\        UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
                             WASHINGTON. D.C. 20460
                                                                         OFFICE OF
                                                                      THE ADMINISTRATOR
                                 May 15, 2006
The Head Librarian
EPA's Headquarter Library
Room 3340 EPA West Building
MC: 3404T
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Librarian:

      Enclosed are two copies of the 2005 reports of the U.S. National Advisory
Committee (NAC) and the U.S. Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). This
notification is provided to you in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act
(FACA) Section 13.
NAC Advice letters:

   •   Advice letter:  May 20, 2005
   •   Advice letter:  November 16, 2005

GAC Advice letters:

   •   Advice letter:  May 19, 2005
   •   Advice letter:  November 22, 2005
                                 Sincerely,
                                 Oscar Carrillo
                                 Designated Federal Officer
                                                                   Recycled/Recyclable
                                                                   Printed with Soy/Canola Ink on paper that
                                                                   contains at least 50% recycled fiber

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    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO                                 UCSD

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BERKELEY • DAVIS • IRVINE • LOS ANGELES • RIVERSIDE • SAN DIEGO • SAN FRANCISCO      Sff i  J»Ei    SANTA BARBARA • SANTA CRUZ
MARIA DOLORES WESSON
                                                                 COASTAL OBSERVING RESEARCH S. DEVELOPMCNTCENTER
                                                                                     MARINE PHYSICAL LABORA TOR^
                                                                              SCRIPPS iNsrn u i ION OF OCEANOGRApm
                                                                                 LAJOLLA  CALIFORNIA 92093-0202 USA
                                                                                               Phone (855)5.3-4.8041
                                                                                            E-niail tlwiSMjnffEiicsJ ulti


                                                                                   November 16,2005


The Honorable Stephen Johnson
Administrator, U S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N W.
Washington, D C  20460

Dear Administrator Johnson

        The National Advisory Committee (NAC) to the U S Representative to the North American
Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) held its twenty-fifth meeting on October 20 and 21. 2005, in
San Diego, California  First, we want to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you at the CEC Council
Session in Quebec City II is always an honor to meet with you at the Council Sessions

        We would also like to express our sinceie giatitude to all the government officials who took the time to
attend the meeting and brief us on various aspects of the CEC's work, including Jerry Clifford, and Nadtya Ruiz
from the EPA Office oflnternational Affairs  We would also like to thank Rafael De Leon, Oscar Carnllo,
Nancy Bradley, and Geraldme Brown from the EPA Office of Cooperative Environmental Management for
organizing and staffing the meeting. We very much appreciated the participation of Doug Wright from the CEC
Secretarial and Jane Gardner from the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) We would also like to thank
Acting Director Barbara McLeod  from the Office of International Environmental Policy, for her thoughtful
response to our May 21st letter

        In addition, we want to thank John ICnox, professor at Pennsylvania State  Dickinson School of Law for
his many years of vision, leadership, and dedication to the CEC  Mr  Knox steps down as NAC chair after
serving in this capacity for six years and we thank him for his many outstanding contributions to the CEC ovet
its first decade and for his academic contributions to the field. Also stepping down from the NAC are Wilma
Subra with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Robert Shinn Jr with S2 Concepts, and Cesar Luna
with the Envuonmenlal Health Coalition  We thank them all for their many significant contributions Stephen
Mahfood also steps down as chair of the GAC, and we thank him loo for his leadership and commitment

        We would like to (hank Eric Tcrnll from Scnpps Institution of Oceanography foi his presentation on
ocean applications in Southern California of the Integrated Ocean Observing System, a timely presentation as we
continue discussions on implementing the information for the decision-making pillar outlined in the Puebla
Declaration and on the development of an integrated strategy foi information within the CEC  And finally, we ,
thank Clay Philips, Jeff Crooks and Oscar Romo from the Tijuana National Estuarme Research Reseive for a
very informative field trip to the Tijuana estuary that  shed light on the many environmental challenges of the
border region

