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Paragraphs in "North American Agreement On Environmental Cooperation" coded as SECF

Label Provision
Art.8 Article 8: The Commission
Art.8.1 1. The Parties hereby establish the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
Art.8.2 2. The Commission shall comprise a Council, a Secretariat and a Joint Public Advisory Committee.
Sect.A Section A: The Council
Art.11 Article 11: Secretariat Structure and Procedures
Art.11.1 1. The Secretariat shall be headed by an Executive Director, who shall be chosen by the Council for a three-year term, which may be renewed by the Council for one additional three- year term. The position of Executive Director shall rotate consecutively between nationals of each Party. The Council may remove the Executive Director solely for cause.
Art.11.2 2. The Executive Director shall appoint and supervise the staff of the Secretariat, regulate their powers and duties and fix their remuneration in accordance with general standards to be established by the Council. The general standards shall provide that:
Art.11.2.a (a) staff shall be appointed and retained, and their conditions of employment shall be determined, strictly on the basis of efficiency, competence and integrity;
Art.11.2.b (b) in appointing staff, the Executive Director shall take into account lists of candidates prepared by the Parties and by the Joint Public Advisory Committee;
Art.11.2.c (c) due regard shall be paid to the importance of recruiting an equitable proportion of the professional staff from among the nationals of each Party; and
Art.11.2.d (d) the Executive Director shall inform the Council of all appointments.
Art.11.3 3. The Council may decide, by a two-thirds vote, to reject any appointment that does not meet the general standards. Any such decision shall be made and held in confidence.
Art.11.4 4. In the performance of their duties, the Executive Director and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or any other authority external to the Council. Each Party shall respect the international character of the responsibilities of the Executive Director and the staff and shall not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Art.11.5 5. The Secretariat shall provide technical, administrative and operational support to the Council and to committees and groups established by the Council, and such other support as the Council may direct.
Art.11.6 6. The Executive Director shall submit for the approval of the Council the annual program and budget of the Commission, including provision for proposed cooperative activities and for the Secretariat to respond to contingencies.
Art.11.7 7. The Secretariat shall, as appropriate, provide the Parties and the public information on where they may receive technical advice and expertise with respect to environmental matters.
Art.11.8 8. The Secretariat shall safeguard:
Art.11.8.a (a) from disclosure information it receives that could identify a non-governmental organization or person making a submission if the person or organization so requests or the Secretariat otherwise considers it appropriate; and
Art.11.8.b (b) from public disclosure any information it receives from any non-governmental organization or person where the information is designated by that non-governmental organization or person as confidential or proprietary.
Art.12 Article 12: Annual Report of the Commission
Art.12.1 1. The Secretariat shall prepare an annual report of the Commission in accordance with instructions from the Council. The Secretariat shall submit a draft of the report for review by the Council. The final report shall be released publicly.
Art.12.2 2. The report shall cover:
Art.12.2.a (a) activities and expenses of the Commission during the previous year;
Art.12.2.b (b) the approved program and budget of the Commission for the subsequent year;
Art.12.2.c (c) the actions taken by each Party in connection with its obligations under this Agreement, including data on the Party's environmental enforcement activities;
Art.12.2.d (d) relevant views and information submitted by non-governmental organizations and persons, including summary data regarding submissions, and any other relevant information the Council deems appropriate;
Art.12.2.e (e) recommendations made on any matter within the scope of this Agreement; and
Art.12.2.f (f) any other matter that the Council instructs the Secretariat to include.
Art.12.3 3. The report shall periodically address the state of the environment in the territories of the Parties.
Art.13 Article 13: Secretariat Reports
Art.13.1 1. The Secretariat may prepare a report for the Council on any matter within the scope of the annual program. Should the Secretariat wish to prepare a report on any other environmental matter related to the cooperative functions of this Agreement, it shall notify the Council and may proceed unless, within 30 days of such notification, the Council objects by a two-thirds vote to the preparation of the report. Such other environmental matters shall not include issues related to whether a Party has failed to enforce its environmental laws and regulations. Where the Secretariat does not have specific expertise in the matter under review, it shall obtain the assistance of one or more independent experts of recognized experience in the matter to assist in the preparation of the report.
Art.13.2 2. In preparing such a report, the Secretariat may draw upon any relevant technical, scientific or other information, including information:
Art.13.2.a (a) that is publicly available;
Art.13.2.b (b) submitted by interested non-governmental organizations and persons;
Art.13.2.c (c) submitted by the Joint Public Advisory Committee;
Art.13.2.d (d) furnished by a Party;
Art.13.2.e (e) gathered through public consultations, such as conferences, seminars and symposia; or
Art.13.2.f (f) developed by the Secretariat, or by independent experts engaged pursuant to paragraph 1.
Art.13.3 3. The Secretariat shall submit its report to the Council, which shall make it publicly available, normally within 60 days following its submission, unless the Council otherwise decides.
