement of environmental laws is an extremely effective way for citizens to participate in protecting the environment. Often citizens are able to hold corporations accountable for polluting the environment when government agencies have decided not to prosecute the violator. This chapter does not focus on citizen`s participation in environmental enforcement. For more information about enforcement through "citizen suit" provisions, see Michael D. Axline, ENVIRONMENT CITIZEN SUITS (1991). 5.4. National Environmental Policy Act. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq.) governs the federal environmental impact assessment process in the U.S. Agencies are required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for any "proposals for legislation and other major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment." Id. at §4332(C). This chapter will only discuss the provisions of NEPA relating to public participation. As with many laws which require public participation, NEPA has been interpreted as a purely procedural law. See Robertson v. Methow Valley Citizens Council, 490 U.S. 332 (1989). Although NEPA does not direct agencies to reach a specific outcome based on citizens` comments, it permits citizens to participate and influence the decision-making process. In fact, public participation is perhaps the most important part of the environmental impact assessment process. Because the procedures of NEPA are so important courts require strict adherence to the procedures "To preserve the efficacy of NEPA, it is necessary that courts demand `strict compliance with the disclosure and procedural provisions of the Act.` Courts must also insist on strict adherence to the . . . regulations through which NEPA`s mandate is administered." National Indian Youth Council v. Andrus, 501 F. Supp. 649, 657 (D.N,M. 1980), aff’d 664 F.2d 220 (10th Cir. 1981) (citations omitted). In the United States, citizens participate in all stages of the environmental assessment process. Although NEPA itself does not mandate such participation, the Council of Environmental Quality`s (CEQ) regulations implementing NEPA require agencies to facilitate participation. 40 C.F.R. §§ 1500-1517. An agency must notify citizens that it intends to prepare an EIS; citizens can help determine which impacts and alternatives should be evaluated in the EIS; citizens may comment on the draft EIS; and citizens may challenge the adequacy of the EIS within the agency and then in court. 5.4.1. Notice. First, an agency must notify citizens that it intends to prepare an EIS. 40 C.F.R. § 1501.7, Under NEPA, an agency must inform citizens that it intends to prepare an EIS after the screening process, but before the scoping process. Id. at § 1501.7. Scoping is the process for "determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues related to a proposed action." Id. lf the agency determines that it will not prepare an EIS, it must inform citizens of that decision also. Id. at § 1501.4(e)(1). The CEQ regulations require public notice to allow public participation in the NEPA process. All agencies must provide public notice of NEPA-related hearings, public meetings, and the availability of environmental documents so as to inform those persons and agencies who may be interested or affected. Id. at § 1506.6(b). If an action may have effects of national concern, the agency must publish its notice in the Federal Register and provide notice by mail to national organizations reasonably expected to be interested in the matter. lf the EIS involves rulemaking, an agency may provide notice by mail to national organizations who have requested that notice regularly be provided. Agencies shall maintain a list of such organizations. Id. at § 1506.6(b)(2). In the case of actions with effects primarily of local concern, the notice "may" include publication in local newspapers, notice to potentially interested community organizations, notice through local media, and other means. Id. at § 1506.6(b)(3). lf an agency determines that it will not prepare an EIS, it must inform citizens of that decision. Id. at § 1501.4(e)(1). Citizens may also participate in the scoping process during which the agency and citizens identify the most important issues, such as alternatives and impacts, to be addressed in the EIS. Id. at § 1501.7(a)(1). After the scoping process, the agency must prepare a draft EIS. Then, the agency must request comments from citizens. Id. at § 1503. 1 (a). After receiving comments, the agency must respond in writing to all reasonable comments. Id. at § 1503.4(a) lt must respond in one of the following ways: (1) Modify alternatives including the proposed action. (2) Develop and evaluate alternatives not previously given serious consideration by the agency. (3) Supplement, improve or modify its analyses. (4) Make factual corrections. (5) Explain why the comments do not warrant further agency response, citing the sources, authorities, or reasons which support the agency`s position and, if appropriate, indicate those circumstances which would trigger agency reappraisal or further response. Id. Further, all "substantive comments received on the draft statement ... should be attached to the final statement." Id. at § 1503.4(b). 5.4.2. Judicial Review. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, citizens are permitted to challenge the adequacy of an EIS in court. 5 U.S.C. § 702. Citizens often challenge EISs on the basis that the agency did not consider a reasonable range of alternatives or appropriate mitigation measures. Citizens can also challenge the EIS for inadequate public participation. 5.4.3. Available information. In order to make citizen participation under NEPA meaningful, a wide range of documents must be available to the public. Citizens have access to "environmental impact statements, the comments received, and any underlying documents ... pursuant to the ... Freedom of Information Act." 40 C.F.R.§ 1506.6(f). They also have access to the draft and final EISs. Id at § 1502.19. In short, agencies must make publicly available all information that is relevant to projects that are subject to the EIS process, including draft and final EISS, the comments received, and any underlying documents. Id. at § 1506.6(f). Other information is available pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act which is describes in Section VI below. 5.4.4. Timing. The EIS process must begin "at the earliest possible time" to ensure that planning and decisions reflect environmental concerns and to ensure an evaluation of alternatives. Id. at §1501.2. The CEQ regulations also state that "[t]here shall be an early and open process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues related to a proposed action." Id. at § 1501.7 (emphasis added). During the scoping process, the lead agency is required to "[i] invite the participation of . . . interested persons (including those who might not be in accord with the action on environmental grounds)." Id. at § 1501.7(a)(1). CEQ regulations further promote the preparation of an EIS early in the planning process. CEQ regulations state, "An agency shall commence preparation of an environmental impact statement as close as possible to the time the agency is developing or is presented with a proposal.... The statement shall be prepared early enough so that it can serve practically as an important contribution to the decisionmaking process and will not be used to rationalize or justify decisions already made. " Id. at § 1502.5 5.4.5. Public Hearings. The CEQ regulations require agencies to "hold or sponsor public hearings or public meetings whenever appropriate." Id. at § 1506.6(c). An agency should hold a public hearing when citizens request it, especially if there is a "[s]ubstantial environmental controversy concerning the proposed action or substantial interest in holding the hearing." Id. at § 1506.6(c)(1). The regulations require al¡ agencies to "[s]olicit appropriate information from the public." Id. at § 1506.6(d). This is often best accomplished through public meetings and hearings. lf a draft EIS will be discussed at a public hearing, the agency should make the draft publicly available at least 15 days prior to the hearing. Id. at §1506.6(c)(2). 5.4.6. Agency response to comments. The agency must explain its final decision in a Record of Decision (ROD), Id. at § 1505.2. In this document, the agency must state its final decision, identify all alternatives that it considered, and specify the best alternative from an environmental perspective. The agency must also identify and discuss all factors that it used to make its decision and state how those factors affected the decision. Id. This ROD facilitates public participation in at least two ways. First, it provides a "paper trail" that allows citizens to understand whether the government made a rational decision. Second, since the ROD includes the agency`s analysis of its decision, the citizens can base their legal challenges to the agency`s decision on the ROD. 5.5. Public meeting laws. Two federal laws allow citizens to observe meetings of certain agencies and advisory bodies. To ensure that officials within agencies are accountable, the Government in the Sunshine Act requires agencies to notify the public of meetings and to allow citizens to observe the meetings. In addition, the Federal Advisory Committees Act requires meetings of advisory committees, which provide advice to government agencies and the President, to be open to the public. 5.5.1. Government in the Sunshine Act. The Government in the Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act) (5 U.S.C. § 552(b)) requires "every portion of every meeting" of certain federal agencies to be open to the public. 5 U.S.C. §552b(b). However, the Sunshine Act includes several exceptions. For example, an agency can exclude the public from meetings or portions of a meeting at which the agency will disclose information relating to national defense, foreign policy, trade secrets, and investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, among other things. Id. at §552b(c). In addition, the Sunshine Act does not apply to all agencies. lt applies only to agencies "headed by a collegial body composed of two or more individual members, a majority of whom are appointed to such position by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate." Id. at § 552b(a)(1), Thus, agencies such as the EPA are not included, because only one member of the EPA is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Approximately 50 federal agencies, including the Product Safety Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, are subject to the Sunshine Act. The Sunshine Act requires public notice of meetings at least one week before the meeting. Id. at § 552b(e)(1). The notice must include the "time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and phone number of the official designated by the agency to respond to requests for information about the meeting." Id. Notice must be published in the Federal Register. Id. at § 552b(e)(3). The Sunshine Act does not require agencies to allow public participation; it only requires agencies to allow the public to be present while they meet. It applies whenever a quorum of members undertake official agency business. 5.5.2. Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2 governs the establishment, operation, and administration of advisory committees. More than 1,000 advisory committees provide advice to governmental agencies and the President on a wide range of issues, including scientific, trade. and legal matters. Many of these advisory committees play very important roles In shaping regulations and establishing, policy. See, William H. Rodgers, Jr., Environmental Law (2d ed. 1994). Thus, FACA has been an important law for accountability of advisory committees. An advisory committee is defined as any committee, commission, board, or similar group established by statute or established or used by the President or an agency. Id. at § 3(2). The public must be notified of all meetings of advisory committees unless the President determines that national security concerns warrant otherwise. Id. at § IO(a)(2). In addition, all meetings of each advisory committee shall be open to the public and all "interested persons shall be permitted to attend, appear before, or file statements with any advisory committee." Id. at §§ I0(a)(1), (3). Moreover, the work of the advisory committees is publicly available. FACA provides that any document that was "made available to or prepared for or by each advisory committee shall be available for public inspection and copying at a single location in the offices of the advisory committee or the agency to which the advisory committee reports." Arthur E. Bonfield, Chairman’s Message, 40 ADMIN. L. REV. iii (1988). 5.6. Access to information. Public participation without public access to information is meaningless. "Easily accessible information about government operations enables members of the general public to discover the actual norms guiding governmental behavior, to monitor the government`s compliance with law, to evaluate the quallty of its performance, and to object in a more effective way to improper or unacceptable governmental behavior." Arthur E. Bonfield, Chairman’s Message, 40 ADMIN. L. REV. iii (1988). The United States has several laws that allow citizens access to important information relating to the environment and human health. 5.6.1. Freedom of Information Act. In the United States, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. § 552) makes all federal agency records publicly available, whether public or private in nature, unless specifically exempted. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3). The law defines "records" broadly to include final opinions, orders, statements of policy and interpretation, and staff manuals. In 1996, the definition of “records” was amended to include those maintained in computerized/electronic formats. Most records created as of November 1, 1996 must be made available online (if the agency has online capability) or in another electronic format (i.e., CDROM or computer diskette). Federal agencies (including the EPA) must create an index of material previously released under FOIA and must make that index available online by the end of 1999. Id. at § 552(a). Generally, the term “records” refers to anything that an agency possesses including documents, maps, plans, film, and photographs. However, an agency is not required to create information for a citizen. The duty to disclose information is so broad that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, "Virtually every document generated by an agency is available to the public in one form or another, unless it falls within one of [FOIA`s] nine exemptions." National Labor Relations Board v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 421 U.S. 132, 136 (1975). Moreover, any person, regardless of citizenship or nationality, may obtain agency records. The person may request information for any reason. The person`s motives for requesting the information are irrelevant. Further, the person requesting information does not need to know the exact title of the information requested. The request need only "reasonably describe" the records sought. Id. at § 552(a)(3). Agencies of the federal government have 20 working days to respond to normal FOIA requests. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i). However, in unusual circumstances, agencies can ask the person requesting information to either narrow their request or give the agency more time to respond. Id. at § 552(a)(6)(B)(ii). Agencies can no longer invoke the `exceptional circumstances` exception to the 20 day requirement unless they demonstrate that they are making reasonable progress at reducing their backlog of requests. Id. § 552(a)(6)(C)(ii). Also, FOIA provides for expedited processing of FOIA requests if the requester can demonstrate compelling need. Id. at § 552(a)(6)(E)(i). The FOIA also imposes duties on agencies to encourage public disclosure of information. Agencies must publish certain information, including a statement of its organization, procedures, and substantive rules of general applicability (including statements of general policy and interpretations of general applicability). Id. at § 552(a)(1). They must also make available and index final opinions, staff manuals, instructions to staff that affect the public, policy statements and interpretations of particular applicability. Id. at § 552(a)(2). The Disclosure Provision for Research Grant Data In 1999, Congress enacted FOIA related legislation addressing research grant data. The Office of Management and Budget`s Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1999, Public Law No. 105-277, makes certain research data generated through federal grants to institutes of higher education, hospitals, and nonprofit institutions available through FOIA. 64 Fed. Reg. 54,926. This law narrows the Supreme Court precedent of Forsham v. Harris, 445 U.S. 169 (1980), in which the Court held that data generated and held by private research institutions receiving federal grants were not "agency records" subject to FOIA. However the disclosure provision for research grant data applies only to "research data related to published research findings." 64 Fed. Reg. 54,930. Published research findings are defined as "[r]esearch findings [that] are published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal" or that are "publicly and officially cite[d] . . . in support of an agency action that has the force and effect of law." Id. A. Fees. The government may charge "reasonable standard charges for document search, duplication, and review when records are requested for commercial use." Id. at § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii). However, if an educational or scientific institution requests the information for scholarship or scientific research, and the purposes are non-commercial, then the government may charge reasonable standard charges for duplication only. Id. Fortunately for citizens and public interest groups, the FOIA provides a fee waiver "if disclosure of information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." Id. at § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). B. Disclosure and Enforcement. Without measures to enforce disclosure requirements, such as an appeals process, the right to information is meaningless. Several provisions of the FOIA strongly encourage agencies to comply with disclosure requirements. For example, an agency is required to respond within ten days after receipt of the request, except in unusual circumstances, or face the risk of judicially imposed sanctions. Id. at § 552(a)(4)(F). lf a dispute reaches the courts, the agency bears the burden of justifying nondisclosure. Id. at § 552(a)(4)(B). In addition, U. S. courts may examine disputed documents to determine whether disclosure is required. Id. Courts can direct the agency to disclose "any reasonabl[y] segregable portion" of a record. Id. at § 552(b). Thus, the agency cannot withhold a thousand page document because one page contains exempted information. Courts may assess against the government any "reasonable attorney` fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in any case ... in which the complainant has substantially prevailed." Id. at § 552(a)(4)(E). C. Exemptions. FOIA includes nine exemptions. These exemptions, however, are discretionary and do not prohibit an agency from actually disclosing documents falling within the exemptions. The exemptions merely allow an agency not to disclose. FOIA exempts information pertaining to national defense, internal personnel rules of an agency, information exempted from disclosure by another non-discretionary statute, trade secrets, agency memorandums otherwise unavailable by law, medical and personnel files, records compiled for law enforcement purposes, reports prepared by or for the agency responsible for overseeing, financial institutions, and geological information. Id. at § 552(b). Agencies must claim that information fits one of these exemptions in order to withhold it. The courts have liberally construed FOIA in favor of disclosure and narrowly interpreted the exemptions. According to one court, "The main purpose of the FOIA is `to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny.` . . . Under the FOIA, agency records must be disclosed when properly requested unless they are specifically exempt under the Act`s nine exemptions. The presumption created by the FOIA is for the disclosure rather than the withholding of records. Even when an exemption applies, the agency must release the reasonably segregable non-exempt portions of the documents.... The agency bears the burden of proving that an exemption applies, and the Court must make a de novo determination that the agency`s decision not to disclose was correct." Teich v. EDA, 751 F. Supp. 243, 250 (D.D.C. 1990) (citing United States Dept. of Justice v. Tax Analysts, 492 U.S. 136 (1989)). Perhaps the most important exemption in relation to environmental decision-making is the trade secrets exemption. Courts have considered whether an agency can withhold the chemical ingredients in a product. The legal standard for determining whether or not chemical ingredients are trade secrets is whether or not the substances are readily discoverable or can be discovered by reverse engineering. See Zotos International Inc. v. Young, 830 F.2d 350, 353 (D.C. Cir. 1987); United Steelworkers v. Auchter, 763 F.2d 728, 742 (3rd Cir, 1985). Trade secret provisions do not protect information that is discoverable "by fair and honest means, such as by independent invention, accidental disclosure, or by so-called reverse engineering, that is by starting with the known product and working backward to divine the process which aided in its development or manufacture." Kewanee Oil Co. v. Bicron Corp., 416 U.S. 470, 476 (1974). The trade secrets exemption includes commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. 5 U.S.C. at § 552(b)(4). The EPA has promulgated regulations defining privileged and confidential information under FOIA. The EPA may withhold information under FOIA if it is likely (1) "to impair the Government`s ability to obtain necessary information in the future or (2) to cause substantial harm" to the competitive position of the person from whom the information was obtained. 40 C.F.R. 2.208(e). Case law indicates that manufacturers opposing disclosure on the basis of the first prong are not entitled to claim this exemption if the information must be submitted under any other federal law or regulation. Corporations resisting disclosure under the second prong must prove that "(1) they actually face competition, and (2) substantial competitive injury would likely result from disclosure." National Parksand Conservation Ass`n v. KIeppe, 547 F.2d 673, 679 (D.C. Cir. 1976). Courts also assess the commercial value of the information and the relative costs of acquiring the information in another fashion. See, Worthington Compressors v. Costle, 662 F.2d 45, 51 (D.C. Cir. 1981). 5.6.2. Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act. The U.S. Congress enacted the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA, also known by the abbreviation EPCRTKA), 42 U.S.C., §§ 11001-1 1050 in 1986. This unique law is designed to collect and centralize information concerning hazardous chemicals produced, used, or stored at facilities. EPCRA also requires facilities covered by the act to draft and administer local emergency response plans in case of a hazardous chemical release. All information under EPCRA is publicly available and citizens are allowed to participate in many aspects of EPCRA is implementation and enforcement. In general, EPCRA requires certain facilities to report their uses and releases of certain chemicals to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also requires the governor of each state to appoint a state emergency response commission which designates emergency planning districts and appoints a local emergency planning committee. 42 U.S.C. §1 1 00 1 (a)-(c). 220.127.116.11. Emergency Planning and Citizen Participation. EPCRA requires the preparation of an emergency response plan for all facilities that possess certain extremely hazardous chemicals in excess of the "threshold planning quantity" (TPQ) established for that chemical. Id. at §§ 11002, 11003. This plan, as the name suggests, provides a strategy for containing a release of a chemical if an emergency arises. The plan must include methods and procedures to be used by owners of facilities and local emergency personnel to respond to emergency situations. The plan obviously is an important document and citizens have several opportunities to participate in its preparation. First, citizens can participate in determining the TPQ for chemicals included in the list of extremely hazardous substances. EPCRA requires the EPA to propose TPQs for each chemical, but citizens have the opportunity to prepare comments and provide information to EPA through the provisions of the APA. Id. at 11002(a)(3). Second, citizens may be included on a committee that establishes procedures for the development of the emergency response plan or a committee that develops the plan itself For example, the governor of each State must appoint a "State emergency response commission. " Id. at § 11 00 1 (a). The members of this Commission must have, "to the extent practicable," technical expertise in the emergency response field. Id. Thus, the members of the Commission are not necessarily governmental employees; they could be citizens with applicable experience. The composition of the state emergency response commission (SERC) is important because the Commission establishes procedures for receiving and processing requests from the public for information obtained or prepared pursuant to EPCRA. Id. The Commission also designates emergency planning districts for the purpose of preparing and implementing emergency plans. Id. at § 11001 (b). Moreover, the SERC appoints members of a "local emergency planning committee." Id. at §11001 (c). The local emergency planning committee (LEPC) establishes procedures for public notification of committee activities, public meetings to discuss the emergency plan, public comments and responding to any public comments on the emergency plan, and distribution of the plan. Id. The members of the LEPC must include elected State and local officials, as well as local environmental, hospital, and transportation personnel; community groups; and owners and operators of facilities subject to EPCRA. Id. Thus, some citizens can be members of the LEPC. The LEPC has an important task, because the emergency response plan provides a comprehensive strategy for responding to a release of an extremely hazardous chemical. The plan must identify the facilities subject to emergency planning, identify methods and procedures for responding to any release, designate community emergency coordinators who will make decisions necessary to implement the plan, and prepare evacuation plans, among other things. Id. at § 1 1003 (c). The emergency planning process also provides a means for obtaining information that otherwise is not available. For example, facilities subject to emergency planning must provide information related to developing and implementing the emergency response plan lf the information is requested by the LEPC. Id. at § 11003(d). In addition, these facilities must notify the community emergency coordinator designated by the LEPC of a release of an extremely hazardous substance. Id. at §§ 11004(a), (b). The notice must include the name of the chemical released, an estimated amount of the chemical released, the time and duration of the release, the location of the release, any known or anticipated acute or chronic health risks associated with the release, proper precautions that should be taken, and the name and telephone number of the person to contact for further information. Id. at 11004(b)(2). 18.104.22.168. Access to Reports Submitted under EPCRA. EPCRA has four types of reporting requirements for certain facilities that use, store, or manufacture chemicals. All four types of information are available to all citizens. A. Emergency Notification of a Release. As describes above, each facility is required to provide immediate notice of a release of any "extremely hazardous substance" as well as follow-up emergency notices with updated information. Id. at § 11004. B. Material Safety Data Sheet. Certain facilities must prepare or make available a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for hazardous chemicals, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 651 et seq. The list of chemicals created pursuant to OSHA is different from the list established under § 11002(a) of EPCRA, which triggers preparation of the emergency response plan. Thus, a citizen can use the MSDS as a means to obtain additional information about which chemicals a facility uses, manufactures, or releases. The requirement to submit or make available an MSDS applies to owners or operators of any facility that are defined as "chemical manufacturers", "importers", and "employers", as those terms are defined under OSHA and its regulations. EPCRA, § 11021(a)(I); Occupational Safety and Health Standards 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1200(g)(1). A "chemical manufacturer’s” means an "employer with a workplace where chemical(s) are produced for use or distribution." 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200(c). An "importer" means the "first business with employees within the Customs Territory of the United States which receives hazardous chemicals produced in other countries for the purpose of supplying them to distributors or employers within the United States." Id. "Employer" means "a person engaged in a business where chemicals are either used, distributed, or are produced for use or distribution, including a contractor or subcontractor." Id. EPCRA specifically requires these facilities to submit an MSDS to the appropriate LEPC, in addition to the SERC, and the local fire department. 