In 2009, the Mexican Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources issued the Official Mexican Standard NOM-157-SEMARNAT-2009 to establish the elements and procedures applicable to mining waste management plans. This standard was reviewed in a public consultation process. The consultation finished on 15 August 2011 with a final version of the rules.
This Official Standard establishes the elements and procedures that must be considered to formulate and apply a mining waste management plan. This standard seeks to prevent mining waste generation and promote the recovery of waste. It also looks to foster a comprehensive waste management plan through new processes, methods, and technologies that are economically, technically, and environmentally feasible.
According to this Official Standard, a mining waste management plan must include:
- The identification of the generator,
- The objectives of the management plan,
- The period of time that the generation of waste is estimated to last and, therefore, the validity of the management plan,
- The program of activities,
- The modality of the management plan, and
- The description of the management plan object.