About Good Neighbor Environmental Board
Origins of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board
The Good Neighbor Environmental Board (GNEB) was created by the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative Act of 1992 (EAIA) (7 U.S. Code Section 5404) to advise the President and the Congress about environmental and infrastructure issues and needs within the states contiguous to Mexico.
The Act requires that the board membership include representatives from appropriate U.S Government agencies; the governments of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas; and private organizations, including community development, academic, health, environmental, and other non-governmental entities with expertise on environmental and infrastructure problems along the southwest border.
The statute requires the GNEB to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress. The GNEB has submitted reports in October 1995, April 1997, and July 1998. The GNEB's 1997 [and 1998]report[s] also were translated into Spanish and widely disseminated on both sides of the border.
A presidential executive order delegates implementation authority to the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The GNEB operates under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and meets three times annually at locations along the U.S./Mexico border.
Overview of The Good Neighbor Environmental Board
The Good Neighbor Environmental Board is an independent federal advisory committee. Its mission is to advise the President and Congress of the United States on good neighbor practices along the U.S. border with Mexico. Its recommendations are focused on environmental and infrastructure needs within the States of the United States contiguous to Mexico. Good Neighbor does not carry out any specific border program. Rather, its role is to step back as an expert, concerned observer and strategically analyze the big picture when it comes to the problems the border region faces as well as the opportunities at hand.
Board members include representatives from eight federal government agencies and from each of the four U.S. border states -- Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. The combined expertise at the table reflects perspectives from many U.S. sectors including federal, tribal, state, and local government; non-governmental; academic institutions; and businesses. Good Neighbor also confers regularly with Mexican organizations including The Region 1 National Advisory Council for Sustainable Development (Consejo). It meets three times a year at various border locations.
Good Neighbor submits its advice to the President and Congress in the form of reports containing recommendations for action. Its first report was published in 1995. Since that time, it has continued to provide an objective, consensus-based voice on strategic approaches for addressing U.S.-Mexico border issues. Recurring themes in its guidance include the following: focus on areas of greatest need; better integrate existing projects; support new initiatives that provide added value; involve many different organizations early on and throughout the process; and institute an underlying, environmentally sustainable framework as the basis for making decisions.
The Good Neighbor Environmental Board is managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Its meetings are open to the public. For more information, contact the Designated Federal Officer of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board at (202) 564-2294.