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New EPA US-Mexico Border Environmental Health Report Details Successes

By Kirsten E. Silven - 27 Mar 2011 16:21:0 GMT
New EPA US-Mexico Border Environmental Health Report Details Successes

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked with the Mexican Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment to compile information about a number of projects that have been taking place among border communities to protect the public health. The bi-national initiative, dubbed ''The Border 2012 Program,'' it has been successful in promoting clean air and drinking water by reducing exposure to toxic waste and updating measures that are in place for disaster preparedness along the border between the US and Mexico.

''The Border 2012 Program showcases what two neighboring countries can do when they have a shared goal to protect health and clean up the environment. This program continues to be a model of collaboration and this report hightlights what can be accomplished when we work together for one mission,'' stated Michelle DePass, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs. ''As the national program coordinator, I am glad to collaborate with our state and local government partners, US tribal nations and Mexican indigenous communities, and other stakeholders as we work to improve public health in our border communities.''

The of the Border 2012 Program includes:

The Dia del Rio initiative has been created to promote bi-national watershed awareness and to encourage public participation in the Colorado-Rio Grande watershed. Since its inception, more than 25,000 people from both the US and Mexico have participated in the initiative, taking part in river cleanups, tree plantings, art exhibits and education.

Improving air quality has been another goal of the program, which has forged partnerships with the University of Texas at El Paso to develop new ways to improve air quality. As part of these efforts, they have monitored traffic patterns to determine the impact of travel on air quality and pollution.

In addition, more than 56,000 pounds of unused agricultural pesticides have been collected by state and federal agencies, while industries have been encouraged to recycle obsolete electronics and machinery.

The Border 2012 Program affects 10 states along more than 2,000 miles of borderland. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/usmexicoborder.