The U.S.-Mexico border region faces many environmental challenges. Some of these challenges include poor air quality in shared airsheds, thousands of homes lacking safe drinking water and wastewater treatment, and inadequate solid and hazardous waste management programs and services. Limited resources have also strained emergency response and enforcement capacity in border cities.
However, significant strides have been made on both sides of the border. The map above shows a few of the U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program's accomplishments from 2010 to 2012. Border 2020 is the latest bi-national environmental plan approved under the framework of the 1983 La Paz Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico.
Border 2020's five main goals are reducing air pollution; improving access to clean and safe water; promoting materials and waste management, recycling, and clean sites; enhancing joint preparedness to respond to environmental emergencies; and enhancing compliance assurance and environmental stewardship.
The program emphasizes regional, bottom-up approaches for decision making, priority setting, and projects to address the most pressing environmental and public health problems in the border region, with ongoing participation from communities and local stakeholders.