42 U.S.C. § 11021. A citizen can request an MSDS from the LEPC which must make the MSDS available to the person. Id. at 111021(c). An MSDS is potentially valuable to a citizen living near a facility because it includes much information. An MSDS includes the identity of the chemical; the chemical and common name(s) of the substance or mixture; and, if the hazardous chemical is a mixture that has been tested as a whole to determine its hazards, the chemical and common name(s) of the ingredients which contribute to these known hazards. 29 C.F.R. §1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(A)-(B). lf the hazardous chemical is a mixture that has not been tested as a whole, the MSDS must include the chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to be health hazards and which comprise 1% or greater of the composition. However, chemicals identified as carcinogens under OSHA regulations must be listed if the concentrations are 0.1% or greater. Also, the chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to be health hazards, and which comprise less than 1% (0.1% for carcinogens) of the mixture, must be listed if there is evidence that the ingredient(s) could be released from the mixture in concentrations which would exceed an established OSHA permissible exposure limit or Threshold Limit Value. of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or could present a health risk to employees. Id. at 1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C). The MSDS also must include the physical and chemical characteristics of the hazardous chemical (such as vapor pressure, flash point); the physical hazards of the hazardous chemical, including the potential for fire, explosion, and reactivity; the health hazards of the hazardous chemical, including signs and symptoms of exposure, and any medical conditions which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the chemical; the OSHA permissible exposure limit, ACGIH Threshold Limit Value, and any other exposure limit used or recommended by the chemical manufacturer, importer, or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, where available; any generally applicable precautions for safe handling and use that are known to the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, including appropriate hygienic practices, protective measures during repair and maintenance of contaminated equipment, and procedures for clean-up of spills and leaks; any generally applicable control measures which are known to the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, such as appropriate engineering controls, work practices, or personal protective equipment; and emergency and first aid procedures; among other information. Id. at § 1910.1200(g)(3). C. Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form. The same facilities that must prepare or make available an MSDS must also prepare an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form. EPCRA specifies two different inventories-. Tier I and Tier II. Tier I inventory forms must include an estimate of the "maximum amount of hazardous chemicals in each category present at the facility at any time during the preceding calendar year." EPCRA at § 11022(d)(1)(B). The inventory must also include an estimate "of the average daily amount of hazardous chemicals in each category present at the facility during the preceding calendar year." Id. Finally, a Tier I inventory form must include the "general location of hazardous chemicals in each category." Id. Tier II information includes the information required under Tier I as well as the name of the chemical, a short description of the method of storage of the hazardous chemical and the specific location of the hazardous chemical at the facility. Id. at § 11022(d)(2)(E). A facility is required to report Tier II information, however, only if requested by the SERC, a LEPC, or a fire department with jurisdiction over the facility. Id. at § 11022(e)(1). In addition, any person may request Tier II information by filing a written petition with the SERC or the LEPC. Id. at § 11022(e)(2)-(3). lf a person requests Tier II information about a facility that has not previously provided this information, the SERC or the LEPC must request the information from the facility for hazardous chemicals that the facility has stored at any time during the preceding calendar year in excess of 10,000 pounds. Id. at § 11022(e)(3)(B). lf a person requests information about a hazardous chemical that a facility has stored in an amount less than 10,000 pounds, the person requesting the information must specify a general need for the information. The Commission or Committee has discretion to request the information from the facility. Id. at § 1 1022(e)(3)(C). D. Toxic Chemical Release Forms and the Toxic Release Inventory. Some owners and operators of facilities using toxic chemicals must complete a toxic chemical release report which the EPA compiles into the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI is a database of information about releases and transfers of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities. Both the facilities and the chemicals covered by this reporting requirement are different from those facilities and chemicals covered by the MSDS and the emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form. A facility must report their releases of a toxic chemical to TRI if 1. It is a manufacturing facility with a Standard Industrial Code (SIC) between 20-39 (the SIC refers to particular types of manufacturers such as companies that make paper and related products, textile products, among others); 2. It has 10 or more full-time workers; and 3. It "manufacture[s" or "processe[s)" more than 25,000 pounds of the chemical or "otherwise use[s)" more than 10,000 pounds during the year. Id. at §§ 11023(b)(1), 11023(f(1). lf a facility meets these criteria, it must report in a toxic chemical release form its releases of the more than 500 specific toxic chemicals or chemical categories specified by the EPA. Id. at §§ 11023(a), 11023(c). A "release" is any spill, leak or emptying of a hazardous chemical into the environment. Id. at § 11049(8). The facility must report whether it manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses a toxic chemical; an estimate of the maximum amounts of the toxic chemical present at the facility at any time during the preceding calendar year; an estimate of the annual quantity of the chemical entering specific elements of the environment (air, water, land); and the waste treatment disposal methods used and the efficiency of the treatment technology for each listed chemical. Id. at § 11023(g). The TRI thus provides comprehensive data for the amounts of the listed chemicals that are released into the air, water, and land and the location of those releases. As with other aspects of EPCRA, citizens can participate in the TRI process. First, citizens can petition the EPA to add or delete a chemical from the list of toxic chemicals subject to TRI. Id. at § 11023(e)(1). EPA must initiate rulemaking to add or delete the chemical or publish a written explanation for rejecting the petition. Id. Moreover, the information included in the TRI is publicly available. A citizen can request from EPA the information from the toxic chemical release forms and the compiled information of the TRI. Id. at § 11044(a). Moreover, the TRI is available on the Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/tri/
The information is searchable by area, industry, or specific facility. Other valuable information and databases concerning toxics can be found on the Right-to-Know Network at: http://www.rtk.net. 22.214.171.124. Public access to information. Again, any citizen has access to all the reports required under EPCPA. Each emergency response plan, MSDS, inventory report, toxic chemical release report, and emergency notification must be made available to the public by the EPA, the state governor, the SERC or the LEPC. Id. at § 11044(a). A citizen must request Tier II information in writing and must specify the facility of interest. Id. at § 11022(e)(3)(A). In addition, a citizen must state a general need for Tier II information concerning hazardous chemicals stored at a facility in amounts less than 10,000 pounds at any time during the previous year, provided that the information is not already in the possession of the SERC or the LEPC. The emergency response commission or LEPC then has discretionary power to decide whether to request this information from the facility. Id. at § 11022(e)(3)(C). There is an exception, however, concerning the public availability of information. Facilities may withhold information from the public concerning the " specific chemical identity. " Id. at § 11042(a). In order to withhold such information, owners or operators of facilities must make a claim that the information is a trade secret and provide information to support its claim. Id. at § 11042(a)(2)(A). A facility must also show, among other factors, that disclosure of the information is likely to cause substantial harm to its competitive position. Id. at 11042(b)(3). Facilities, however, do not appear to be petitioning for the trade secrets exception and, even if they are, EPA is granting petitions to withhold information in very few circumstances. In 1993, EPA withheld from disclosure only 14 toxic chemical release forms out of 80,000 submitted. Council on Environmental Cooperation, Putting the Pieces Together: The Status of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers in North America, § 3.3.3 (1996). 126.96.36.199. Government and Citizen Enforcement. EPCRA empowers the EPA to impose civil penalties on owners and operators of facilities for falling to comply with emergency planning notification requirements. EPA can impose penalties up to $25,000 for each day the violation occurs. 42 U.S.C. § 11045(a). EPA can also impose a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per violation on those facilities that do not comply with EPCRA`s emergency notification requirement. In the case of a subsequent violation, penalties may not exceed $75,000 for each day in which the violation continues. Id. at § 11045(b). Similar civil and administrative penalties are provided for violations by "[a]ny person" of EPCRA`s various reporting requirements. Id. at § 11045(c). In addition, EPCRA allows "any person" to bring a civil action "on his own behalf` against the owner or operator of a facility, the EPA, a state governor, or a SERC. Id. at §11046(a)(1). Citizens can bring a civil action against an owner or operator of a facility for failure to submit a follow up emergency notice, an MSDS, inventory reports, or toxic chemical release forms. Id. at § 11046(a)(1)(A). A citizen can also bring a civil action against the EPA for failure to respond to a petition to add or delete a chemical to the TRI, failure to maintain a national toxic chemical inventory computer data base, failure to publish inventory forms and toxic chemical release forms, and failure to promulgate trade secret regulations. Id. at § 11046(a)(1)(B). The EPA, state governor, and SERC are all under the threat of a civil action if they fail to provide a mechanism for public availability of information. Id. at § 11046(a)(1)(C). EPCRA also allows state and local governments to commence civil actions against an owner or operator of a facility. Id. at § 11046(a)(2). 5.7. State Initiative Process. The initiative and referendum processes allow voters to participate directly in government. An `initiative` is a proposed law written by a citizen or citizens which can be enacted by the voters without the state legislature. C. Coury, Direct Democracy Through Initiative and Referendum: Checking the Balance, Vol. 8, NOTRE DAME JOURNAL OF LAW, ETHICS, & PUBLIC POLICY, 1994, p. 573 (citing Dan Walters, Is It Time to Retake the Initiative?, L.A. Dally Journal, Apr. 5, 1989, at 6). A `referendum` is a legislative act referred to citizens for final approval. Through the referendum, citizens can reject legislation that the legislature approved. U.S. federal laws do not allow citizens to directly participate in federal government by either initiative or referendum. Oregon is one of the few states in the United States that allows citizens to enact laws through the initiative and referendum processes. In 1902 the Oregon Constitution was amended (section 1, Article IV) to allow citizens to propose laws and to enact or reject laws by a popular vote. In Oregon, for either an initiative or a referendum, a person must submit to the Secretary of State a "prospective petition" to initiate or refer a measure. Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) § 250.045(1). The prospective petition must include a statement of sponsorship from 25 or more electors. Id. After the Secretary of State approves the petition for meeting all the procedural requirements, the petitioner may begin gathering signatures from people who want the measure on the election ballot. If the petitioner successfully obtains the legally required number of signatures, then the petitioner submits the measure to the Secretary of State, who files it with the Attorney General. The Attorney General then prepares a draft ballot measure title. The Secretary of State notifies the public about the ballot measure and informs the public of their right to submit comments about the ballot measure`s title. Finally, the ballot measure is placed on the ballot for statewide vote. Before every election, the residents of Oregon receive a "voters` pamphlet" describing the initiatives and referendum on the ballot. Anyone can include an argument in the voters` pamphlet for or against a measure for $300 U.S. or by submitting a petition with 1,000 electors signatures. Id. at § 251.255. The initiative and referendum processes are direct, participatory democratic processes. Citizens themselves have the right to enact or repeal laws, regulations, and even constitutional provisions. However, these processes do have problems. One commentator lists five basic problems: "First, the procedures regulating initiatives and referenda may fail to protect voters adequately against poor drafting, multiple [initiatives or referenda] on one issue, and late legal challenges. Second, ballot measures may contain provisions which invidiously discriminate or deny civil or human rights, yet legal attacks on the substance of the [initiatives or referenda]generally are not engaged until the law is enacted. Third, the quantity of [initiatives or referenda ] in elections can confuse voters. Fourth, educating voters about an increased number of ballot measures has become increasingly difficult and decreasingly effective. Finally, voters may fail to account for the effects which may arise from the enactment or defeat of ballot measures." Coury, Direct Democracy Through Initiative and Referendum at 5 74. Although there are problems associated with the initiative and referendum processes, they create a means for citizens to directly participate in decision-making. 