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20 April 2015
On August 18 2014 the Law of the National Agency for Industrial Safety and Protection of the Environment in the Hydrocarbons Sector was published in the Federal Official Gazette, as a consequence of the recent structural energy reform.
The comprehensive reform created the Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment (ASEA), a specialised, decentralised administrative body of the Secretariat of Environmental and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) dedicated to the environmental requirements of the hydrocarbons sector. Further, on October 31 2014 the ASEA internal regulations were enacted; these came into effect on March 2 2015, marking the formal start of ASEA's activities.
In general terms, ASEA has been granted the authority to design and implement all environmental and safety matters and policy in the oil and gas industry – with responsibility for granting the permits and licences required to execute projects from an environmental and safety standpoint – and to execute enforcement actions in all projects linked with the hydrocarbons sector.
ASEA's scope of authority and what should be understood as the 'hydrocarbons sector' are defined by the new Hydrocarbons Law, which covers the following activities:
ASEA is the authority in all safety matters and standards to be followed in oil and gas projects; it oversees the implementation and assessment of preventive policies and can penalise, suspend or even cancel projects that do not comply with such requirements – or that could otherwise cause accidents, damage or impairment to the environment or humans.
Regarding environmental matters, ASEA is competent to:
All matters associated with the exploitation of national waters required for projects related to the hydrocarbons sector – as well as wastewater discharges into national waters – will continue to be subject to the National Waters Law and its regulations and to fall under the jurisdiction of the National Water Commission.
Finally, although ASEA formally began its activities on March 2 2015, it is currently subject to a transitional phase, which requires the cooperation of SEMARNAT and the Federal Environmental Prosecutor for the purpose of:
For further information on this topic please contact Juan Francisco Torres Landa, Mario Jorge Yanez, Brenda Rogel Salgado or Jeanett Trad Nacif at Hogan Lovells BSTL, SC by telephone (+52 55 50910157 or +52 55 50910165) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
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