The United States and Mexico have signed an agreement to address environmental and public health issues, including waste management, along the border of the two countries.
The Washington-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mexico’s Environment and Natural Resources office agreed to the accord, Border 2020. The program will focus on five areas in the next eight years, including waste management practices regarding electronics, lead acid batteries, tires and trash. It will address contaminated sites as well, the agency said in a news release.
The other areas of emphasis will be reducing air pollution with vehicles; improving water quality; joint emergency response preparedness; and enhancing compliance assurance and environmental stewardship.
The agreement covering the 2,000 mile border between the United States and Mexico builds on the Border 2012 program, which ends this year. It encourages participation from communities and local stakeholders through regional task forces.
It was signed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Mexico’s Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources, Juan Elvira Quesada.
"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,” Jackson said.