5.8. Examples of how public participation has helped protect the environment. There are countless examples of how citizens participating in decision-making or the enforcement of environmental laws have helped to better protect the environment or human health in the United States. A few specific examples from Oregon demonstrate how citizens` efforts are helping save the environment across the country. Citizens often participate in the NEPA process as outlined above. Often public participation in the NEPA process has encouraged an agency to change a proposed project to make it a more environmentally sound project. One example of a project which was altered through public participation is the proposed Milltown FEI] project in Douglas County, Oregon. The County Commission proposed to build a 186 foot dam on Elk Creek. The County intended the dam to provide water for new development in the area. The dam would have impacted spawning grounds for about 50 pairs of endangered wild cutthroat trout. Joan Laatz Jewett, Agency Weighs Relaxed Habitat Rule for Dam, the Oregonian 5-14-98 (http://oregonlive.com/todaysnews/9805/stO5l4O8.html). Citizens commented on the proposed dam through the NEPA process outlined above. Local activists and citizen groups successfully stopped the project via a state law which requires that new dams must contain fish passage facilities unless the proponent of the project mitigates for the loss of upstream habitat. The law requires that such "mitigation plans" be subject to public review and comment. When Douglas County proposed its mitigation plan in lieu of fish passage, citizens and their attorneys from the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) overwhelmed the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission with evidence that the plan would not compensate for the loss of valuable spawning and rearing habitat upstream. The Commission was persuaded and ruled that Douglas County must build the fish ladder. Having always claimed a ladder would make the project too expensive, the County abandoned its plan to build the dam. In another case, citizens in Eugene, Oregon discovered that neither federal or state laws provided them with adequate information about the chemicals used in their community. A citizen group asked the municipal council to pass an ordinance that would provide them with more information about the chemicals used by local manufacturers. After the council rejected them, they decided to use the initiative process to pass their own law. The group looked at other local and state laws and chose the strongest provisions from laws that existed in other places and added some of their own provisions. They gathered the required number of signatures to place their proposed law on the election ballot for the public to vote on it. In November 1996, Eugene`s citizens voted overwhelmingly to make the toxics right-to-know initiative into law. Now, because of a citizen group`s initiative, Eugene, Oregon has the strongest right-to-know law in the country and perhaps in the world. Eugene Charter of 1976, Section 54, Amendment IV (1998). 5.9. Conclusion. Due to U.S. laws such as the Administrative Procedure Act that permit extensive public participation in the rulemaking, permitting, and environmental impact assessment processes, citizens can greatly influence decisions that affect the environment. Moreover, these laws make agencies accountable to the public. The Government in the Sunshine Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act allow citizens to observe meetings of certain agencies and advisory committees. Information can be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and other laws. When an agency fails to follow these procedural laws, citizens can challenge the agency action in court. As a result, citizens can and do play an important and vital role in protecting the environment and ensuring that agencies make better decisions. CHAPTER 6: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION- MAKING IN CANADA 6.1. Outline of government structure in Canada in relation to environmental decision-making. Canada is a federation, consisting of a central (federal) government and ten regional (provincial) governments. There are two territorial governments, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, with provincial-like responsibilities, but which are subject to federal legislative power. The provincial and territorial governments have delegated certain powers to municipal governments. The Canadian Constitution divides legislative responsibilities between the federal Parliament and the provincial legislatures, with residual powers going to the federal government. In 1867 when the Constitution was drafted environmental matters were not considered, and so neither government was given sole authority to deal with environmental issues. The jurisdiction for the protection of the environment is shared by the federal and provincial levels of government. Section 91 of the Constitution Act gives the federal government jurisdiction to deal with environmental matters based on the following sources of power: a. Taxation (s. 91(3)); b. Navigation and Shipping (s. 91(10); c. Sea Coast and Inland Fisheries (s. 91(12)); d. Banking (s. 91(15)); e. Criminal Law (s. 91(27)); f. Interprovincial and international transportation and communication (s. 92(10)(a)); g. Nuclear (s. 92(10)c)); and h. Peace, Order and good Government (s. 91, opening words). The most important provincial areas of jurisdiction, found in sections 92 and 93 of the Constitution, are: a. Taxation (s. 92(2)); b. Management and Sale of the Public Lands belonging to the Province (s. 92(5)); c. Municipal Institutions (s. 92(8)); d. Local Works and Undertakings (s. 92(10)); e. Property and Civil Rights (s. 92(13)); f. Generally, all matters of a merely local or private nature in the province (s. 92 16)); g. Exploration for non-renewable natural resources in the province (s. 92A(1)(a)); h. Development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province (s. 92A(1)(b)); and, i. Development, conservation and management of sites and facilities in the province for the generation and production of electrical energy (s. 92A (1)). The Constitution also gives concurrent jurisdiction to both levels of government for certain matters, such as agriculture and immigration (section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867). Overlaps between federal and provincial legislation are common, but if there is a direct conflict between valid federal and provincial legislation and it is impossible for both laws to operate at the same time, then the federal legislation is paramount. The Yukon and Northwest Territories derive their legislativa powers from federal statutes. Among other things, the Yukon Act and the Northwest Territories Act give the territories power over wildlife and matters of a local nature. Within each province there are also municipal governments which have jurisdiction over some environmental issues. In some provinces regional districts, made up of several municipalities, have also taken a role in environmental planning. The federal and provincial levels of government also have various agreements addressing their shared responsibility for environmental issues. The role of aboriginal governments in environmental regulation has not yet been clearly defined. Each federal, provincial and territorial government consists of three main branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. The federal government and each provincial government have a ministry or department devoted to the protection of the environment. 6.1.1. Federal Government. The federal department, Environment Canada, was created in 1971. It is governed by the Department of the Environment Act, and is headed by the federal Minister of the Environment. Environment Canada has five regional offices (Ontario, Atlantic, Prairle and Northern Region, Quebec, and Pacific and Yukon) and five services (policy and communications, corporate services, environmental protection, atmospheric, and environmental conservation). Environment Canada deals with the quality of the natural environment, which includes quality of air, water, and soil; wildlife flora and fauna; waters; meteorology; and co-ordination of policies and programs of the federal government for the conservation and improvement of the quality of the environment. Environment Canada administers approximately 15 federal statutes. The most important of these statutes is the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). Environment Canada also has responsibilities under several other statutes administered by other ministries. For example, Environment Canada administers the water quality provisions of the federal Fisheries Act. Several other federal departments deal with environmental matters. The most important are: · Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada - agricultural practices, · Fisheries and Oceans Canada - protection of fisheries and fish habitat, · Foreign Affairs - responsible for the negotiation of international environmental treaties, · Health Canada - responsible for environmental matters that affect the health of Canadians, · Heritage Canada - administers national parks, · Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - regulation of environmental protection on Indian reserve land, · Natural Resources Canada - policies and laws on forestry, mining and energy, and the trade in natural resources, · Public Works and Government Services Canada - regulation of federal land and facilities, · Transport Canada - regulation of all forms of transportation, including the transportation of dangerous goods. There are also federal agencies that have environmental legal responsibilities. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment review process. The Canadian Wildlife Service is responsible for flora and fauna. 6.1.2. Provincial and Territorial Governments. Most environmental laws are provincial. Every province has a ministry vested with executive powers for pollution abatement and nature conservation. In each of the two territories, departments of renewable resources incorporate similar responsibilities. The power, scope of work, and resources of provincial and territorial authorities responsible for the environment differ greatly from one place to another, but generally they are in charge of applying and developing environmental legislation, regulations and policies. They issue permits and licences for pollution and resource use, ensure that development projects comply with environmental standards, conduct inspections, and prosecute environmental offences. 6.1.3. Local governments. Local public authorities, such as municipalities, have a wide range of powers that may be used for environmental regulation and management. Local public authorities are increasingly active in assuming an environmental protection role in areas such as: 1. Air pollution; 2. Water pollution; 3. Nuisance; 4. Environmentally sensitive areas; and 5. Planning and zoning. 6.2. Citizen participation in the development of environmental law and policy. There are many reasons why the public should participate in setting regulations. Regulations developed with public input will lead to decisions that are more informed and accepted. Interested groups and individuals can challenge the data upon which the proposed regulations are based, test the regulatory assumptions employed, and provide a new or different perspective. Public participation ensures a fairer process, since those who must bear the risk of the decisions should have input into the process. The public is essential in helping define the public interest through direct representations to regulators. Also, increasing public participation may well increase the public acceptance of the decision. There are different types of participation rights in Canadian environmental decision making. This section discusses the right to participate in the development of laws, regulations and proposed projects; and the right to take court action through private and public interest litigation. Other rights discussed in later sections of this chapter are the right to participate in enforcement activity through appeals to tribunals and courts discussed in section III(B) below; and access to information rights discussed in section VII below. 6.2.1. Participation in the development of laws and regulations. The public can participate in the development of laws and regulations through the relatively few statutory requirements of notice and comment; and through the more commonly used methods of numerous ad hoc consultations on regulatory initiatives. A major drawback of both forms of public participation is that the government has no requirement to take the comments received into account or to respond in any way. 188.8.131.52. Statutory public participation requirements. Before the passage of the Regulations Act in the 1950s, there was no legal requirement for all regulations to be published. In 1992, a new regulatory policy was introduced which stated that Canadians should be consulted and have the opportunity to participate in developing regulations; Canada Treasury Board Regulatory Policy, Regulatory Affairs Guide. As this is a policy, rather than a law, it does not have to be followed by the federal government. In the 1980s, statutory reforms increased the public`s role in environmental protection, notably in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and provincial statutes for pollution prevention and control and environmental assessment. Currently, public notice of proposed federal regulatory initiatives is given by publication of proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette Part I. There is a 60 day comment period for proposed federal regulations once they have been published. Some provinces have similar provisions. For example, Saskatchewan`s Environmental Protection Act provides that except in the case of emergency, the Minister of the Environment shall seek advice and provide a "reasonable opportunity for the public to be heard" on any regulations or amendments proposed under that Act. The Yukon Environment Act contains a similar requirement. The Canadian Bar Association Sustainable Development Committee recommended in its 1990 report on options for law reform for sustainable development in Canada that: The federal government should initiate a formalized rule-making process for the development of environmental regulations or a formalized permit-issuing or environmental approval process. These processes should include the following elements: a. public notice that the regulations or permits are being developed or considered; b. release of sufficient background information and technical documentation; c. public comment, with the length to be specified in regulations; d. a written response by the government to the public comments; e. within the public comment, the opportunity to request a public hearing; f. criteria for refusing a hearing should be established and, where the request for a hearing is denied, written reasons for the denial should be issued, and g. funding for public interest intervenors or participants. An example of a good provision of public right to knowledge is found in Section 13(1) of CEPA which requires ministers to issue a public report explaining their decision whether or not to regulate potentially toxic substances. There are environmental assessment procedure statutes at both the federal and provincial levels which require governments to assess the potential environmental effects of projects before they are approved. The statute that applies will depend upon the type and location of the project. In some cases both acts might apply to a particular project. In order to address this problem and minimize duplication, the federal government has entered into "Harmonization Agreements" with several provinces. These statutes contain a variety of public participation requirements and are discussed more fully under the Sections "CEAA" and "Provincial Environmental Assessment Law" below. 