Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: In particular, Mexico is in need of certain components for vehicles that transport hazardous waste.
The Clean Industry Program was launched in Mexico in 1992; this program is one of the Mexican government’s pillars of enforcement strategy, along with inspections and citizen complaints. Companies volunteering to join the program pay for an environmental audit by an accredited third-party inspector. The audits assess both plants’ compliance with relevant environmental regulations and their adherence to international environmental management best practices not covered by regulations.
Mexico’s environmental law has six sections: (i) General provisions, (ii) Biodiversity, (iii) Sustainable advantages of the natural elements, (iv) Protection of the environment, (v) Social participation and environmental information, and (vi) Control measures, security measures and sanctions. The Law has been supplemented with regulations in the following areas: environmental impact, toxic waste, prevention and control of atmospheric pollution; vehicles circulating in Mexico City and the metropolitan area; and generation of noise.
In addition to the law and its regulations, most Mexican states and municipalities have adopted their own environmental laws. An amendment to the law was published in 1996, expanding the law's purpose to include concepts such as the preservation of biodiversity and the establishment of specific environmental policies. The amendment also introduced the concept of sustainable preservation of natural resources.
Mexico does not yet have a culture of garbage separation or recycling. A garbage separation measure was piloted in 1996 in Mexico City, but did not take hold, and the government is considering new measures to encourage people to separate and recycle their trash. The government now runs a swap market where people can take paper, glass, plastic and aluminum in return for tokens that can be swapped for locally grown food and plants.
The General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Hazardous Waste was published in 2003. This law has the objective of guaranteeing the right of all persons to an adequate environment, and encourages sustainable development through reduction and management of hazardous and solid waste.
One of the most important issues regarding hazardous waste is its transportation. The rules for the transportation of hazardous waste and materials were published in 1993, establishing standards for labeling and marking containers as well as standards for the vehicles used to move these materials. It also established standards for handlers, generators and recipients of hazardous waste or materials. In spite of these regulations, Mexico lacks manufacturers of certain components to protect the transport vehicles; therefore, both vehicles and personnel in charge of transporting this waste are not properly protected.
This presents an opportunity for Wisconsin companies. However, companies wanting to take advantage of this opportunity must work with Mexican companies that have government authorization to transport hazardous waste. At present, there are an average of 5 to 10 companies authorized by the government to do this in each Mexican state. Wisconsin’s trade representative for Mexico is available to help Wisconsin companies identify and connect with their Mexican counterparts.