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         We spent most of our time and attention at the meeting discussing four interrelated topics and the
corresponding supporting documents prepared for the NAC and GAC by EPA's Office of International Affairs
These topics are as follows  1) private sector involvement, 2) the CEC budget, 3) the future role of the working
groups, and, 4) publications reform We understand the priority and urgency, expressed in particular by Jerry
Clifford,  in moving forward swiftly with the development of a strategy in the next few months on how to re-
engage and invigorate the participation of the private sector in the activities of the CEC.  It is clear  that these
issues and ideas will maintain their relevance to the U S government in the next year and we look forward to
assisting  EPA while continuing to reflect on how best to achieve this objective

        The NAC noted the effort made by the Office of International Affairs to develop documents in support
of the issues of relevance and the priorities on which the US government seeks the advice of the NAC and GAC
These documents and others developed by the CEC do shed light on the questions we have been  asked to debate
and advise on, and we thank the  staff for this effort

         We were very pleased to hear, albeit mfoimally, that the Mexican government was  re-considering its
original decision to cut its funding contribution to the CEC, and hope that these funding uncertainties will
disappear as the role and value of the CEC and its important accomplishments over its short history become
belter known to the citizens of North America

         We hope our advice is useful to EPA and other government officials as we continue to think about the
long-term implementation of the Puebla Declaration, the CEC strategic plan, and the operational plans for 2005
and 2006 Our next committee meeting will be April 6-7, 2006 in Washington, D C  Thank you for your
continued support of the CEC and the opportunity to advise you on these matters


                                                        Very truly yours,
                                                        M  Dolores Wesson
                                                        Chair, National Advisoiy Committee
 cc       Judith Ayres, Assistant Administrator for International Affair
         Jerry Clifford, Deputy Assistant Administrator for International Affairs
         Placido Dos Santos, Chair, U.S Governmental Advisory Committee
         Jane Gardner, Chair, Joint Public Advisory Committee
         Jean Perras, Chair, Canadian National Advisory Committee
         John Knox, Past Chair, National Advisory Committee
         Members of the U S  National Advisory Committee
                 Dennis Aigner                   Aldo Morell
                 Michael Andrews                 Carlos Perez
                 Karen Chapman                  Anne Perrault
                 Irasema Coronado                Glen Pricket!
                 Adam Greene                    Chris Wold
                 Richard Guimond

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                              National Advisory Committee
                             to the U.S. Representative to the
                       Commission for Environmental Cooperation
  Advice 2005-5 (November 16, 2005):  Response to EPA on private sector involvement

       The NAC spent considerable time discussing the issue of private sector
involvement at this meeting, an issue that had also been the focus of its last meeting. A
priority of the U.S. government, as stated at this meeting, is to conceptualize a strategy
that will further the involvement of multinational companies in Mexico and build new
partnerships with the private sector. The timing for this goal is for actions to be defined
by the next Council Session in June 2006

       The NAC was pleased to see that the notes for the Business Roundtable on
Environmental Capacity, convened by the NAC and GAC on April 27 in Washington DC,
have been distributed and are now posted on the NAC-GAC website housed by the Office
of Cooperative Environmental Management (OCEM).  This meeting brought together a
number of multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and government
agencies working on capacity-building in Mexico and highlighting partnerships and
programs that  can serve as models for replication in other industries or venues.

       The NAC noted that, given the many potential  areas for partnerships that are
critical to Mexico (e g., industrial waste, health, manufacturing.. ), greening the supply
chain is a good way to think about private sector involvement for the time being. Many
multinationals are currently engaged in developing and implementing these kinds of
programs; the NAC noted that it is appropriate and cost-effective for the CEC to leverage
and build on these ongoing activities

       Thus far it appears that involvement from the Mexican government in these
private industry programs has been limited; this is one aspect that the CEC may be able to
address more readily than private industry itself by using its  contacts to raise awareness
about these programs and by building capacity within governmental agencies and
industry at the same time.  It was pointed out that the CEC has several ongoing projects
that share many similarities with this focus including its Greening Supply Chains Project,
which should also be borne in mind as these initiatives are fleshed out and developed
Given the limited  resources of the CEC, as well as  the large potential for positive and
widespread change, the NAC recommends again that collaborations with the private
sector be  focused on greening the supply chain because of the potential for impacting
many industries along the way while catalyzing sound management and green practices
in multiple sectors of the Mexican economy

       The NAC also noted that there are many opportunities to work to create links
between the private sector and academic institutions in the three countries  These
partnerships have not been fully tapped and should be considered in the formulation of
any strategy with  the private sector.