184.108.40.206. Law Reform Public Consultation Processes. A number of consultation processes are used by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to obtain input on proposed regulatory initiatives. These processes can take the form of specialized committees, public hearings, workshops, the submission of written briefs, public open houses and testimony before committees of the provincial or federal legislatures. The success of these consultation processes varies. One common failure of these consultations is a lack of clear and open objectives for the exercise. Legislators will not usually tie their hands by agreeing to implement the results of a consultation process in advance. It is important for environmental organizations to clarify how the outcome of any public participation process will be used by the government. The success of each individual consultation also depends on factors such as: · the need for adequate advance notice regarding the process; · the need for adequate time to review draft materials; · the need for opportunities to discuss drafts and ask questions; · the need for all information to be equally available to any stakeholder or member of the general public with an interest; · attendance of the government decision-makers at the public consultation meetings; and · a commitment by the government to respond to the consultation process. See Donna Tingley, Public Consultation and Environmental Law Reform: Learning as We Go, 1994, Environmental Law Centre, Alberta; John Swaigen, Environmental Rights in Canada, Butterworths, 1981. There are more opportunities to have public input at an early stage of legislative or regulatory development than there are statutory participation rights in Canada. A number of consultative mechanisms have been established to solicit this input. Some of these mechanisms are listed below. a. Canadian Environmental Network (CEN). Canada has more than 1,800 non-governmental environmental organizations, most of which are small local organizations. However, there is at least one environmental group in each province dealing with broader issues. The Canadian Environmental Network has a membership of numerous environmental groups and coordinates their activities. The CEN is frequently used by the federal government to solicit environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGO) input on new laws. b. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) and federal-provincial mechanisms. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCMIE) was created to promote cooperation between federal and provincial authorities in environmental matters. It is the principal intergovernmental forum for discussion and cooperation on environmental issues of regional, national, and global concern. The CCME has several objectives: the harmonization of legislation and policies; the adoption of standards and national objectives: the adoption of uniform strategies in order to face ecological problems at the national, international, and global level; the improvement of the links between national and international policies and programs; and the harmonization of environmental assessment procedures. The CCME serves as a forum for: cooperative action, including, where appropriate, an ongoing role in the implementation of projects; consultation among governments; and information exchange. In March 1990, the CCME adopted the Statement of Interjurisdictional Cooperation on Environmental Matters. The Statement provides a framework for effective intergovernmental cooperation on environmental matters. More recently, the CCME has undertaken an ambitious program of "harmonization" (rationalization) of environmental management by the federal government and the provincial governments. Other federal-provincial institutions have been created to help resolve issues related to environmental problems: the Wildlife Ministers Council of Canada, the Federal-Provincial Parks Council, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, the Federal-Provincial Agriculture Ministers Conference, and the Canadian Council of Energy Ministers. c. Commissioner for Sustainable Development. In April 1995, Canada created a new position, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, who reports directly to the Auditor General. At the same time, amendments were made to the Auditor General Act to promote sustainable development across all federal departments, attempting to ensure that the government is held publicly accountable for its progress in shifting to sustainable development. Federal departments are required to develop sustainable development strategies and to table them in Parliament within two years of the con-ting into force of the amendments. The Commissioner monitors and reports annually to Parliament on the extent to which departments met their objectives and implement the action plans set out in their sustainable development strategies. Also, the Auditor General is authorized to forward public petitions alleging breaches of the sustainable development strategies to the responsible Ministers for reply. d. Round Tables. The federal government created the National Round Table on the Environment arad the Economy in 1987 to facilitase the adoption of principles and practices for sustainable development in all sectors and regions of Canada. The National Round Table reports directly to the Prime Minister. It is composed of influential representatives of governments and industry, scientists, environmental organizations, universities, trade unions, and aboriginal peoples. By 1990, all provinces and territories had set up Round Tables, although some of them are not operational anymore. e. Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development is a committee of the House of Commons. The Standing Committee`s mandate is to study any environmental issues submitted to it by the Commons and to make its recommendations. For example, the Standing Committee has recently held public hearings and produced reports on revisions to CEPA; the enforcement of Canada`s pollution laws and the harmonization of environmental laws between the federal and provincial governments. 6.2.2. Environmental Litigation. The public can participate in environmental decision making by seeking legal remedies in the courts. Environmental litigation can take a variety of forms: through private prosecutions for environmental offences, discussed in section III(B)(2); through judicial review of administrative actions, discussed in section III(B)(3); and through civil litigation. Litigation may be pursued by individuals who have suffered personal injury or property damage. The common law plays an important role in environmental litigation. This body of law is based on judicial precedente rather than statutory offences. The common law actions of trespass, nuisance, riparian rights, and negligence provides the legal basis for most of these lawsuits. Statutes also give rise to rights which may be enforced through court action. For example, s. 42 of the federal Fisheries Act gives commercial fishers a right of action to sue for loss of income resulting from pollution and s. 677 of the federal Canada Shipping Act establishes a right of action against a ship owner for oil pollution damage from the ship. See Elizabeth Swanson and Elaine Hughes, The Price of Pollution Environmental Litigation in Canada, 1990, Environmental Law Centre; David Estrin and John Swaigen, eds. Environment on Trial - A Guide lo Ontario Environmental Law and Policy, 1993, Emond- Montgomery Publications. Public interest litigation is a relatively new development in Canada. Public interest litigants seek to achieve environmental objectives, rather than economic gain, through court action. The litigation is often initiated by environmental non-governmental organizations. in many cases, the goal of environmental litigation is to stop developments which threaten the environment, as in the case of the litigation by the Canadian Wildlife Federation to stop the construction of dams on the Rafferty and Alameda rivers in Saskatchewan in the late 1980s. As with many public interest environmental lawsuits, the plaintiff`s actions were directed against the government, to ensure that the relevant environmental assessment procedures had been carried out before the dams were approved. Other objectives of public interest environmental litigation include: · ensuring that resource decisions, such as the rate of timber cutting, are sustainable; · supporting the constitutional validity of government regulations challenged by another level of government; · preserving important natural areas. There are many other objectives of public interest environmental litigation. See Stewart Elgie, "Environmental Groups and the Courts: 1970-1992" in Thompson et al eds, Environmental Law and Business in Canada, Canada Law Book 1993, and the newsletters of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, the Canadian Environmental Defence Fund, Canadian Environmental Law Association, West Coast Environmental Law Association, Environmental Law Centre for more examples of and information about public interest litigation. 6.3. Permitting and approvals. A permit is a legally binding document that establishes the conditions under which a person or company may operate and the types and amounts of pollutants it may discharge. It may include reporting, record keeping and inspection requirements. Permits can allow a person or company to pollute and establish the conditions for polluting and monitoring. A permit can also allow destruction of fish habitat, ocean dumping, harm to wildlife, and other activities that may harm the environment. The public participation provisions related to permits and approvals are, therefore, an important part of the public`s right to participate in the environmental decision making process in Canada. Canadian public participation rights are more limited than in the United States. 6.3.1. Permitting process. When an application is made for a permit, many statutes require that members of the public be given the opportunity to comment on the contents of the permit and to object to its issuance. An example of this type of provision in federal law is found in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act ss. 73 - 74 in which ocean dumping applications must be advertised by notice through the Canada Gazette, and the public has the opportunity to comment on the permit application, and file a notice of objection requesting a hearing before a Board of Review. Provincial pollution control statutes such as the B.C. Waste Management Act requires notice of the application to be published in local papers, and allows any person with an interest in the permit to comment upon it, Public Notification Regulation, B.C. Reg. 202/94. For municipal land use decisions that may affect the environment, such as zoning changes, provincial statutes typically include. a provision for a public hearing, such as, for example, s. 8 90 of the B. C. Municipal A ct. Public participation rights in other environmental areas are more timited. There are fewer public hearing requirements when a water use permit or a timber cutting permit is granted. For example, the federal Fisheries Act allows harmful alteration, damage to or destruction of fish habitat if authorized by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. That Act does not require public notification of the authorization decision, and contains no provisions for public hearings for that type of decision. 6.3.2. Enforcement of permits. Enforcement of environmental statutes is generally done by the agency responsible for administering the environmental statute. There are some statutory rights to review enforcement decisions such as s. 108 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which authorizes any two residents of Canada to request the Minister of Environment to investigate if they have reason to believe that an offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act has occurred. A few provincial statutes have recently expanded the scope of the public`s involvement in enforcement, through the creation of Environmental Bills of Rights. The Canadian public also has some statutory rights of appeal in relation to permits, often in the form of appeals to administrative tribunals. 220.127.116.11. Administrative Tribunals. Once a permit has been issued, the legislation may allow members of the public to appeal the permit to an administrative tribunal. Administrative tribunals are decision-making bodies established by statutes. They are similar to courts, but have authority to make decisions in a specialized areas such as environmental appeals. In the past thirty years there has been a significant growth in the number of administrative tribunes in Canada. Many provinces have Environmental Appeal Boards. The National Energy Board is an example of a federal administrative tribunal that hears some environmental cases. Before an individual or group can appeal a permitting decision to a tribunal or bring an action for judicial review, the applicant must prove that it has standing, or, in other words, is eligible to argue the case. The courts have expanded public interest standing over time (see: Finlay v. Canada (Mitzister of Finance)  2 S.C.R. 607), but it is not an open-ended right. To establish standing, the applicant must prove that he or she is directly affected by the decision or has a genulne interest in the decision and will present a case for a serious and justiciable issue that would not otherwise be brought to trial in an effective manner. An appeal to the courts is available from the decisions of most tribunals, through statutory provisions or through judicial review. 18.104.22.168. Judicial Review. Judicial review is the means by which courts review the conduct of government. Decisions of administrative tribunals are subject to review by superior courts such as the Supreme Court of a province or in some cases by the Federal Court. Judicial review is available either in addition to a statutory appeal right, or in the absence of statutory appeal rights. Judicial review permits a court to examine an administrative decision, and determine if it was made in accordance with the principles of natural justice and fairness; that all necessary procedural requirements were fulfilled and that no substantiva errors of law, fact or jurisdiction were made. There are statutes which establish procedures for judicial review, such as provincial Judicial Review Procedure Acts, and at the federal level, the Federal Court Act. See Evans, Janisch, Mullan and Risk, Administrative Law, 1980 Emond Montgomery Limited. 