From reducing mobile source emissions, to connecting households to drinking water and wastewater services, to clean-up efforts of streams and canals, the United States and Mexico have made a joint effort to protect both human health and the environment in their shared 2,000 mile border region.
The bi-national entities along with various stakeholders created the Border 2012 agreement to help identify and control environmental concerns and public health challenges. As the agreement expires this year, a new Border 2020 agreement was renewed and signed today by US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Mexico’s Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources Juan Elvira Quesada.
“Addressing the environmental issues along the border has long been a priority we share with our colleagues in Mexico, because we know that environmental degradation, pollution, and the diseases they trigger don’t stop at the national boundaries,” said Jackson.
The Border 2020 program works to reduce pollution in water, air, and on land, reduce exposure to chemicals from accidental releases or terrorism, and improve environmental stewardship.
Over the next eight years, the Border 2020 Environmental program will work towards significant improvements that will focus on five key areas:
Reducing air pollution in bi-national air sheds by promoting vehicle inspection programs and road paving, and encouraging anti-idling technologies such as diesel truck electrification at ports-of-entry.
Improving access to clean and safe water as well as improving water quality in the bi-national watersheds.
Promoting materials and waste management, and addressing contaminated sites as well as management practices for addressing electronics, lead acid batteries, tires, and trash.
Enhancing joint preparedness for environmental and emergency response.
Enhancing compliance assurance and environmental stewardship.
The Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental program will protect the environment and public health for 10 states on both sides of the border, including 26 U.S. tribes and seven groups of Mexican indigenous people.
Article by Allison Winter, appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.