This article is from the August - September 1996 The Mexico File newsletter.
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A New Border Environmental Program

by Bill Wilcox, Scottsdale Arizona

On May 27, 1996, a group of leading U.S. and Mexican government officials released a draft report entitled "U.S./Mexican Border XXI Program... Draft Framework Document" This report deals with environmental issues 60 miles on either side of the border. In the U.S. the four border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas), as well as counties, municipalities and Indian nations located in the border region, will be involved in the program.

The program is a binational effort that "brings together the diverse U.S. and Mexican federal entities responsible for the shared border environment, to work creatively toward fulfilling the mutual goal of sustainable development through protection of human health and the environment and proper management of natural resources in both countries. " A number of specific air, water and land environmental problems are identified in this massive draft report.

From the viewpoint of readers of The Mexico File, perhaps the most important strategy of this effort is to "ensure publit involvement," an often overlooked aspect of such projects.

Readers interested in being updated on this project should write to either of the two following offices:

EPA San Diego Border Office 610 West Ash Street, Suite 703 San Diego,CA 92101

EPA El Paso Border Office 4050 Rio Bravo, Suite 100 El Paso, TX 79902.

You may also dial EPA's Border XXI toll free number at 800-334-0741 to reach either of the border offices during norrnal business hours.