22.214.171.124. Private Prosecutions. lf a law is not being enforced, citizens have the right to bring a private prosecution if they believe an offence has been committed. A citizen must gather evidence of an offence, swear any information based on the evidence, and present the information to a Justice of the Peace (JP). The JP then decides whether to allow the charge. In most provinces, the Attorney General then has the option of deciding whether to intervene and take over the conduct of the prosecution, or to stay the proceedings. For more information about private prosecutions of environmental offences, see Linda Duncan Enforcing Environmental Law: A Guide to Private Prosecutions, (1991), Environmental Law Centre. The potential for private prosecutions is limited by a number of factors. Firstly, the Attorney General has the power to withdraw all charges or to intervene to conduct the prosecution. The Attorney General also has the right to stay proceedings. These provisions are a disincentive to private prosecutions since a citizen can go to considerable expense, including lawyer`s fees, court fees and collection and testing of evidence and locating and utilizing expert witnesses, only to have a charge stayed or withdrawn by the Crown. Also, criminal proceedings do not allow for the recovery by a private prosecutor of his or her expenses or a portion of those expenses. Although some federal legislation does allow citizens who initiate a prosecution by laying an information to collect half of any fine levied (see, for instance, regulations under the Fisheries Act); however, there is no guarantee that half the amount of a fine collected will come anywhere near the legal and technical costs of prosecuting an offence which is vigorously defended. The right to private prosecution could be supplemented by citizen suit provisions such as those found in the U.S. Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. These allow citizens to seek injunctive relief to enforce an eraission standard and to seek civil penalties against violators. Citizen suit provisions permit citizens who have prosecuted a suit to recover the legal costs of doing so from the offender. They establish procedures such as notice to government before commencing a citizen suit (in order to give government prosecutors a chance to respond and begin prosecution of the offence). They establish bars on proceedings if the state is diligently prosecuting the violation, but the government carinot block or stay a citizen suit if it is not prosecuting the violation diligently. Even where citizens are barred from instituting a civil suit, they have a right to intervene in the government prosecution. 6.4. Key environmental legislation with public participation requirements. 6.4.1. Federal. 126.96.36.199. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). The central piece of federal environmental legislation in Canada is the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) which is the consolidation of five statutes: the Environmental Contaminants Act, the Air Quality Act, the Canada Water Act, the Ocean Dumping Act, and the Department of the Environment Act. CEPA contains: · important penalties and sanctions; · provisions for the collection of information and for evaluation; · provisions for the control of importation and exportation of toxic substances; · provisions for the reduction of wastes, the cleanup of coastal zones, the protection of the ozone layer, and the reduction of acid rain and urban smog; and, · provisions for the development of regulations. CEPA requires the Government of Canada, in carrying out its administrative duties, to provide the people of Canada with information on the state of the Canadian environment. Several provinces also publish this type of report, CEPA gives the right to: · request that substances be added to the Priority Substances List for assessment in relation to their toxicity; · petition the Minister of the Environment to establish a board of review where a decision had been made not to add a substance to the list or where a substance had been on the list for five years without being assessed; · petition the minister where proposed regulations had been published; · file notice of objection to publication of a proposed regulation and request the board of review be established, · have a reasonable opportunity to appear and make representations before boards of review established under the Act; · request an investigation of an alleged offence; · commence a civil action for damages or injunction; and · file a lawsuit if the person suffered loss or injury as a result of activities contrary to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Section 136 of CEPA gives a civil cause of action to a person who has suffered loss or damages as result of a violation of CEPA or CEPA regulations. The section also gives a person who is about to suffer loss or damages as result of such a violation the right to seek an injunction. However, the usefulness of this provision is restricted by the problem of proving causation; the fact that damages are awarded only for an individual`s harm and do not represent losses to the environment as a whole, or even the cost of environmental restoration; and there is no civil cause of action where proof of an offence can only be established on the balance of probabilities. 188.8.131.52. National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). The NPRI is established under s.16 of CEPA which authorizes the federal Ministers of Health and Environment to obtain information for the purpose of determining whether or not a substance is capable of becoming toxic. NPRI is based on the US Toxic Release Inventory. This inventory provides detailed data on the types, location and amounts of substances of concern released onsite and transferred offsite by industrial facilities. This inventory is one of a growing number of pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs). The NPRI reports on an annual basis on individual chemicals in use at individual facilities. It reports on releases and transfers of toxic substances using computerized data management, and, allowing for limited trade secrecy. Any facility that meets the threshold must report subject to certain exemptions such as those involved with the distribution, storage or retail sale of fuels. The purpose of the NPRI is to provide publicly available data on toxic substances of concern to the community. NPRI is available in a variety of formats, in an annual summary form, in electronic form and over the Internet. The threshold in Canada is that 10 tonnes (22,050 pounds) or more of a substance is manufactures, processed or "otherwise used" then releases and transfers must be reported. Reporting is required for facilities that employ the equivalent of 10 or more full-time employees. Unlike the US Toxic Release Inventory, the Canadian NPRI does not require facilities to report on the types of source reduction activities they have undertaken during the year. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Montreal has compared the information from the NPR1, the US Toxic Release Inventory and the Mexican pilot program on pollutant release and transfer register program, Taking Stock - North American Pollutant Releases and Transfers 1994, CEC, 1997. 184.108.40.206. Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA or Act) is the legal basis for the federal environmental assessment process. It sets out the responsibilities and procedures for carrying out the environmental assessments of projects which involve the federal government. There are four types of assessments: · screenings (including class screenings which are acceptable for classes of projects that are routine and repetitive); · comprehensive studies; · mediations; and · panel reviews. One of the guiding principles of the Act is that public participation is an important element of an open and balanced environmental assessment process. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (Agency) administers the CEAA and promotes federal environmental assessment process policies and practices. The Agency encourages public participation by · ensuring the public has an opportunity to comment on proposed class screenings and comprehensive study reports; · providing funds to interested groups so that they may participate in mediation and panel reviews; · working with federal departments and project proponents on effective approaches to involving the public; and · advising federal departments on how to create and maintain a public registry containing records relating to environmental assessments. The public is considered to include local residents, Aboriginal persons and communities, local and regional governments, community organizations, professional and business associations, educational institutions, and the media. The Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC) to the Committee was formed to obtain public input and facilitate the development of key regulations under the Act. RAC is made up of representatives of government, industry, environmental groups, Aboriginal groups and provincial governments. RAC uses a consensus-based approach to develop regulations under the federal assessment legislation. The purpose of RAC is to "advise the Minister of Environment on draft regulations and guidelines for CEAA and to achieve consensus, or identify differing viewpoints on the content. RAC initially reviewed and made recommendations on four regulations which would define the scope of assessment: the Exclusion List, the Inclusion List, the Law List and the Comprehensive Study List. The Exclusion List and the Inclusion List did as their names suggested; either excluded or included projects which would otherwise not be excluded from or included in the assessment process. The Law List contained a list of statutes which would trigger the assessment process even where the activity itself did not do so. The Comprehensive Study List defined when public comment would be required, even in the absence of a project requiring a full public review. A significant difficulty encountered in the RAC process arose when at the end of its initial mandate it developed a consensus-based regulation addressing the type of assessment required for projects outside of Canada. The recommended regulation was ignored by government, despite having been acceptable to the multistakeholder group. Following the release of RAC`s recommendations the government met and passed its own regulation, the Projects Outside of Canada Environmental Assessment Regulation (POCEAR), which did not conform to the recommendations of the RAC. The Sierra Club of Canada filed a legal action challenging the regulation, The Sierra Club hopes to require that the sale of CANDU nuclear reactors to China be screened under the Act. The Sierra Club states in the materials it has filed in the action that POCEAR departed from a consensus draft regulation which was prepared by the multistakeholder Projects Outside Canada Sub-Committee of the RAC. The Sierra Club notes that the government used an unusual expedited procedure to adopt its own draft regulation on November 6, 1996, without publication or public comment and then brought the regulation into force on November 7, 1996. The regulation was not published in the Canada Gazette Part II until November 27, 1996, which was the day after the contract for the sale of the nuclear reactors was signed. For the past twenty years committees commissioned by government have consistently recommended public comments on draft regulations. However, the problem remains that where politically expedient, voluntary consultation processes may be ignored. 220.127.116.11. Fisheries Act. The federal Fisheries Act is another important piece of legislation for the protection of the Canadian environment. Under the Fisheries Act., it is an offence for anyone to carry on any works or undertakings that result in the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat. It is also an offence to deposit or permit the deposit of any type of deleterious substance in "water frequented by fish." The Fisheries Act is administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Environment Canada. DFO is responsible for fisheries management and the protection of fish habitats. Environment Canada is responsible for water quality aspects of fish habitat. In addition, there are a number of federal-provincial agreements and memoranda of understanding delegating certain fisheries powers to particular provincial governments. The Fisheries Act has significant penalties for contravening its provisions, and the courts can order the violator to refrain from engaging in the activity which is the cause of a discharge or deposit into waters frequented by fish. 6.4.2. Provincial. 18.104.22.168. Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights. The Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) establishes minimum rules for public participation in the development and finalization of proposed legislation, policies, regulations and other legal instruments that will have a significant effect on the environment. Under the EBR the public has the right to notice and comment on these legal instruments. The main method of providing notice is public access to the Environmental Registry established by the government of Ontario. The registry identifies environmentally significant decisions that are about to be made, relevant timelines for comment, sources of additional information, and the method that the public can use to participate in decision making. Participation rights of the public to comment on proposals vary according to the nature and environmental significance of the proposal. The EBR places certain obligations on decision-makers to consider and respond to public comments. After a decision on a proposal has been reached, members of the public have rights to appeal the decision, subject to the criteria and requirements under the EBR. Two other territories also have statutory environmental rights. In 1990, the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories adopted the Environmental Rights Act. The stated purpose of the Act is to "provide environmental rights for the people of the Northwest Territories." The Act allows a resident to bring an action in the Supreme Court against any person releasing any contaminant into the environment. Similarly the Yukon Environment Act. has a public trust provision. Section 38 states: 38(1) The Government of the Yukon is the trustee of the public trust. (2) The government of the Yukon shall, subject to this Act ... conserve the natural environment in accordance with the public trust. 