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Motor Vehicle Pollutant Emissions Training kicks off in Mexicali

Posted on April 23, 2014

Motor Vehicle Pollutant Emissions Training kicks off in Mexicali

The City of Mexicali formally kicked off a training program aimed at assessing motor vehicle pollutant emissions. The course was hosted by various officials and agencies currently working on the areas of environmental care and conservation throughout Mexico, the United States, and the U.S.-Mexico border.

 The training program was jointly sponsored by Mexico's Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the Baja California Secretariat of Environmental Protection (SPABC), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC).  

SEMARNAT's Assistant Planning Deputy, Maria de los Angeles Alvarez, said this is a very important activity, especially because Mexicali, given its geographic conditions and high degree of pollution, must ensure the use of qualified personnel that can eventually provide this training to employees of environmental inspection facilities. 

The federal official highlighted the importance of raising public awareness about the importance of exercising proper environmental care by having vehicles inspected and regarded this commitment as an environmentally responsible attitude and not merely a burden. BECC Project Manager Jorge Hernandez explained that his organization is a binational partnership working along the United States-Mexico border, which emerged in 1994 as a result of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The BECC representative explained that the organization has worked for the last twenty years to improve the environmental conditions of border communities, and also seeks to enhance the health of border residents by providing courses, certifying projects, and carrying out other environmental protection activities. 

Deisy Sugey Toledo, a lecturer at the Technological University of Tijuana who was among the more than twenty trainees who attended he course and works on air pollution monitoring research, said this course will help specialists to learn how to identify vehicle issues that cause pollutant emissions, so they may pinpoint specific malfunctions and prevent vehicles from polluting the air. This will eventually reduce the degree of pollution in the communities and will improve the health of local residents. Sugey Toledo expects to share the lessons learned during with course with her students.

This training is part of the U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program, which was established by the environmental authorities of both countries to develop actions aimed at protecting the environment and public health along the U.S.-Mexico border. A US $32,000 grant was provided by the binational environmental program to help implement the training course. 

Each year, eight thousand people die in Mexico as a result of diseases related to environmental pollution. Consequently, vehicle inspections should not be viewed as a political issue but rather, as a public health necessity, said Dr. Jose Luis Manzano Lafarga, the environmental consultant who provided the training.

The course was attended by approximately 25 people, some from automotive shops and specialized centers, or qualified technicians at institutional educations, who learned to identify in detail the components associated to pollutant emissions and how to make the appropriate corrections and repairs. The training included both classroom instruction and hands-on activities at the CECATI 84 campus in Mexicali, Baja California.

 In fulfilling its mandate, BECC works with all border environmental organizations, especially the state governments, to create environmental infrastructure, particularly for the sustainable management of pollutant emissions control actions. One of the elements required to comprehensively assess the impact of a pollutant emissions prevention program has to do with the correct operation of a motor vehicle inspection center. The opening ceremony was attended by Maria de los Angeles Alvarez, SEMARNAT Assistant Planning Deputy; Jose Luis Manzano, SEMARNAT Environmental Consultant; Luis Alberto Ocampo Blanco, SPA Planning Director; and Jorge Hernandez, BECC Project Manager. 




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