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United States and Mexico Tackle Cross-Boundary Air and Water Issues

Release Date: 06/24/2004
Contact Information:

Contacts: Enesta Jones, 202-564-7873 /
Lisa Lybbert, 001-202-251-3354 /

(Tijuana, Mexico - June 24, 2004) United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Mike Leavitt and Secretary of Mexico's Federal Agency of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) Alberto Cardenas Jimenez today announced binational efforts to improve air and water quality along the U.S. - Mexico border. As part of the Border 2012 Program, the United States and Mexico signed a binational air monitoring agreement and EPA committed up to $13 million (USD) toward the cleanup of a wastewater treatment plant in Mexicali, Mexico.

"The Border 2012 program reaches across borders to improve the environment that the United States and Mexico share,” said Leavitt, who was joined by other EPA and Mexican government officials at the signing ceremony. "Together, we can make the air cleaner and water safer for millions of Mexicans and Americans."

As part of today's agreement, state and local institutions in both countries will increase their participation in air-monitoring issues. EPA and Mexico's SEMARNAT support air-monitoring stations that help determine the causes, severity, and trends of air pollution across the California-Mexico border.

In addition, EPA is contributing up to $13 million in Border Environment Infrastructure Funds to the Mexicali II wastewater treatment project. This project will remove up to 20 million gallons of raw sewage per day from the New River, a binational river that originates in Mexicali, Baja California and ends at the Salton Sea on Imperial Valley, California.

To date, EPA has contributed approximately $475 million to over 50 water and wastewater projects along the U.S. - Mexico border, providing access to potable water and sanitary treatment systems for some 6.5 million area residents.

The 10-year 2012 Border Program focuses on six goals: cleaner air, water and land, improving environmental health, emergency response and planning and environmental stewardship.

Other officials in attendance were: Jose Luis Luege Tamargo, Federal Attorney General for Environmental Protection; Eugenio Elorduy Walther, Governor of Baja California, Mexico; Jesus Gonzales Reyes, Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico; Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 9; Jerry Clifford, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of International Affairs, EPA; and Terry Tamminen, Secretary, California EPA.

More information about the Border 2012 Program is available at: