Communities in the Mexican port city of Veracruz are celebrating a decision this week by the state environmental authority (SEMARNAT) that shelved short-sighted plans for a new landfill that threatened wetlands and a biological corridor. News reports say leachate from the old landfill was polluting local waterways and authorities closed the landfill in August.
“The city proposed the new landfill right next to the old one!” says Ximena Ramos, Regional Director for Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA).
The ELAW science team worked with Ximena to review the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed new landfill. Among other weaknesses, ELAW scientists found that the study failed to properly assess the potential impacts of the landfill’s leachate on water resources. Ximena shared this information with authorities.
SEMARNAT announced this week that the site of the proposed new landfill was inappropriate because it is in an urban wetland and biological corridor that serves to protect against storms, hurricanes, and saltwater intrusion.
“This decision sets a good precedent for other municipalities,” says Ximena. “It encourages them to prepare good waste management plans and select appropriate sites for landfills.”
For more information, see:
SEMARNAT niega autorización para nuevo relleno sanitario de Veracruz
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide