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North America

Foreign-Investor Protection and the Environment: A NAFTA Chapter 11 Update

Imagine you run a Canadian company that mines precious metals. Your company owns a U.S. subsidiary that holds unpatented mining claims on federal lands known as the California Desert Conservation Area. You're optimistic that the U.S....

Issues Relating to Articles 14 and 15 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation

I. Introduction and Methodology

A. Mandate

In November 2001, the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) requested that...

The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation and Transboundary Pollution

Transboundary pollution in North America has received international attention for over 90 years. Famous, or infamous, examples from the past include the sulfur dioxide emitted by a smelter near Trail, British Columbia in the 1920s; the...

Ontario and U.S. Safe Drinking Water Acts in Comparison and Contrast: How Ontario Should Regulate for Public Confidence

In May 2000, in a town of 4,800 people in southern Ontario, 7 people died and more than 2,300 became seriously ill from drinking tap water contaminated with Escherichia coli (e-coli). The loss of life and the staggering degree of...

Walkerton: Its Impact on Groundwater Protection Law in Canada

In May 2000, the unthinkable happened; individuals living in Canada became ill, some fatally, from drinking tap water contaminated with a toxic strain of Escherichia coli (e-coli).1 Walkerton, a small...

The Precautionary Principle in Canada: The First Decade

In June 2001, the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada cited the precautionary principle1 as a principle of international law and policy and concluded that municipal power to regulate pesticides is...

NAFTA's Investment Protections and the Division of Authority for Land Use and Environmental Controls

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)1 contains various "investor protections," including a provision requiring signatory governments to compensate property owners if the government either...

Awkward Evolution: Citizen Enforcement at the North American Environmental Commission

The Lessons Learned Report: A Time to Reassess

The debate in the early 1990s over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)1 was extremely contentious in Canada, Mexico, and the...

Paying to Regulate: A Guide to Methanex v. United States & NAFTA Investor Rights

I. The Importance of Methanex v. United States to American States

Methanex v. United States1 is one of the first cases brought against the United States under the investment chapter...

Reconciling Environmental Protection and Investor Rights Under Chapter 11 of NAFTA

I. Introduction1

Many concerns have been expressed recently regarding the likely conflicts between the extensive protections given to investors and investments under Chapter 11 of the North...