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  • Allison Stalker

Border 2020 Environmental Agreement

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

On August 8, 2012 the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator and the Mexican Environment and Natural Resources Secretary signed the Border 2020 Us-Mexico Environmental program agreement. The agreement, which follows the Border 2012 environmental agreement, will address high priority environmental and public health problems along the border of U.S.A. and Mexico.

“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. “Thanks to help from our partners in government, industry, academia and local communities, the Border 2020 agreement will build upon the significant progress already made, and families on both sides of the border will continue to benefit from cleaner, healthier communities for decades to come.”

The program contains six fundamental strategies and five long-term goals with objectives.

The six strategies include the following:

1. Working to Improve Children’s Health

2. Building Capacity towards Climate Change Resiliency

3. Protecting Disadvantaged & Underserved Communities

4. Promoting Environmental Awareness

5. Promoting Environmental Health

6. Strengthening Tribal, State, Federal and International Partnerships

These strategies will guide the program to achieve the following goals:

Goal #1: Reduce Air Pollution

• Continue to focus on air pollution reductions in binational airsheds

• By 2018, maintain effective air quality monitoring networks and timely access to air quality data

• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and alternatives or renewable energy projects

Goal #2: Improve Access to Clean and Safe Water

• By 2015, increase homes connected to safe drinking water (DW) and waste water (WW) treatment

• Help DW and WW utilities become more efficient and sustainable

• Reduce levels of metals, sediment, or bacteria entering rivers and watersheds

Goal #3: Promote Materials and Waste Management and Clean Sites

• Develop capacity to improve collection and recycling of e-waste, plastics, and trash

• Develop scrap tire pile prevention and recycling capacity

• Develop institutional capacity to clean up contaminated sites

• Continue to share information on border area hazardous waste facilities

Goal #4: Enhance Joint Preparedness for Environmental Response

• Update eight sister city joint contingency plans with risk identification and reduction of all hazards

• Facilitate easier trans-boundary movement of equipment and personnel

• Continue updating the U.S.-Mexico Joint Contingency Plan

Goal #5: Compliance Assurance and Environmental Stewardship

• Improve information sharing between enforcement agencies on the movement of hazardous waste across the border

• Use Toxics Release Inventory (in the U.S.) and the Emissions and Contaminant Transfer Registry (RETC, in Mexico) to identify top polluters of toxic releases

• Training and information exchange on laws and regulations of respective countries

The program is an extension of Border 2012, which ends this year. According to the EPA, Border 2012 achieved numerous things, “including connecting households to drinking water and wastewater services benefitting more than 8.5 million border residents. In addition, the program helped remove more than 12 million scrap tires from dump sites border wide and more than 75.5 metric tons of obsolete pesticides from rural areas in California, Sonora, and Tamaulipas.”

To learn more about Border 2020, click here.



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