U.S., Mexico tackle air, water issues

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TIJUANA, Mexico – The United States and Mexico announced plans June 24 to improve air and water quality along the border.

As part of the Border 2012 Program, the United States and Mexico signed a binational air-monitoring agreement and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency committed up to $13 million toward the cleanup of a wastewater treatment plant in Mexicali, Mexico.

As part of the agreement, state and local institutions in both countries will increase their participation in air-monitoring issues.

Severity, trends. EPA and Mexico’s Federal Agency of the Environment and Natural Resources support air-monitoring stations that help determine the causes, severity, and trends of air pollution across the California-Mexico border.

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 Mexico and ends in California.

Contributions. To date, EPA has contributed approximately $475 million to more than 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 these goals: cleaner air, water and land; improving environmental health; emergency response and planning; and environmental stewardship.

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