The federal government plans to revive hazardous waste landfills in Guadalcazar, San Luis Potosi; Hermosillo, Sonora, and Zimapán, Hidalgo, whose closure a few years ago led to international disputes which Mexico lost and for which paid more than $ 600 million in compensation to businesses that were operating.

These facilities were designed to handle hazardous waste-that say that have features such as corrosivity, reactivity, explosivity, toxicity, flammability, or containing infectious agents, as well as packaging, containers, packaging and soils that have been contaminated when transferred to else- but ceased operations and were closed over the protests of activists, but have required preventive maintenance activities.

In a document sent by the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) to the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), dependency poses "to conduct the business projects using the facilities of the three exconfinamientos hazardous waste with a production order to benefit society, including the possibility, in case of legal, social and economically viable, these sites put into operation for the purpose for which they were conceived. "

According to the document to which he had access 24 HOURS, Luis Eduardo Avila Rueda, CEO of Integrated Materials Management and Activities of SEMARNAT, sent Treasury plan cost-effective last July 4, and will be the official responsible for reviving the exconfinamientos centers of CYTRAR in Hermosillo Sonora, the site of La Pedrera in Guadalcazar, San Luis Potosi and Hidalgo Zimapán site.

According to the document, since the closure of the facilities have undergone maintenance and remediation have involved "expenses and costs to the Federation which could be avoided in the future if a project viable future use is made according to the characteristics each site and the original vocation of each of these sites. "

SEMARNAT states that the final designs for the future use of the facilities of the former landfills will be quoted based on what results from the feasibility studies carried out in 2014 on the possible uses you can give to each one.

"Given that the three former landfills meet the criteria of the Norma Oficial Mexicana on hazardous waste landfills regarding the minimum distance to the population is not considered a potential population affected," says the document.

exceeded capacity

To date operating in the country only three centers for the containment of industrial hazardous waste and one that is under construction and whose operations are expected to begin next year.

SEMARNAT data indicate that occur in the country each year just over 972 000 million tons of hazardous waste, however, the current capacity of the three centers have a capacity of 1.4 million tons confining.

Active landfills are the Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, owned by Specialized Environmental Technology Company, with a capacity of 715 000 836 tonnes; the second in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, in charge of the company Industrial Waste Multiquim, accommodating 660 tons; and one in Chapala, Jalisco, with the capacity to 90 000 833 tons by Ciba-Geigy Mexicana.

Added to this, the company last May Ecological Society Northern Mexican initiated proceedings before the SEMARNAT to operate a new hazardous waste landfill in the town General Cepera in Coahuila, 70 kilometers from Saltillo.

In July, the agency approved the draft environmental impact presented by the company, although the date is not guaranteed the change of use of land through which the Federation evaluates the type of animals and plants that inhabit the area to determine if there are species protected and if relocation is required or not.

However, it is expected that by 2015 the new landfill is fully approved and to start its construction and subsequent operation.


Guadalcazar (The Pedrega), SLP

In 1990 and 1991, the US company Metalclad Corporation garnered around 20,000 tonnes of waste metalworking industries, chemical, pharmaceutical, agrochemical and automotive in the estate of 814 acres, known as La Pedrera.

The Ministry of Urban Development and Ecology of the state closed the facility on September 25, 1991, due to dissatisfaction and distrust of the population. The site was declared a protected area.

In August 2000, an arbitration panel of the Supreme Court of the Canadian Province of British Columbia Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute, under the World Bank issued the ruling that determined that Mexico had to compensate for the closure of Metalclad confinement.

In this case the government of Mexico had to pay 152 million pesos

Hermosillo (Cytar), Sonora

In the mid 80s, the Cytrar was built as an industrial waste landfill for low hazard by the Ford Plant. The landfill was originally approved by the National Institute of Ecology on December 7, 1988, which was given the name of "Industrial Parks of Sonora" with a duration of five years and only for regional waste.

In November 1997 the Spanish company Environmental Techniques (Tecmed) acquired land and obtained a federal license for the operation of the landfill of toxic waste called Cytrar.

In 1998, faced with social protest, SEMARNAT decides not to renew the operating license of the landfill. The company Tecmed Mexico sues for damages by the closure of Cytrar before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Mexico lost the case and had to pay the company Tecmed about 10 million dollars (85 million pesos).

Zimapan, Hidalgo

On November 11, 2004, SEMARNAT awarded Sustainable Development Systems (a company created by Abengoa and Cofides) authorization for the installation of a hazardous waste landfill in the municipality with a capacity to hold over 449 billion cubic meters toxic waste.

Due to the closure of facilities, derived from social protests, Cofides Abengoa and took the case to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which in 2013 forced the government of Mexico to compensate them with about 492 million Differences weights for expropriation, loss of earnings during the period for the plant, cost overruns, VAT refund and costs.