Profepa, DF govt complicit in failure to close Bordo Poniente - expert

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mexico's federal district (DF) government is flagrantly violating environmental laws in its failure to close or make plans for the closure of the Bordo Poniente landfill, Ramon Ojeda, general secretary of the international court of arbitration and environmental conciliation, told BNamericas.

Questioned recently about garbage disposal strategies following the planned closure of the landfill, DF mayor Marcelo Ebrard remained vague. The DF and federal governments had agreed to close the site by the end of this year.

The landfill, one of the largest in the world, is located in federal territory. National environmental protection agency Profepa "is complicit with the DF government in failing to close the site," according to Ojeda.

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Ebrard, who has said he will run for president in 2012 with the left-wing PRD party, should not be allowed to be a candidate given his "failure to respect environmental laws," Ojeda added.

The expert calls for the matter to be brought to international courts, and claims that dangerous waste is still being deposited in the landfill in contravention of NAFTA and article 428 of the Mexican federal criminal code.

Ojeda proposes the involvement of private enterprise to clean up the site, with a cost he estimates at 2bn pesos (US$164mn).

KCSM, the Mexican subsidiary of US rail company Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), has expressed interest in transporting garbage from Bordo Poniente via its existing rail networks to a site that complies with environmental regulation.

For now, the site should be closed immediately because it is a health hazard and "doing irreversible damage to the area's aquifers and air quality," Ojeda said.