22.214.171.124. B.C. Waste Management Act. Provincial pollution prevention and control statutes are the most common forms of environmental law in Canada. One example of this type of law is the B.C. Waste Management Act. It is aimed at preventing or controlling the discharge of potentially polluting substances to water, air or land. It prohibits the introduction of waste into the environment in the course of conducting an industry, trade or business, or by any person in a manner or quantity as to cause pollution, unless the discharge fits within the criteria and exemptions listed in section 3(3) of the Act. Waste is defined in the Act to include air contaminants, litter, effluent, refuse, biomedical waste, special wastes and any other substance designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Effluent is defined to include a substance that is discharged into water or onto land that injures or is capable of injuring property or any life form, or damages or is capable of damaging the environment. Exceptions to the general prohibition contained in the Act are: · allowing the disposition of waste in compliance with a valid and subsisting permit, approval, order or regulation, or with a waste management plan approved by the Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks, and · permitting the use of pesticides or biocides for agricultural, domestic or forestry purposes in compliance with the Pesticide Control Act, the Pest Control Products Act (Canada) and with any other Act and regulation governing their use. The Waste Management Act also governs the transport, handling and treatment of special wastes, such as contaminated soil or other toxic material. It requires special wastes to be confined according to regulations adopted under the Act and prohibits release of a special waste from that confinement unless expressly authorized by a permit, approval, order, waste management plan or the regulations. In issuing a permit to introduce waste into the environment or to store, treat or recycle special waste under the Waste Management Act, a manager may make the permit subject to requirements for the protection of the environment. Another provision in the Act deals with spill prevention and reporting. It allows the minister to require a contingency plan for preventing spills of polluting substances or the construction of works to prevent or abate a spill. The enforcement provisions in the Act include a number of measures that may be used to prevent and control pollution. The Public Notification Regulation, B.C. Reg. 202/94 made pursuant to the Waste Management Act sets out the requirements for notifying the public about waste permit applications. The notification requirements differ according to the circumstances of each case but may include: · posting the application on the property; · publishing the application in the B.C. Gazette and one or more local newspapers; · giving notice to residents and owners of property who may be affected by the application; · requiring the applicant to meet any person who may be adversely affected by the application to explain and clarify the intent of the application and describe its potential effect on the receiving environment. lf the waste management permit is issued and the applicant or any other party considers itself aggrieved by the decision to issue the permit or by any of the specific provisions in the permit, that person may appeal the decision to the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board according to the procedures set out in the Waste Management Act. 126.96.36.199. Provincial Environmental Assessment Acts. Provincial environmental assessment laws also contain public participation procedures. An example of a provincial environmental assessment law is the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act. For this Act to apply to a proposed project, it must be determined to be a reviewable project under the Act. The Environmental Assessment Reviewable Projects Regulation specifies which projects and activities are subject to the Act by defining the type and size of projects and activities which require review under the Act. In addition, if the proposed project is not included in the Regulation, the Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks may designate it as a reviewable project using section 4 of the Act lf the Minister is satisfied that (a) the project has or may have a significant adverse effect, and (b) the designation is in the public interest. lf the Act applies, a reviewable project may undergo one, two or three stages in the review process: the Application phase, the Project Report phase and the Public Hearing phase. It is not evident at the beginning of the review process how many phases a particular project will be required to go through. lf a project proceeds to the Project Report stage, section 22 of the Act -provides a list of issues that may be required to be addressed in a project report, such as environmental characteristics and conditions that may be affected by the project. Therefore, the potential impact to fish and fish habitat should be addressed in detail in the project report. At the conclusion of each phase of the review, the project may be approved, rejected or sent for further review, until the final phase is completed and the project is either approved or rejected. A project committee, comprised of representatives of various government agencies and First Nations, provides advice, analyses and recommendations on projects throughout the review process. It is also possible for a public advisory committee to be established under the Act to advise and make recommendations to the project committee on matters of public concern. Every application, comment, report and decision in the review process must be filed on the project registry in the environmental assessment office in Victoria, including any decisions made by the Ministers or Cabinet. The project registry provides the public with access to all relevant project documents. Key documents from the registry will also be available in communities that may be affected by specific projects in locations such as government offices or public libraries. The public has guaranteed opportunities for comment, within timeframes set in a regulation, throughout the review process. Specifically, the Act requires the executive director to provide notice to the public, inviting comments, at the following points in the process: · upon receipt of an application; · when the draft project report specifications are being prepared; upon receipt of the project report; and · when the draft terms of reference for a public hearing is being prepared. The Act also establishes a role for the environmental assessment office in public consultation. lt requires the executive director to assess the applicant`s plans for distributing information, allows the office to carry out certain functions itself, and authorizes the environmental assessment office to carry out or oversee the public consultation lf the applicant`s efforts are not satisfactory. At the option of the proponent concurrent review of applications for permit and licences required under other statutes may occur alongside the application for a project approval certificate. The Act also allows for category assessments, so a whole category of reviewable projects could be reviewed and specifications developed that would be used in the individual assessments of projects. Proponents would be required to include these specifications and provide information required for the entire category in applications for review of a particular project. 6.5. Access to information. Recent promulgation of legislation at federal and provincial levels allowing public access to information such as results from monitoring, inspection results, and permit violations, has been of great assistance to members of the public wishing to ensure that environmental laws are enforced. The background information necessary for effective participation in decision-making processes is now easier to obtain. Access to information is particularly useful in determining whether government agencies have information about a potential offence which should require enforcement of the law. Where adequate enforcement measures have not been taken, members of the public can pressure the government to enforce or citizens can commence a private prosecution. In the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, there is a provision that information regarding threats to the environment be disclosed to the public even in the absence of a request for such information. This provision will also assist the public in protecting itself from potential risks and advancing enforcement of environmental law. 6.5.1. Federal Access to Information ACT. "The purpose of this Act is to extend the present laws of Canada to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exemptions to the right of access should be limited and specific and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government." Subsection 2(1) Access to Information Act The Access to Information Act gives Canadians-and other individuals and corporations present in Canada-the right to apply for and obtain copies of federal government records. "Records" is defined broadly and includes letters, memos, reports,. photographs, films, microforms, plans, drawings, diagrams, maps, sound and video recordings, and machine-readable or computer files. The Act creates an enforceable right of access for Canadians, subject to exceptions, such as privacy, commercial confidentiality, national security and the frank communications needed for effective policy-making. The application of the exemptions is often disputed by applicants for information. Common grounds of complaint to the Information Commissioner include: · they have been denied requested information; · they have been asked to pay too much for copied information; · the department`s extension of more than 30 days to provide information is unreasonable; · the material was not in the official language of choice or the time for translation was unreasonable; · they have a problem with the Info Source guide or periodic bulletins which are issued to help the public use the Act; and · they have run into any other problem using the Act. The Act provides government institutions with 30 days to respond to access requests. When the Act first carne into force, many government departments routinely missed this deadline. Compliance with the time limits is now more common. lf a department or an agency requires an extension of time to fulfill the information request, the applicant must be notified of the extension within the initial time frame. The Act provides for an appeal process for refusal of access which is independent of government, first, to an Information Commissioner, an ombudsman appointed by Parliament, and then to the Federal Court. The Federal Court of Canada has made it clear that the motives of requesters and complainants under the access law are irrelevant in a recent case. There is no legal justification for refusing service (or giving a poorer quality of service) to access requesters who the government considers to be frivolous, vexatious or acting in bad faith. 6.5.2. B.C. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act became law in 1993. The Act provides individuals with information and privacy rights in relation to information that is collected or controlled by public bodies in British Columbia. The Act gives citizens in B.C.: · the right of access to records in the custody or under the control of a public body, including personal information, and · the right of protection of the privacy of personal information in the custody or under the control of a public body. Records are books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, vouchers, papers, and information that is recorded or stored on a computer, audio cassette, or videotape. Public bodies include most provincial government, local government, and self-governing professional bodies in British Columbia. They are ministries, agencies, boards, and crown corporations; hospitals, municipalities, regional districts, municipal police, school districts, universities, and colleges; and numerous professional bodies, such as the British Columbia College of Teachers, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Law Society of British Columbia. The Act does not apply to private businesses or associations. There are exemptions for Cabinet confidences, someone else`s personal information, or information that could harm another individual`s business interests. The following case illustrates how this law can be used by environmental groups. In December of 1996, an environmental group requested records from the Ministry of Forests (the Ministry) related to the way in which the Ministry and licensees were expected to deal with representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks concerning the application of the Forest Practices Code. In April of 1997, after considerable discussion with the applicant, the Ministry provided the environmental group with a fee estimate of $46,200 to cover time spent searching for the records and processing the request. The request was narrowed further and the Ministry successively issued two more fee estimates: $12,450 and $3,150. With each fee estimate, the applicant requested a fee waiver in the public interest, but the Ministry refused. In July of 1997, the applicant requested that the Commissioner`s Office review the decision. The Office was able to mediate a further reduction of the fee to $420 after the applicant provided examples of the records he was seeking. The Ministry was then able to determine more accurately the potential location of records and to reduce its estimated time spent searching for them to two days. After further discussion, the Ministry waived the fees entirely and the case was closed. 6.5.3. Access to monitoring and compliance information. The strength of pollution prevention initiatives can be enhanced through accountability to the community in which permitted facilities operate. Reporting on the state of compliance with environmental regulations is a good way to advertise the success of pollution prevention initiatives - and of shaming laggards into compliance with permit standards. British Columbia routinely releases a comprehensive environmental noncompliance report listing operations that failed to meet environmental protection standards in permits or regulations. It is the only province in Canada to do so. The province`s Minister of Environment recognizes its value in effective enforcement of standards: The noncompliance report is one of the most effective tools we have to get operations and individuals to adhere to B.C.