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U.S. and Mexico kick off new Border 2020 Environmental Program

Posted on August 17, 2012

U.S. and Mexico kick off new Border 2020 Environmental Program

The heads of the federal environmental agencies in Mexico and the United States met in Tijuana on August 8th to sign a historic Agreement to give continuity to the Border 2012 Program and establish commitments for the new U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program.

Border 2020 officialy startsThe program's National Coordinators, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Mexico’s Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources Juan Rafael Elvira, signed this agreement which is a continuation of environmental cooperation along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira in his participation at the inauguration ceremony.For Lisa Jackson, this mechanism reflects the spirit of the 1983 La Paz Agreement and the signing of this new agreement provides a “new beginning” to a program that has allowed SEMARNAT and EPA to improve environmental conditions and public health in this region. She said that “disease and pollution know no political boundaries, and the work we do together in the border region is critical for the lives of U.S. and Mexico residents.”

Secretaries Elvira and Jackson, US Ambassador in Mexico, Governor Osuna, the head of Profepa’s, Hernando Guerero, Enrique Lendo and Efrain NieblasDuring his remarks, Secretary Elvira said that under the framework of Border 2012, over 140 projects have been implemented to reduce water, air, and soil pollution; protect environmental health, address environmental emergency preparedness and response, and promote environmental compliance, benefitting more than 14 million border residents. He said Border 2020 launches a new platform to address environmental challenges within a framework of trust and binational collaboration. These are projects that represent an investment of more than US $2 billion in Mexico, where the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) have been critical funding instruments.

Secretary Elvira underscored that compliance with the program’s goals should be measured comparatively through the use of indicators.

The most significant accomplishments of the Border 2012 Program include:

  • Removal of more than 6.8 million scrap tires, including the cleanup of the Centinela and INNOR scrap tire dumpsites in Mexicali, Baja California (which, along with Juarez, were considered the largest dumpsites in the border region).
  • Cleanup of the Scrap Tire Collection Facility in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua (which is still in process).
  • Appropriate disposal of 673,300 tons of urban solid waste, as well as 570 tons of electronic waste.
  • Establishment of a binational air quality monitoring network in the Tijuana-San Diego, Mexicali-Imperial Valley, and Ciudad Juarez-El Paso regions.
  • Implementation of training programs for farmers and their families, primarily in underserved communities, to educate them on the proper handling of pesticides, cleaning products, and other hazardous substances in work sites and households.

Comments made during the ceremony indicated that under the Border 2020 Program, the United States and Mexico will work together on the basis of six fundamental strategies: capacity building on climate change; protect disadvantaged communities; improve children’s health; promote environmental health; and strengthen tribal, state, federal, and international partnerships to supplement the programs’ mission and strategic goals.

In his remarks, the Governor of Baja California recognized the work of the BECC and the NADB, two agencies that, as Secretary Elvira mentioned during an interview, are key partners in this binational environmental program.

Maria Elena Giner from BECC and Alex Hinojosa from NADB at the Air Policy ForumThe BECC’s General Manager had a significant role in various work groups during the three-day long Border 2020 National Coordinators meeting held from Tuesday, August 7th through Thursday, August 8th. On Tuesday she met in San Diego with the binational water group, including representatives from the EPA and Mexico’s National Water Commission. On August 8th she participated in some of the Air Policy Forum meetings, where she presented a status report on the climate change program sponsored by this agency in the six Mexican border states, as well as in one of the three plenary meetings hosted later that day by the joint delegation, with representatives of the border states, tribal nations and native communities, and the various partners and representatives of the Border 2020 National Coordinators.

During the plenary session to formally close this binational meeting –one of the best ever held in the border region given the quality of the presentations and the strategic and innovative vision displayed by the different work tables— the co-chairs of the different work groups presented two-year action plans proposed for this program.




Other BECC News

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May 07, 2018 - The heads of the federal environmental agencies in Mexico and the United States met in Tijuana on August 8th to sign a historic Agreement to give continuity to the Border 2012 Program and establish commitments for the new U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program.

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March 16, 2018 - The heads of the federal environmental agencies in Mexico and the United States met in Tijuana on August 8th to sign a historic Agreement to give continuity to the Border 2012 Program and establish commitments for the new U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program.

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December 14, 2017 - The heads of the federal environmental agencies in Mexico and the United States met in Tijuana on August 8th to sign a historic Agreement to give continuity to the Border 2012 Program and establish commitments for the new U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program.

Financing approved for Nogales Water and Wastewater System Expansion and Improvement Project

December 14, 2017 - The heads of the federal environmental agencies in Mexico and the United States met in Tijuana on August 8th to sign a historic Agreement to give continuity to the Border 2012 Program and establish commitments for the new U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program.