Art.14 Article 14: Submissions on Enforcement Matters
Art.14.1 1. The Secretariat may consider a submission from any non-governmental organization or person asserting that a Party is failing to effectively enforce its environmental law, if the Secretariat finds that the submission:
Art.14.1.a (a) is in writing in a language designated by that Party in a notification to the Secretariat;
Art.14.1.b (b) clearly identifies the person or organization making the submission;
Art.14.1.c (c) provides sufficient information to allow the Secretariat to review the submission, including any documentary evidence on which the submission may be based;
Art.14.1.d (d) appears to be aimed at promoting enforcement rather than at harassing industry;
Art.14.1.e (e) indicates that the matter has been communicated in writing to the relevant authorities of the Party and indicates the Party's response, if any; and
Art.14.1.f (f) is filed by a person or organization residing or established in the territory of a Party.
Art.14.2 2. Where the Secretariat determines that a submission meets the criteria set out in paragraph 1, the Secretariat shall determine whether the submission merits requesting a response from the Party. In deciding whether to request a response, the Secretariat shall be guided by whether:
Art.14.2.a (a) the submission alleges harm to the person or organization making the submission;
Art.14.2.b (b) the submission, alone or in combination with other submissions, raises matters whose further study in this process would advance the goals of this Agreement;
Art.14.2.c (c) private remedies available under the Party's law have been pursued; and
Art.14.2.d (d) the submission is drawn exclusively from mass media reports.
Art.14.2.ex Where the Secretariat makes such a request, it shall forward to the Party a copy of the submission and any supporting information provided with the submission.
Art.14.3 3. The Party shall advise the Secretariat within 30 days or, in exceptional circumstances and on notification to the Secretariat, within 60 days of delivery of the request:
Art.14.3.a (a) whether the matter is the subject of a pending judicial or administrative proceeding, in which case the Secretariat shall proceed no further; and
Art.14.3.b (b) of any other information that the Party wishes to submit, such as
Art.14.3.b.i i) whether the matter was previously the subject of a judicial or administrative proceeding, and
Art.14.3.b.ii ii) whether private remedies in connection with the matter are available to the person or organization making the submission and whether they have been pursued.
Art.15 Article 15: Factual Record
Art.15.1 1. If the Secretariat considers that the submission, in the light of any response provided by the Party, warrants developing a factual record, the Secretariat shall so inform the Council and provide its reasons.
Art.15.2 2. The Secretariat shall prepare a factual record if the Council, by a two-thirds vote, instructs it to do so.
Art.15.3 3. The preparation of a factual record by the Secretariat pursuant to this Article shall be without prejudice to any further steps that may be taken with respect to any submission.
Art.15.4 4. In preparing a factual record, the Secretariat shall consider any information furnished by a Party and may consider any relevant technical, scientific or other information:
Art.15.4.a (a) that is publicly available;
Art.15.4.b (b) submitted by interested non-governmental organizations or persons;
Art.15.4.c (c) submitted by the Joint Public Advisory Committee; or
Art.15.4.d (d) developed by the Secretariat or by independent experts.
Art.15.5 5. The Secretariat shall submit a draft factual record to the Council. Any Party may provide comments on the accuracy of the draft within 45 days thereafter.
Art.15.6 6. The Secretariat shall incorporate, as appropriate, any such comments in the final factual record and submit it to the Council.
Art.15.7 7. The Council may, by a two-thirds vote, make the final factual record publicly available, normally within 60 days following its submission.
Sect.C.7 Section C: Advisory Committees
Art.16 Article 16: Joint Public Advisory Committee
Art.16.1 1. The Joint Public Advisory Committee shall comprise 15 members, unless the Council otherwise decides. Each Party or, if the Party so decides, its National Advisory Committee convened under Article 17, shall appoint an equal number of members.
Art.16.2 2. The Council shall establish the rules of procedure for the Joint Public Advisory Committee, which shall choose its own chair.
Art.16.3 3. The Joint Public Advisory Committee shall convene at least once a year at the time of the regular session of the Council and at such other times as the Council, or the Committee's chair with the consent of a majority of its members, may decide.
Art.16.4 4. The Joint Public Advisory Committee may provide advice to the Council on any matter within the scope of this Agreement, including on any documents provided to it under paragraph 6, and on the implementation and further elaboration of this Agreement, and may perform such other functions as the Council may direct.
Art.16.5 5. The Joint Public Advisory Committee may provide relevant technical, scientific or other information to the Secretariat, including for purposes of developing a factual record under Article 15. The Secretariat shall forward to the Council copies of any such information.
Art.16.6 6. The Secretariat shall provide to the Joint Public Advisory Committee at the time they are submitted to the Council copies of the proposed annual program and budget of the Commission, the draft annual report, and any report the Secretariat prepares pursuant to Article 13.
Art.16.7 7. The Council may, by a two-thirds vote, make a factual record available to the Joint Public Advisory Committee.
Art.21 Article 21: Provision of Information
Art.21.1 1. On request of the Council or the Secretariat, each Party shall, in accordance with its law, provide such information as the Council or the Secretariat may require, including:
Art.21.1.a (a) promptly making available any information in its possession required for the preparation of a report or factual record, including compliance and enforcement data; and
Art.21.1.b (b) taking all reasonable steps to make available any other such information requested.
Art.21.2 2. If a Party considers that a request for information from the Secretariat is excessive or otherwise unduly burdensome, it may so notify the Council. The Secretariat shall revise the scope of its request to comply with any limitations established by the Council by a two-thirds vote.
Art.21.3 3. If a Party does not make available information requested by the Secretariat, as may be limited pursuant to paragraph 2, it shall promptly advise the Secretariat of its reasons in writing.