`s environmental protection laws. No one likes to see their name in the paper for something as serious as harming the environment. British Columbia also routinely releases a publicly available report detailing the province`s latest environmental charges and penalties, listing the total number of convictions and fines levied during the period covered by the report. Both reports are released directly to the media and to other interested parties every six months. The program is now in its sixth year, The routine release of this information, as opposed to requiring the public to make information requests, provides a strong incentive for industrial permit holders to comply with environmental standards and contributes to a well-informed public less suspicious of environmental performance. Today`s consumers are demanding environmentally sound products as well as products that are manufactures without causing environmental degradation. In many cases consumers are willing to pay a premium for those products. Further, some consumers have displayed a distinct willingness to boycott products altogether when concerned about the environmental record of the producer. Purchasers large and small want to be able to verify environmental product claims with solid, quantifiable information, preferably information that is generated at arm`s length from the producer. Environmental monitoring and compliance data offers a unique opportunity to support environmental marketing claims. This data is a matter of public record and removes some of the scepticism about a company telling only the good news about its environmental track record. 6.6. Examples of how public participation has helped protect the environment. 6.6.1. Public participation in development of a new Federal Endangered Species Law - advocacy before the House of Commons Standing Committee on sustainable development and environment. The first example of how public participation has improved the environment is base on a law reform consultation process; public hearings of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment. Canada was the first country to sign the Biodiversity Convention in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment reviewed the effects of this treaty through a public hearing process. The Committee heard testimony from environmental groups that Article 8(k) of the Biological Diversity Convention requiring signatories to pass legislation for the protection of endangered species, imposed a positive obligation on Canada to draft an endangered species law. Canada had no endangered species law at the time the treaty was signed. The Committee then issued a report, A Global Partnership - Canada and the Conventions of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in April 1993,which recommended that the Government of Canada " working with the provinces and territories, consider the necessity of legislation to conserve biological diversity within Canada, and take immediate steps to develop an integrated legislative approach to the protection of endangered species, habitat, ecosystems and biodiversity in Canada." The Committee referred to the testimony of ENGO witnesses as part of their rationale for recommending the legislation. In response to the Standing Committee`s report, and to public pressure from a wide swathe of the Canadian public, the government drafted a federal endangered species law. The proposal for a national Endangered Species Protection Act was first released in August 1995. A new law is expected to be introduced again into the House of Commons in 1999. Credit should be given to the ENGO testimony and the Standing Committee`s report as critical factors in Canada`s decision to enact this law. 6.6.2. Public participation in the development of pulp mill pollution regulations - Coalition advocacy before Provincial Government. The second example also involves public participation in law reform, in this case through an ENGO initiated process. The British Columbia pulp mill effluent regulation came about as a result of strong public advocacy from the Pulp Coalition, an umbrella group of environmental, labour, social justice and other representatives. The regulatory response followed what can only be describes as an environmental catastrophe in British Columbia in the late 1980s. British Columbia has a large pulp and paper industry. Of the 26 mills in the province, 23 release effluent directly into the environment. 17 mills produce bleached pulp using chlorine compounds and all but one of those uses the kraft process. Since late 1988, the Canadian government has closed hundreds of kilometers of British Columbia coastline to shellfish harvesting because of dioxin and furan contamination from pulp mills. These shellfisheries closures were accompanied by a number of health advisories warning people not to consume certain species of fish over set limits, some types of diving ducks and waterbirds, and a general advisory against eating the livers of any bottomfish caught near coastal mills. These closures and health advisories resulted in a groundswell of environmental concern in the province and demands that the government take steps to deal with the situation. Many shellfishers lost their source of livelihood due to the closures. Aboriginal peoples, many of whom live in the vicinity of pulp mills, lost a major food source. Compounding these problems was the fact that the British Columbia pulp and paper industry had a history of routine non-compliance with existing regulatory standards. And at the time of the first shellfisheries closures, pulp mills in British Columbia were not subject to regulations governing chlorinated organic compounds, including dioxins. The provincial pulp mill effluent regulation - which continues to draw worldwide attention -requires pulp mills that use chlorinated compounds to eliminate absorbable organic halogens (AOX) produced in the bleaching process by December 31, 2002. This regulation became law on July 1, 1992, more than ten years prior to the date for compliance. At the time this standard was set, pulp mills in B.C. were subject to a variety of federal and provincial regulations, including an AOX limit of 2.5 kg per tonne of air-dried pulp produced. This provincial limit was reduced to 1.5 kg per air dried tonne of pulp produced, effective December 31, 1995. Pulp mills in Canada are also regulated by the federal government, whose standards were strengthened significantly in the last few years as well. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act prohibits mills from discharging detestable levels of dioxins and furans. The federal Fisheries Act governs the discharge of biologically oxygen demanding substances (BOD), total suspended solids and toxicity. It also requires mills to participate in an environmental effects monitoring program which is aimed at determining whether or not the current regulatory standards are adequate to protect the environment. Since the introduction of improved regulatory standards, the British Columbia industry has achieved dramatic improvements in environmental performance in a relatively short period. In many cases, the improvements have been better than expected and have occurred ahead of schedule. The regulation requiring the elimination of AOX has been a significant driving force in cleaning up the industry and offers a useful model for regulating in other areas. Some of the obvious benefits of this approach include: · incorporating the precautionary approach and the preventative approach principles into the regulation making process, · using long term planning by setting the standard far in advance of required compliance and allowing the time for the development of appropriate technology involving solutions to other environmental problems associated with pulp mill effluent, · targetting a legal limit of zero discharge of a class of substances, avoiding intensive debate and expensive regulation on a compound by compound basis, and · taking advantage of emerging market opportunities. Since the implementation of the AOX regulation, the pulp mill industry in the province has realized a number of specific environmental and other benefits: · reduced environmental impact from pulp and paper mills, · maximization of environmental gains when process changes made to meet AOX limits yield improvements in discharge levels of other parameters, · achieving regulatory compliance largely ahead of schedule, · significant improvements in environmental performance in most parameters, · some reopening of shellfisheries, · reduced public pressure on the industry, and · well positioned to take advantage of emerging market opportunities for totally-chlorine free pulp. In addition to these benefits, when the industry eliminates the use of chlorinated compounds as bleaching agents to meet the standard of eliminating AOX, it will make a significant leap toward being able to operate effluent free pulp mills. Current research into environmental problems associated with pulp mill effluent has unearthed other serious problems - clearly pointing to the need to keep pulp mill effluent out of the environment. altogether. The British Columbia AOX regulation moves the industry closer to that goal. 6.6.3. Public participation to protect fish habitat - private prosecutions to enforce the Federal Fisheries Act. Although not frequently used, private prosecutions have been a valuable tool in assisting members of the public to enforce environmental laws. Even where a prosecution is not carried through to completion, this tool may be used to bring pressure on the government to address an environmental problem or offence. An example of a successful private prosecution can be found in the case of R. vs. Crown Zellerbach Properties Ltd. (1981) 3 F.P.R. 84. In that case, the Fraser River Coalition commenced a private prosecution when the provincial and federal governments refused to prosecute. A landfill operation on the Fraser River was leaching contaminants into the river. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans objected to the activity but did not enforce the law. The provincial government was asked to intervene and although the government registered objections to the landfill operation, it still issued an operational permit. Although inspections indicated the permit was continually being breached over several years, prosecution did not occur. The Coalition commenced a prosecution which the Attorney General of Canada took over and completed. The landfill operator was convicted. In addition to focusing media attention and thereby increasing public knowledge of the problem, the focus on the issue led to the creation of the Fraser River Task Force, which examined enforcement problems in the region. Occasionally, simply commencing a prosecution (i.e. filing the charges in court and notifying the other side) may result in the offending activity ceasing and therefore the need to continue the prosecution may no longer exist. For example, the Friends of the Stikine, an environmental group focusing on the protection of the Stikine River, recently launched a private prosecution against Cominco Ltd. and Prime Resources Group Inc. (Peter Rowlands v. Cominco Ltd, and Prime Resources Group Inc. Information numbers` 19390 & 1939, May 16, 1996). After the charges were laid, the Crown agreed to continue the prosecution. Prior to the charges being heard the operation of a hovercraft, which was alleged to have caused damage to fish habitat, was halted. 6.6.4. Public participation in setting limits on pesticide spraying - Statutory Appeal to the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board. The last example concerns a citizen`s appeal of a pesticide permit to an administrative tribunal, the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board. An appeal of amended conditions to a pesticide aerial application service licence was brought by an environmental group. The group`s primary objective was to have buffer zones imposed in order that spraying would not take place within 500 metres of a residence. A buffer zone was in place for a 500 metres radius between the proposed treatment areas and schools, parks, playgrounds and health care facilities. The group had spent over one year attempting to negotiate with representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks in al¡ attempt to have residential buffer zones imposed. The group was not opposed to ground spraying of pesticides. The concernm regarding aerial spraying related to the potential for drift. When the licence for aerial spraying was renewed without a condition requiring residential buffer zones, an appeal was brought along with a request for a stay prohibiting aerial spraying until the appeal had been heard. In preparing for the appeal a prior decision of the Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) was discovered. In relation to the same aerial spraying licence, the Environmental Appeal Board had previously ordered as follows: "The Panel orders that this matter be returned to the Deputy Administrator so that the following actions may be taken: 1. to determine the buffer zone width appropriate to protect residential and environmentally sensitive areas throughout the Lower Mainland region from drift; and 2. once the buffer zone sizes are determined, for the Deputy Administer to amend ... Licence No. 2430S by ... attaching a new condition reflecting the buffer zone required for residential and environmentally sensitive areas." The Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks representatives had not informed the group that the EAB had previously issued an order directing that the Deputy Administrator do exactly what the group was requesting. On consideration of the stay application, the EAB found no evidence of the Deputy Administrator having complied with the EAB’s order regarding the buffer zones to protect residential areas, The Board concluded that the Deputy Administrator, in failing to comply with the Board order addressing the buffer zone, created a situation which tended to bring the administration of justice into disrepute and constituted irreparable harm to the public interest and the fair administration of justice. The EAB found that a limited stay should be imposed preventing the permit holder from spraying lands adjacent to the land in issue in the appeal until the Deputy Administrator had complied with the previous Environmental Appeal Board decision 92/02. - The result of the EAB`s order is that until appropriate buffer zones protecting residential and environmentally sensitive areas are determined, the area in issue cannot be aerial sprayed by the permit holder. Subsequently, buffer zones acceptable to the group were adopted. 6.7. Conclusion. Canada has important opportunities for citizen participation that define the path to environmental protection. From the discussion above, we can conclude that citizen participation has played a valuable role in the development of environmental legislation and the enforcement of such legislation. BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, Lawrence, Regulatory Reform: a Case Study of the Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act LL.M. Thesis, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, August, 1995 (unpublished). Benedickson, Jamie, Essentials of Canadian Law-Environmental Law (Irvin Law, 1997). Boardman, Robert, ed., Canadian Environmental Policy: Ecosystems, Politics, and Process, (Don Mills, Oxford University Press, 1992). Brañes Ballesteros, Raúl, Derecho Ambiental Mexicano, 1994. 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