US, Mexico Sign Agreement Addressing High Priority Border Issues

Agreement will address high priority environmental, public health problems

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson joined Mexico’s Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources Juan Elvira Quesada to sign the Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental program agreement. The Border 2020 agreement, developed with significant stakeholder input, will work to address high priority environmental and public health problems in the 2,000-mile border region. It follows the Border 2012 environmental agreement which ends this year.

"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 EPA Administrator Lisa P. 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. It is the latest environmental program implemented under the 1983 U.S.-Mexico La Paz Agreement. It builds on the Border 2012 program and encourages meaningful participation from communities and local stakeholders through regional task forces.

Over the next eight years, the Border 2020 Environmental program will work toward significant improvements that will focus on five key areas:

  1. 1. Reducing air pollution in binational air sheds by promoting vehicle inspection programs and road paving, and encouraging anti-idling technologies such as diesel truck electrification at ports-of-entry
  3. 2. Improving access to clean and safe water as well as improving water quality in the binational watersheds.
  5. 3. Promoting materials and waste management, and addressing contaminated sites as well as management practices for addressing electronics, lead acid batteries, tires and trash.
  7. 4. Enhancing joint preparedness for environmental and emergency response.
  9. 5. Enhancing compliance assurance and environmental stewardship.
  11. The new Border 2020 program also strengthens its focus in regional areas where environmental improvements are needed most: establishing realistic and concrete goals, supporting the implementation of projects, considering new fundamental strategies and encouraging the achievement of more ambitious environmental and public health goals.

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