Analysis of Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation: chapter 2
Part Two: Obligations
This Part contains the commitments that Parties make with respect to their own jurisdiction. While respectful of national sovereignty, taken as a whole, these obligations direct a Party to establish and maintain a comprehensive, accountable, open and transparent environmental management system.
Article 2: General Commitments states that each Party shall periodically report on the state of the environment,;develop environmental emergency preparedness measures; promote environmental education; further environmental science and technology development; assess environmental impacts; and promote economic instruments to achieve environmental goals. It obliges Parties to consider implementing in their law any limits for specific pollutants agreed by the Council of the Canada-Chile Environmental Cooperation Commission and to consider prohibiting the export to the other Party of any pesticides or toxic substances whose use they have prohibited. It also obliges Parties to notify the other Party when such use of a pesticide or toxic substance has been prohibited or severely restricted.
Article 3: Levels of Protection recognizes the right of each Party to establish its own domestic levels of environmental protection, environmental development policies, and environmental laws and regulations. Each Party shall ensure its laws and regulations provide for high levels of environmental protection and shall strive to improve them.
Article 4: Publication contributes to openess and transparency. Parties shall ensure their laws, regulations procedures and administrative rulings are promptly published and, to the extent possible, shall publish proposed measures in advance and provide interested persons an opportunitv to comment.
Article 5: Government Enforcement Actions is a key article in the Agreement. Parties commit to effectively enforce their environmental laws and regulations through appropriate government action. The article provides 12 examples of appropriate government action such as; appointing and training inspectors; monitoring compliance and investigating suspected violations; seeking voluntary compliance agreements; promoting environmental audits; encouraging mediation and arbitration; using licenses, permits and authorizations; initiating judicial, quasijudicial and administrative enforcement proceedings; providing for search and seizure; and issuing administrative orders.
The article specifies that Parties shall ensure that judicial, quasijudicial or administrative proceedings are available to sanction or remedy violations of environmental laws and that sanctions and remedies are appropriate and include compliance agreements, fines, imprisonment, injunctions, closure of facilities and the cost of containing or cleaning up pollution.
Article 6: Private Access to Remedies The Agreement requires that each Party shall ensure that interested persons can request the investigation of alleged violations of environmental laws and that these requests be given due consideration in accordance with law. In addition, each Party shall ensure appropriate access to enforcement-related administrative, quasijudicial and judicial proceedings for persons with a legally recognized interest.
Private remedies shall include; rights to sue for damages; to seek sanctions or remedies; to request a Party take action to enforce environmental laws and regulations; and rights to seek injunctions.
Article 7: Procedural Guarantees addresses fairness, openness and equitability in administrative, quasijudicial or judicial proceedings. Each Party shall ensure such proceedings comply with the law, are open to the public, and are not unnecessarily complicated. Each Party shall ensure that final decisions are made available, in writing, without undue delay, and are based on the evidence, and state the reasons for the decision. Each Party shall ensure that the tribunals that conduct such proceedings are imPartial and independent and the that Parties to such proceedings can seek review and, where warranted, correction of decisions.
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