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    Mexico Proposes Reforming Its Environmental Audit Regime

    By Keith R | February 7, 2009

    Topics: Environmental Protection | No Comments »

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    I’ve written here before about Mexico’s unusual environmental audit regime.  Now the Federal Environment Prosecutor (Profepa) has released for public comment a proposed reform of the regulation governing the National Environmental Audit Program (Programa Nacional de Auditoría Ambiental – PNAA).

    Why?  Profepa says that the while the participants in the program have changed over time, PNAA’s assessment methodology and certification procedures have not changed to reflect its use by companies of all sizes (from micro to large multinational) in a wide range of goods and service sectors (and even, in some cases, municipalities).  [In the graphic at right (click to enlarge), yellow represents micro-enterprises, purple small, blue medium-sized and red large.]

    Furthermore, while originally intended for firms presenting high environmental risk [color red in the second bar graph (click to enlarge)], it is now dominated by firms with low environmental risk (blue in the bar graph).

    Profepa wants to make the audit more flexible and less costly for the smaller firms, tighten its timelines and its technical requirements for conducting audits, and to differentiate among types of certification.  One change, for example, allows firms wishing to participate to submit a “letter of commitment” rather than undertake and await the outcome of the often slow process of negotiating a formal covenant agreement with Profepa.

    The proposal also adds explicit requisites for those desiring to be approved by Profepa to act as environmental auditors.

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