May 24, 2024

Air Pollution Alert Declared in the Metropolitan Area of Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Holland & Knight Alert
Claudia Georgina García | Mariana Salinas

The Official Gazette of the Constitutional Government of the Free and Sovereign State of Nuevo Leon, on April 2, 2024, published the Secretary of Health of Nuevo Leon’s "Agreement declaring an Atmospheric Pollution Alert" in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Contents of the Agreement

The agreement mentions various repercussions of climate change, especially in Nuevo Leon, which have been characterized by higher temperatures and reduced rainfall. These changes also have had an impact on the population by aggravating circulatory and respiratory diseases, as well as increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes and various cancers, among others.

Therefore, an air pollution alert has been declared in the metropolitan area of Nuevo Leon. It seeks to establish urgent measures to safeguard the air quality of the state, urging different sectors to comply with the following actions:


Industrial Establishment

Systems and Equipment:

  • Maintain anti-pollution systems operating optimally
  • Install equipment and systems with the most advanced technology worldwide to control pollutant emissions into the atmosphere, so that they do not exceed the maximum permissible levels, according to the Environmental Law of the State of Nuevo Leon (Ley Ambiental del Estado de Nuevo León or Environmental Law)

Good Practices:

  • Minimize the generation of particulate matter in all activities
  • Dampen and clean areas of yards and internal and external roads adjacent to facilities
  • Do not have uncovered or non-humidified bulk particulate material storage areas
  • Do not use blowers to clean yards and internal and external roads adjacent to facilities
  • Dampen and keep clean all construction sites
  • Dampen before sweeping or cleaning yards and roads inside and outside facilities to avoid dust resuspension
  • Maintain road and non-road mobile sources in good condition; tune up and maintain vehicles and ensure that they have catalytic converters

Prohibitions and Controls:

  • Burning of waste and tires is prohibited except in cases where there is authorization for their use as fuel
  • Industry must comply with the maximum permissible limits established in the Mexican Official Standards (Normas Oficiales Mexicanas or NOMs) or State Standards (Normas Estatales)
  • Companies extracting and exploiting stone material (quarries) must maintain strict controls and avoid particle emissions in all their operations
  • Vehicles transporting particulate material must have a humidified material, an airtight box and a tarp or cover that completely covers the upper part, so that no material spills occur
  • Vehicles transporting concrete must not have any material spillage


Development Plans:

  • Establish in their urban development plans the establishment of collective transportation systems and other means of high energy and environmental efficiency in terms of the Environmental Law
  • Apply in their urban development plans the general criteria for the protection of the atmosphere established in the Environmental Law
  • Establish operating guidelines for establishments that operate as businesses and services under municipal jurisdiction

Application Activities:

  • Divert vehicles in areas of high vehicular contingency and road works
  • Remove ostensibly polluting vehicles from circulation
  • Require those responsible for the operation of establishments that operate as businesses and services under municipal jurisdiction not to exceed the maximum permissible limits of pollutant emissions, in accordance with the Environmental Law


  • Ensure that units transporting materials on public roads are in good physical and mechanical condition
  • Verify humidification at construction sites to prevent the dispersion of particles in terms of the State Environmental Standard NAESDS-002-2019
  • Perform inspection and surveillance of commercial and service establishments
  • Ensure that waste burning activities and the use of pyrotechnics are not carried out

General Public

Personal Vehicle:

  • Do not remove the catalytic converter from your car
  • Have your car tuned and properly maintained
  • Do not have damage to the muffler or any part of the exhaust from the engine to the point of emission

Best Practices and Recommendations:

  • Keep doors and windows closed in homes or work centers
  • Keep lights and electrical appliances turned off when they are not being used
  • Do not keep parked vehicles turned on
  • Do not wait for long periods of time outside schools with vehicles running
  • Use low-emission public passenger transportation
  • Carpool with others who have the same route
  • Do not use the car for short distances


  • It is forbidden to burn waste or tires

Relevant Considerations

Days of No Circulation: The executive of the state instructs the secretary of environment of the State of Nuevo Leon, so that in coordination with the applicable agencies, they may restrict and subject to night hours the vehicular traffic and the respective maneuvers on public roads of cargo vehicles to expedite vehicular circulation and reduce polluting emissions.

Infractions and Security Measures: The agreement instructs the State Environmental Attorney's Office (Procuraduría Estatal de Protección al Medio Ambiente or PROFEPA) to impose the corresponding measures in case of verifying fixed or mobile sources of contamination.

Entry into Force: The agreement entered into force on April 2, 2024.

Holland & Knight's team of professionals can assist you in analyzing the specific effects on your company's activities and, based on this, consider the applicable legal actions and remedies. Please contact the authors for more information.

Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your Holland & Knight representative or other competent legal counsel.

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