Canada-U.S. Uniform Transboundary Pollution Reciprocal Access Act (Model Law)

In 1982, a liaison committee of the U.S. National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the Canadian Uniform Law Conference drafted a model law entitled the Uniform Transboundary Pollution Reciprocal Access Act. Its key provision states that “[a] person who suffers, or is threatened with, injury to his person or property in a reciprocating jurisdiction …   Continue readingCanada-U.S. Uniform Transboundary Pollution Reciprocal Access Act (Model Law)

Patagonia’s Commitments to Protect the Environment and Human Rights

Patagonia, a manufacturer of outdoor clothing and equipment, has implemented innovative initiatives to promote environmental protection and human rights. For example, in 2008, Patagonia began conducting full environmental and social audits of its suppliers. The audit screens companies against Patagonia’s Code of Conduct and its Social and Environmental Compliance …   Continue readingPatagonia’s Commitments to Protect the Environment and Human Rights

The Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States have collaborated in protecting North America's environment through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which came into force at the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAAEC established an intergovernmental organization, the Commission for Environmental …   Continue readingThe Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

(Espoo) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context

The Espoo Convention, which entered into force in 1997, obligates its Parties to assess the environmental impacts of certain activities that may cause transboundary environmental harm at an early stage of planning. The Convention also obligates States to notify and consult with affected States with respect to certain proposed projects that are likely to have a significant …   Continue reading(Espoo) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context

The Submissions on Enforcement Matters Process of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States have collaborated in protecting North America’s environment through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which came into force at the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Articles 14 and 15 of the NAAEC provide for a procedure known as the Submissions on Enforcement …   Continue readingThe Submissions on Enforcement Matters Process of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Citizen Suit Provisions in Environmental Law

Many of the federal environmental laws in the United States allow members of the public to initiate lawsuits in federal court against actors, including corporations, that violate requirements imposed pursuant to federal environmental laws and regulations. Although these provisions are colloquially referred to as authorizations for “citizen suits,” they do not require …   Continue readingCitizen Suit Provisions in Environmental Law

The Taking Stock Programme of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States have collaborated in protecting North America's environment through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which came into force at the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAAEC established an intergovernmental organization, the Commission for Environmental …   Continue readingThe Taking Stock Programme of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Community Advisory Groups

The purpose of a Community Advisory Group (CAG) is to provide a public forum for community members to present and discuss their needs and concerns relating to the U.S. government’s program to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. CAGs can assist the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in making better decisions on how to clean up a hazardous waste …   Continue readingCommunity Advisory Groups

Measures of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to Protect Environmental Human Rights Defenders

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court), which applies and interprets the American Convention on Human Rights in respect to the 20 State Parties that have agreed to the Court’s contentious jurisdiction, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the organ responsible for promoting the observance and defence of human rights in all Member …   Continue readingMeasures of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to Protect Environmental Human Rights Defenders

Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

The purpose of Executive Order 12898 is to focus federal attention on the environmental and human health effects of federal actions, especially on members of minority and low-income groups, as well as on indigenous peoples, with the goal of achieving environmental protection for all communities. The Executive Order requires federal agencies to identify and address any …   Continue readingExecutive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

Mexican Consejos Consultivos para el Desarrollo Sustentable/Consultative Councils for Sustainable Development

Articles 157 and 159 of the Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente (Environmental Framework Law) establish that the national government must promote public participation in the planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of environmental and natural resource policy. The Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría …   Continue readingMexican Consejos Consultivos para el Desarrollo Sustentable/Consultative Councils for Sustainable Development

United States’ National Historic Preservation Act

The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which was enacted in 1966, aims to preserve historic and archaeological properties by requiring federal agencies to consider the effects of their actions on such properties. The NHPA requires federal agencies to determine whether a proposed project is an “undertaking” which has the potential to affect historic sites, …   Continue readingUnited States’ National Historic Preservation Act

Mexico’s Indice de Participacion Ciudadana del Sector Ambiental (IPC) or Environmental Public Participation Index

Articles 157 y 159 of the Mexican Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente (Environmental Framework Law) establish that the national government must promote public participation in the planning, implementation, evaluation and monitoring of environmental and natural resource policy. The Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) …   Continue readingMexico’s Indice de Participacion Ciudadana del Sector Ambiental (IPC) or Environmental Public Participation Index

Mexican National Human Rights Commission’s Environmental Actions

In Mexico, the Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) has played an important part in addressing environmental harms. A constitutional reform in 1999 gave the CNDH full autonomy as an agency with its own budget. The mandate of the CNDH is to “protect, observe, promote, study, and disseminate the human rights protected by the Mexican legal system.” To this …   Continue readingMexican National Human Rights Commission’s Environmental Actions

Decision of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice: Amparo No. 631/2012 (Independencia Aqueduct)

The Yacqui Tribe from Sonora, Mexico, filed an amparo action against the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT/Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) concerning the construction of the Independencia aqueduct, which is designed to remove 60 million cubic metres of water from the Yaqui River to supply water to the city of Hermosillo. …   Continue readingDecision of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice: Amparo No. 631/2012 (Independencia Aqueduct)

New York City’s Environmental Quality Review Technical Guidelines

he City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) Technical Manual assists city agencies, project sponsors and the public in conducting environmental reviews subject to CEQR procedures. CEQR requires city agencies to assess, disclose and mitigate to the greatest extent practicable the significant environmental consequences of their decisions to fund, undertake or approve a …   Continue readingNew York City’s Environmental Quality Review Technical Guidelines

Ontario’s Environmental Registry

The province of Ontario has created a web-based Environmental Registry where the public can access a wide spectrum of environmental-related information. The Environmental Registry was created pursuant to the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights, a comprehensive law whose purpose is, among other things, to protect the right to a healthful environment. …   Continue readingOntario’s Environmental Registry