Tuesday, September 27, 2011

EPA announces a new border environmental plan: Border 2020

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting public comments on the draft of a new border environment plan. It's entitled "Border 2020: U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program," and the document lays the framework for a new environmental protection and improvement plan designed to replace the Border 2012 collaboration between Mexico and the US.

"As home to over 14 million people and one of the busiest cross-border trade regions in the world, protecting human health and the environment in the Border Region is essential to ensuring that the U.S. continues to be safe, healthy and economically productive," the EPA said in a statement. 

A border home garden raises healthy food to improve life quality in Palomas, Chihuahua.
Public comment on the Border 2010 plan will be accepted through November 30. So far, public meetings have been scheduled for September in Nogales, Arizona, and for October 5 in the city council chambers of Calexico, California.

For the EPA, Border 2020 represents another bi-national planning effort  under the La Paz Agreement on environmental cooperation signed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Miguel de la Madrid back in 1983.

According to the environmental protection agency, a collaborative process involving the EPA and its Mexican counterpart SEMARNAT, as well as indigenous communities and tribes from the two nations and environment departments from the 10 Mexican and US border states, produced the draft for Border 2020.

The funding for Border 2012 could boost environmental projects in tiny Palomas, Chihuahua, a town I love in Mexico, through the assistance of Border Partners.

They are proposing a project for home water re-use for Gardens. This will set up graywater redirection projects at homes of gardeners to redirect water from the home sinks for garden irrigation. Gardeners will save on expense for watering their plants and conserve that precious desert resource.

These projects could also create employment opportunities in the economically struggling town. This is a win-win situation.

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