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Volume 24, Issue 8 — August 1994


Mexico's Legal System of Environmental Protection

by Anne Rowley

Editors' Summary: Nongovernmental organizations and other critics of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have raised serious environmental concerns about Mexico's participation in NAFTA. The U.S. EPA has attempted to address these concerns by evaluating Mexican environmental laws, regulations, and standards. This Article is based on EPA's evaluation and provides a general overview of Mexico's environmental legal system, although its does not review Mexico's state and local environmental laws or its federal mechanisms for environmental law enforcement. The author examines Mexico's environmental government institutions; public participation mechanisms; and approach to environmental impact assessment, air pollution control, water pollution control, waste management, pesticides and toxic substances control, and environmental contingency planning and emergency response. The author concludes that Mexico has established the foundation of a credible legal framework to control environmental contamination, which if fully implemented and enforced, can provide relatively high levels of environmental protection.

A Practitioner's Guide to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act: Part I

by Linda J. Fisher, Peter L. Winik, Carolyne R. Hathaway, Ann Claassen, Jeffrey Holmstead

Editors' Summary: Since 1910, the federal government has played a role in regulating pesticides. At first, the motive was to fight fraud, but as pesticides became more sophisticated and as environmental concerns grew, the government's regulatory efforts became more comprehensive. Now, near the dawn of bioengineered pesticides, with society confronting and reevaluating environmental risks, and with agencies facing fiscal challenges, pesticide regulation continues to evolve. It is a field of concern to the pesticide industry, of course, but in U.S. society, pesticides have a marked impact on almost everyone's food supplies, water, housing, and health.

This Article is the first of a three-part series explaining pesticide regulation. This installment gives a capsule history and overview of FIFRA, followed by discussions of federal jurisdiction over pesticides, labeling and packaging requirements, and the overarching requirement of pesticide registration. Future installments will examine end-user requirements, food tolerance regulations, state authority, emerging biotechnology regulation, and other issues.


Trustee Liability Under CERCLA

by F. James Handley

Trustees face possible liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) because, as holders of legal title to property, they may be "owners" or "operators" of CERCLA facilities. Although CERCLA does not expressly address trustee liability and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, except for a brief mention in the preamble to its lender liability rule, has not formally addressed the subject, common-law trust principles support finding trustees liable for CERCLA damages in certain situations. This Dialogue examines the scope of trustee liability and the extent to which a trustee's personal assets may be exposed in cases where the trust is liable.