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       There was wide agreement on the following points discussed by the NAC. The
theme of private sector involvement is not new to the CEC  Many activities are currently
taking place around partnerships with the private sector; there should be a concerted
effort to ensure that all these actions are coordinated and moving in the same direction.
Any new activities or programs should build upon ongoing projects and past activities,
such as the ideas presented at the meeting sponsored by the NAC-GAC on April 27, 2005,
and the JPAC workshop held during its Twelfth Session in Montreal entitled "Needs and
Opportunities for Capacity Building among Private and Non-Prof it Sectors" on June 21,
2005. The CEC is currently engaged in several projects related to private sector
involvement; efforts undertaken by the parries should be consistent with and
complementary to ongoing CEC activities.  Finally, the NAC expressed concern that
EPA's Office of International Affairs might move ahead without Canada or Mexico in
announcing private sector projects to promote capacity-building. All actions aimed at
working with the private sector should strive to include not just the CEC Secretariat and
JPAC, but also reach out and engage Canada and Mexico to ensure that the benefits of
these partnerships with the private sector are leveraged across all three countries.

       Action item: The NAC agreed to take the lead in convening a small ad hoc
committee of its members and invite participation of the GAC; the charge of the
committee ivill be to outline a strategy on how best to involve the private sector in
capacity-building in Mexico.  The goal of the ad hoc committee will be to draft a short
white paper outlining a course of action to be implemented before the next Council
session in June 2006. This ad hoc committee of the NAC and GAC will work between now
and June to advise the U.S. government on designing a strategy for private sector
involvement on greening the supply chain that is complementary to current CEC
activities and reaches out to Canadian and Mexican multinational companies and
governmental agencies as necessary. It is important that this white paper is taken into
consideration prior to moving fonuard on the U.S. Proposal for Private Sector
Participation in CEC Activities.

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                              National Advisory Committee
                             to the U.S. Representative to the
                       Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Advice 2005-6 (November 16, 2005): Response to EPA on budget reform

      The N AC discussions on the budget were focused on: a) general budget levels, b) the
potential budget cut resulting from Mexico's contribution being in question for the time being,
and c) the notion that in real terms the budget of the CEC has diminished over the last decade
due to the disadvantageous exchange rate of the Canadian dollar and the impacts of inflation.
The effects of the shrinking budget on the activities of the CEC have often been discussed. The
NAC noted the importance of encouraging the Mexican government in all ways possible to
continue its commitment and contribution to the CEC as laid out in the NAAEC agreement  We
will continue to think about how best to make the programs of the CEC relevant to the needs
and priorities of Mexico.

      Related to this last issue is the notion of better tracking and reporting of the
accomplishments of the CEC over its history. Tracking success stories and lessons learned
might add to the administrative burden of the Secretariat, but will undoubtedly make it easier
to explain and justify the existence and value of the CEC, particularly in times of changing
administrations in all three counties. (Some examples of successes cited in the discussion are the
banning of DDT in Mexico, and the Metales y Derwados Submission under Articles 14 and 15
case in Tijuana, which is now being addressed with the participation of the local community )

      With regard to the specific question posed to the NAC on relevant financial reporting
models that it may suggest for adoption by the CEC Secretariat, the NAC believes that this is
an area where an open dialogue between the CEC staff and the Parties should ensure that
financial information is provided in a mutually agreed-upon manner Many models are
available to choose from that will provide the level of detail desired.  The UNEP budget
proposed by the Office of International Affairs is one such model.  However, the course of
action should be dictated by a practical approach and a commitment to move towards a
system of reporting that is acceptable to all parties, meets international standards, and is
easily implemented with the resources available to the Secretariat and the staff charged with
this work. A suggested approach is to build on the method now in existence, improving it
until a level of detail in reporting is reached that is acceptable, useful and not unduly
burdensome.

