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 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,” says 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 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.
Five key areas of focus for the program:
- 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.