BASHAM NEWS

GENERAL LAW OF ECOLOGICAL BALANCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IS AMENDED REGARDING LIGHT POLLUTION AND THE GENERAL LAW FOR THE PREVENTION AND INTEGRAL MANAGEMENT OF WASTE IS AMENDED REGARDING THE CO-PROCESSING OF WASTE.

Mexico City, January 19, 2021.

 

On January 18, 2021, the following decrees were published in the Official Gazette of the Federation:

a) Decree amending and adding several provisions of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, hereinafter referred to as the "LGEEPA Reform Decree.

b) Decree reforming and adding various provisions to the General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Waste regarding the co-processing of waste, hereinafter referred to as the "LGPGIR Reform Decree".

Both decrees will become effective today, January 19, 2021.

A. LGEEPA Reform Decree.

The LGEEPA Reform Decree incorporates provisions on light pollution for its prevention, reduction and control.

It is considered Light Pollution to the luminous glow in nocturnal environments or brightness produced by the diffusion and reflection of light in gases, aerosols and particles in suspension in the atmosphere, which alters the natural conditions of luminosity during nighttime hours and hinders astronomical observations of celestial objects, due to the Intrusive LightThe natural brightness, attributable to radiation from celestial sources or objects and to luminescence from the upper layers of the atmosphere, must be distinguished.

It is considered Intrusive LightThe light part of an installation with a light source that does not fulfill the function for which it was designed and that does not prevent the Light Pollution.

The Intrusive Light includes:

  • Light falling unduly outside the area to be illuminated;
  • Diffuse light in the vicinity of the lighting installation;
  • The luminescence of the sky, i.e., the illumination of the night sky resulting from the direct and indirect reflection of visible and invisible radiation scattered by atmospheric constituents, gas molecules, aerosols and particles in the direction of observation;
  • Diffuse light scattered in the vicinity of the artificial source of illumination; and
  • Light that is projected in various directions outside the ground area to be illuminated.

Pursuant to the LGEEPA Reform Decree, the following are competent:

a) The Federation, through the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources ("SEMARNAT"), to regulate the prevention of environmental pollution caused by noise, vibrations, thermal energy, Intrusive Lightemissions, electromagnetic radiation and odors harmful to the ecological balance and the environment.

b) The States, through the local Secretaries of the Environment, to prevent and control pollution generated by the emission of noise, vibrations, thermal energy, Intrusive LightThe Company is not responsible for the emissions, electromagnetic radiation and odors harmful to the ecological balance or the environment, from fixed sources that operate as industrial establishments, as well as, if applicable, from mobile sources that, in accordance with the provisions of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection ("LGEEPA"), do not fall under federal jurisdiction.

c) The Municipalities, to apply the legal provisions related to the prevention and control of noise, vibration and thermal energy pollution, Intrusive Lightelectromagnetic radiation and odors harmful to the ecological balance and the environment, from fixed sources that operate as commercial or service establishments, as well as the surveillance of compliance with the provisions applicable to mobile sources. except those that, according to the LGEEPA, are considered to be of federal jurisdiction.

d) The States with the participation, as the case may be, of their Municipalities or territorial districts of Mexico City, prior agreement or coordination agreement entered into with SEMARNAT, to prevent and control environmental pollution caused by noise, vibrations, thermal energy, Intrusive LightThe Company has the authority to regulate the emission of electromagnetic radiation and odors harmful to the ecological balance and the environment, from fixed and mobile sources of federal competence and, if applicable, to issue the corresponding authorizations.

In accordance with the LGEEPA Reforms Decree, emissions of noise, vibrations, thermal energy will be prohibited, Intrusive Light and the generation of visual pollution, as soon as they exceed the maximum limits established in the Mexican Official Standards issued by SEMARNAT for this purpose.

Maximum emission limits for noise, vibrations, thermal energy, Intrusive Light and the generation of visual contamination will be established taking into consideration the values of maximum permissible concentration of contaminants for human beings in the environment determined by the Ministry of Health.

The federal or local authorities, according to their sphere of competence, will adopt measures to prevent the violation of such limits and, if applicable, will apply the corresponding sanctions.

