Introduction Unlike U.S. environmental legislation, which governs different environmental media and was instituted through various congressional Acts, 1 the current Mexican environmental legislation, implemented in 1988, covers the principal environmental media in one law. 2 This one law contains most of the implementation and enforcement mechanisms including the regulation of hazardous substances. There has been much debate and concern on both sides of the United States-Mexican border regarding Mexico's ability to strictly enforce its hazardous substance regulations. Furthermore, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which established an international Commission on Environmental Quality, will influence future use of trade laws to uphold environmental standards. Because of the considerable international attention focused on Mexico's environmental policy and its enforcement, this Note presents an overview of Mexico's regulation of hazardous substances as well as the legal mechanisms generally available to deal with problems arising from the use or possession of hazardous substances. Where possible, relevant insights will be offered regarding similar U.S. laws, as will discussion of the limits or potential flaws in the Mexican regulations. Part I provides an overview of Mexico's environmental policy and the legal instruments available to implement its regulations. Part II outlines the specific provisions in Mexican law that regulate hazardous substances. Part III discusses the available enforcement mechanisms, and Part IV analyzes the prospects for the use of toxic torts litigation in Mexico. I. Overview of the Mexican Environmental Legal Framework Environmental law in Mexico has been characterized as health-based, standard-setting law 3 and ...

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