      In general, the NAC believes that this issue is well on its way to being resolved in a
successful manner and does not see the need to provide further advice at this time.

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                              National Advisory Committee
                             to the U.S. Representative to the
                       Commission for Environmental Cooperation

 Advice 2005-7 (November 16, 2005): Response to EPA on trie future role of working groups
     During our discussions on the role of working groups, the NAC was unclear on which
working groups were covered by the proposals by the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Article 9(5)
of the NAAEC provides that the Council may "establish, and assign responsibilities to, ad hoc
or standing committees, working groups or expert groups." In addition, Article 13 of the
NAAEC allows the Secretariat to "obtain assistance of one or more independent experts of
recognized experience in the matter to assist in the preparation of the report." Under Article
15, the Secretariat may consider information developed by independent experts when
preparing a factual record. The NAC was left with the impression that the US proposal was
using "working group" as a general term to cover all these situations. However, it is also
possible that the U.S. proposal only relates to working groups established by the Council
pursuant to Article 9(5). This point should be clarified in future discussions.

     The NAC supports the continued independence of the Secretariat to obtain
independent expert advice to support Article 13 reports and Article 14/15 factual records
The 10(6) working group established pursuant to the NAAEC should continue its current
work and configuration Hence, our recommendations below only relate to working groups
established under Article 9(5).

      On the issue of the continued existence of the working groups as they are presently
configured, the NAC unanimously believes that the existence of the working groups under
Article 9(5) should support the three pillars laid  out in the Puebla Declaration and in the new
Strategic Plan of the CEC. No doubt the current working groups have achieved many
objectives and are in large part responsible for many important successes. However, moving
in the directions established in  the Puebla Declaration will require the creation of new and
flexible  working groups to address emerging program needs in concert with the new work
program of the CEC.  In summary, the NAC feels there is a clear need for working groups
under Article 9(5). However, the structure and functioning of these working groups needs to
be simplified and harmonized; their roles and reporting lines should be clear to all.

      Recommendation: The NAC supports the dissolution of all working groups (except
10(6)) and the creation of new ones at the discretion of the Secretariat and the Council that
will more adequately support the new three pillars: trade and environment, information for
decision-making and capacity-building.

      'Working groups in all cases should have clearly defined charters, terms of reference
as well  as reporting lines  and procedures that are clear to all Tlie NAC further recommends
that the composition and tenure of the working group experts be publicly available on the
CEC web site to facilitate communication within and among countries as well as ivith the
Secretariat.

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                            National Advisory Committee
                            to the U.S. Representative to the
                      Commission for Environmental Cooperation

     Advice 2005- 8 (November 16, 2005): Response to the EPA on publications reform
       The NAC believes that the quality of CEC publications is an issue of fundamental
importance to the reputation and credibility of the CEC. This point cannot be sufficiently
emphasized, particularly in light of the fact that the development of information is a core
function of the CEC The NAC has provided detailed advice on this issue in its most recent
letter and sees this as an issue that will require very detailed and careful attention by the
Secretariat and the parties alike, both in the near future and until it is fully resolved  (See
Advice 2005-3, May 20, 2005).

       The NAC was pleased  to see progress in the development of a framework for the
quality management of all its publications, undertaken with the participation of all three
parties  A draft prepared by the Scientific Integrity and Quality Assurance Experts Group,
entitled "Framework for Quality Management Proposed for the CEC" and dated June 16,
2005, is now available. This draft includes detailed provisions for addressing all the different
information products produced by the CEC: Council documents, reports of various kinds,
program documents, JPAC documents and web publications. This draft framework includes
guidelines for quality control in a graded approach recognizing that different products
require different levels of scrutiny and review. Guidelines for scientific peer review, an issue
the NAC is keenly interested in tracking, are also addressed.  Unfortunately, this draft
document was not submitted to the NAC in time for comment at its last meeting

     The NAC was asked to comment on a draft entitled "CEC Supplemental Publications
Procedures " The NAC strongly supports the idea that work should continue on the
formulation of a clear framework for quality assurance of all information products.  A short,
concise and clear set of guidelines should be developed and agreed upon by all parties and
implemented as soon as possible. However, there was broad consensus on the NAC that it is
hard to know what exactly would be accomplished with the language proposed in this draft
document.  The text is unclear and allows for different interpretations; after considerable
discussion, we were unable to agree on what the intent is in several paragraphs.

