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International Programs

Mexico Air Quality

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource. See updated information on EPA's work in Mexico.

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Border 2012

The US works extensively with Mexico along the U.S.-Mexico Border on air quality activities under Border 2012, a 10-year, binational environmental program for the U.S.-Mexico Border region. The Border 2012 program is the latest multi-year, binational planning effort to be implemented under the La Paz Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Center on Air Pollution for the U.S.-Mexico Border (CICA)

CICA provides bilingual (Spanish/English) technical support and assistance in evaluating air pollution problems along the US-Mexico Border.

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Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NadBank)

The North American Development Bank (NADB) Exit EPA disclaimer and its sister institution, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC)Exit EPA disclaimer , were created under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to address environmental issues in the U.S.-Mexico border region. The two institutions initiated operations under the November 1993 Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States Concerning the Establishment of a Border Environment Cooperation Commission and a North American Development Bank (the “Charter”).

The North American Development Bank (NadBank) Exit EPA disclaimer is a bilaterally-funded, international organization, capitalized and governed equally by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their joint border. Its mission is to serve as a binational partner and catalyst in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border in order to enhance the affordability, financing, long-term development and effective operation of infrastructure that promotes a clean, healthy environment for the citizens of the region.

The NADB can provide financial assistance to public and private entities involved in developing environmental infrastructure projects in the border region. Potable water supply, wastewater treatment and municipal solid waste management form the core sectors of the Bank’s activities and are its primary focus. However, assistance can also be provided in other areas—such as air quality, clean energy and hazardous waste—where sponsors are able to demonstrate tangible health and/or environmental benefits for residents living in the area.

The BECC identifies, supports, evaluates, and certifies sustainable environmental infrastructure projects along the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Created as interdependent institutions, NADB and BECC work as a team to develop integrated, sustainable and fiscally responsible projects with broad community support in a framework of close cooperation and coordination between Mexico and the United States. Within this partnership, BECC is charged with verifying the technical feasibility and environmental integrity of the projects seeking financing from the NADB, as well as ensuring community support for the project. Consequently, every project must pass through a public participation and certification process performed by the BECC, which is located in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.


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Mexico Integrated Environmental Strategies (IES) Program

The Integrated Environmental Strategies (IES) program engages developing countries to build support for integrated planning to address both local environmental concerns and associated global greenhouse gas emissions. The program promotes the analysis and local support for implementation of policy measures with multiple public health, economic and environmental benefits. To date, government agencies and research institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea have participated in the IES program.

In Mexico, EPA worked with the National Institute of Ecology (INE) on the IES analysis. For more information, visit the Mexico IES website.

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Mexico City Diesel Retrofit Project

The Mexico City Diesel Retrofit Project is a demonstration project, designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of available emissions control technologies and low-sulfur fuel on reducing emissions from existing diesel buses now on the road in Mexico City. EPA and the World Resources Institute (WRI) have both awarded grants to the Center for Sustainable Transport (a Mexican NGO) to assist the government of Mexico in implementing this diesel retrofit demonstration project. EPA funding of $350,000 is leveraging WRI funding of $161,000 and in-kind support of $90,000. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) also contributed funding for this project.

The project is designed to reduce pollution from a heavy-duty diesel bus fleet in Mexico City through the use of EPA verified pollution reduction retrofit technology and ultra low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD).

The goals of the demonstration project are to:

  • demonstrate the in-use effectiveness of EPA-verified diesel retrofit technologies, on Mexican heavy-duty diesel vehicles, under Mexican operating conditions;
  • develop information on costs and emissions reductions;
  • develop a program appropriate for Mexico City that can be replicated with other fleets in Mexico (and in other countries); and
  • build technical capacity for retrofits in Mexico.

The buses involved in the retrofit project belong to the Mexico City Transit Authority RTP (Red de Transporte de Pasajeros). There are currently about 3,000 buses in Mexico City; however, we are only retrofitting about 20 buses, as a demonstration. The newer buses have now been retrofitted with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs); older ones with Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOCs).

All buses in the demonstration project are being run on ultra low sulfur diesel fuel with a sulfur content of 15 ppm. The fuel is provided by Valero in Texas.

Fleetguard-Nelson, a Cummins subsidiary, won the bidding to provide the DPFs and DOCs. The buses are now retrofitted and running in Mexico City. Testing of the emissions has been conducted before the retrofits were installed and after installation. The buses are being tested using the RAVEM system (a semi-portable emission measurement system which can measure PM as well as gaseous emissions.)


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Other Resources

Government of Mexico Academic, Private, and Non-Profit Sectors Bilateral and Multilateral Programs

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