In the construction of works or facilities that generate thermal energy, Intrusive LightIn the operation or functioning of existing works or facilities, preventive and corrective actions must be carried out to avoid the harmful effects of such pollutants on the ecological balance and the environment.

SEMARNAT shall issue within a period not to exceed 12 months, starting on January 19, 2021, [January 19, 2022The Mexican Official Standard that establishes the maximum limits of emissions regulated by the Decree.

 

B. LGPGIR Reform Decree.

The LGPGIR Reform Decree incorporates provisions on waste co-processing.

Shall mean:

a) Thermovalorization, the use of organic waste for the generation of electric energy.

b) Sterilization Treatments, to the procedures that allow, by means of thermal radiation, the death or inactivation of the infectious agents contained in the hazardous waste.

c) Valorization, the principle and set of associated actions aimed at recovering the remaining value or calorific value of the materials that make up the waste, through their reincorporation into productive processes, under criteria of shared responsibility, integrated management and environmental, technological and economic efficiency.

d) Vulnerability, the set of conditions that limit the defense or buffering capacity in the face of a threatening situation and confer on human populations, ecosystems and assets a high degree of susceptibility to the adverse effects that may be caused by the handling of materials or wastes that, due to their volumes and intrinsic characteristics, are capable of causing damage to the environment.

Waste co-processing and incineration activities will be restricted to the conditions established in the Regulations of the General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Waste ("LGPGIR") and in the corresponding Official Mexican Standards.

The Regulations of the LGPGIR and the Mexican Official Standards shall:

a) Stipulate the levels of efficiency and effectiveness to be achieved by the processes, and the environmental parameters to be met in order to verify the prevention or reduction of the release of polluting substances into the environment, particularly those that are toxic.

b) Include specifications regarding the analytical characterization of wastes susceptible to co-processing, as well as incineration and the ashes resulting from incineration.

c) Include specifications regarding the periodic monitoring of all emissions subject to Mexican Official Standards, the costs of which will be assumed by those responsible for the co-processing or incineration plants.

Waste co-processing should follow the waste management hierarchy determined by SEMARNAT, and consider the best available techniques for reasons of technical feasibility, economic viability, or environmental protection.

In the event that the waste is not susceptible to reuse or recycling, but is suitable for co-processing in industrial production processes, according to the provisions of the Regulations of the LGPGIR and the applicable Mexican Official Standards; such co-processing may be considered part of the industrial production process itself, without prejudice to the applicable provisions set forth in the Quality Infrastructure Law.

Within 180 days after the entry into force of the LGPGIR Reforms Decree [July 19, 2021In order to comply with the provisions of this decree, the legislatures of the States and Mexico City must adapt the corresponding local laws to comply with the provisions of said decree.

SEMARNAT, within a period not to exceed 365 calendar days from the date of entry into force of the LGPGIR Reform Decree [January 19, 2022The Mexican Government will issue the amendments to the LGPGIR Regulation, as well as the corresponding Mexican Official Standards, which establish the provisions that restrict and regulate the activities of co-processing and incineration of waste.

SEMARNAT will consider the obligations of the companies that carry out co-processing activities, as well as incineration, in the matters of registration of emissions and transfer of pollutants and registration of compounds and greenhouse gases, established in the LGEEPA and its regulations, and in the General Law on Climate Change and its Regulations on the National Registry of Emissions; to publish, on its web page and other means of communication that it considers pertinent, during the first 10 days of the month of December of each year, the regulated emissions produced by the companies that carry out authorized activities, in accordance with the provisions of the LGPGIR and the LGPGIR Reforms Decree; co-processing activities, as well as hazardous waste incineration.

 

The lawyers of the Environmental Law, National Waters and Climate Change practice of the Firm are at your disposal to answer any questions regarding the contents of this document.

 

A T T E N T A M E N T,

 

Daniel Del Rio

delrio@basham.com.mx

 

Ricardo Evangelista

revangelista@basham.com.mx

 

Mariana Arrieta

marrieta@basham.com.mx