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Bogdanova E.Yu. On the Need to Strengthen the Institute of Cross-Border Environmental Impact Assessment in the NAFTA

Bogdanova Ella Yuryevna

Candidate of Juridical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Law and Procedure,
Tambov State University named after G.R. Derzhavin
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Sovetskaya St., 181b, 392008 Tambov, Russian Federation


Abstract. More than 20 years ago Member States of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) developed NAFTA Agreement on environmental cooperation. The Agreement specifically pointed the need for the elaboration of the NAFTA Treaty on environmental impact assessment procedure (EIA). This article analyzes the national legislation of three NAFTA Member States (Mexico, Canada and the USA) in terms of regulating the transboundary EIA procedure at the federal level and the level of subjects of federations. The author comes to a conclusion about the need to elaborate the NAFTA Treaty on EIA in view of the availability of a number of legal gaps, and different approaches to the management of the EIA procedure, especially in view of the existence of a federal system of States. The NAFTA Treaty on EIA procedure may provide solutions to the following questions: creation of an interstate mechanism for exchange of information on the state of the environment; the definition of “significant harm”; development of a list of activities that fall under the requirements of the EIA; determination of the dispute settlement mechanism. It appears that Mexico, Canada and the USA must work together to solve these problems in accordance with international law in order to maintain environmental security in the region.

Key words: international environmental law, NAFTA, EIA, Espoo Convention, NAFTA Agreement on cooperation in the sphere of environmental cooperation, Canada’s legal system, Mexico’s legal system, USA’s legal system.

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