     There was serious concern expressed with the issue of whether this language deviates
from the NAAEC, or would perhaps be redundant if adopted. For example, Paragraph 7 of
the US proposal provides that the Secretariat cannot release press releases and newsletters
without the "express approval from the Council," even if that press release relates solely to
the functioning of the Secretariat. This presumption of nondisclosure is at odds with Article
l(h) of the NAAEC, which states that one objective of the NAAEC is to "promote
transparency and publication participation in the development of environmental laws,
regulations and policies." In summary, the NAC believes that this document, as written, will
not bring clarity to this issue.

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       Recommendation: The NAC recommends development of a framework where all
information products are identified at the planning stage from a list of categories akin to the
ones described in the draft "CEC Supplemental Publications Procedures". As the product
develops over time, previously determined guidelines will dictate the level of review and
scrutiny required for that category. Once these guidelines are clearly established, all
questions related to the quality  of information products can be more easily addressed
throughout the development of the product, from start to finish. Once again, a well-defined
process for scientific peer review should be clearly articulated within the guidelines.

       Once these guidelines are developed, the NAC recommends that they should be
prominently displayed and accessible on the CEC web site. They may also be of great value in
building capacity throughout North America, inasmuch as they address issues of quality
assurance and control for information products that are not unique to the CEC.

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                              National Advisory Committee
                             to the U.S. Representative to the
                       Commission for Environmental Cooperation

 Advice 2005-9 (November 16, 2005): Status of the CEC Secretariat operational plan for
                      2005-2006, and budgets for 2005 and 2006
      The NAC spent some time discussing the status of the operational plan for 2005 and
2006 We did not have time to discuss the content of the plan nor any of the proposed programs
although this would have been important and useful task for the NAC to undertake. The NAC
was very pleased to see that its advice on project life cycle has been of use and is being followed
in large part In particular, as part of this operational plan, some projects are now scheduled for
termination, thus freeing up resources and staff to begin new projects  In keeping with its role
as a catalyst, the NAC has previously urged the CEC to terminate projects that have run their
course, along the lines of what has now come to be known as the 'conveyor belt' concept  (See
Advice 2004-1, May 5, 2004 ) In essence the argument put forth by the NAC proposed that the
CEC should transition towards a portfolio of projects with a finite life span of several years, and
not continue projects indefinitely as it had largely done in the past. Identifying in advance
partners and users for the transfer of these projects and for long-term operations and
maintenance is essential for the success of this 'conveyor belt' concept.

      The NAC recognizes that the CEC is living through a period of transition as the Council,
the Secretariat and the JPAC work to implement new policies and procedures that build on the
TRAC report and on the Puebla Declaration. However, at the time of the NAC meeting, the
2005-2006 operational plan was still awaiting final approval by the Council.  In addition,
discussions on the 2005 budget were still ongoing, its final status still unresolved

      It was unclear why approval of the 2005 and now the 2006 budget have been delayed to
such an extent  This delay has added serious challenges to the management of the CEC
Needless to say, this impacts the effective implementation of all its programs. The NAC
strongly urges  the U S. government to make approval of the operational plan for 2005 and 2006,
as well as the budgets for 2005 and 2006 a top priority. Both should be approved as a matter of
urgency. In general, the operational plan and the budget for any given year should be
approved well in advance of the corresponding fiscal year. This is a matter of fundamental
importance for the smooth functioning and credibility of  the CEC.

      Recommendation: The operational plans for the CEC should be drafted and circulated
by the Secretariat months before the start of the pertinent fiscal year. Approval by the Council
should be finalized months before the start of that fiscal year. Similarly the Council should
approve budgets well in advance of the fiscal year. A calendar for this process, if it does not
already exist, should be developed as soon as possible and should be strictly adhered to by the
Secretariat and the Council. The amount of time between the drafting, submittal and approval
of these plans and budgets should be predetermined and set as part of this calendar.

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