Air Policy Forum
Economic and population growth in the U.S.-Mexico border region has had a significant impact on urban and rural air quality. Today, air pollution presents a substantial environmental risk in some border communities that are frequently exposed to elevated concentrations of particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5, ozone, and toxic air pollutants. Emissions from electrical generation and other industrial sources, unpaved roads, diesel trucks, buses and cars, including those idling for long periods of time at ports-of-entry, are significant contributors to poor air quality along the border.
The border region includes a number of cities that share common airsheds; thus, activities in one city can directly affect the other, whether in the same country or across the border. As such, strategies and solutions to address air pollution along the border need to be developed and implemented binationally, with active engagement from the community, as well as local, state, federal, and Tribal authorities.
Objective 1: By 2020, in accordance with the NAFTA, promote the reduction of the number of vehicles operating in the border region that do not comply with the respective vehicle emissions standards, and reduce vehicle emissions at ports-of-entry through anti-idling and other feasible reduction measures.
Objective 2: By 2020, reduce pollutant emissions in order to approach attainment of respective national ambient air quality standards in the following airsheds:
- San Diego/Tijuana
- Imperial County/Mexicali
- Ambos Nogales
- Paso del Norte (El Paso/Juarez/Sunland Park)
Objective 3: By 2018, maintain effective air monitoring networks and provide real-time access to air quality data in:
- California/Baja California
- Paso del Norte Airshed
Objective 4: By 2015, support completion of climate action plans in each of the six northern Mexican Border States (as appropriate), and build the necessary capacity to guarantee sustained implementation.
Objective 5: By 2020, reduce emissions and associated impacts through energy efficiency and/or alternative/renewable energy projects.