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U.S. EPA gives $234,000 for U.S.-Mexico, California/Baja California border environmental projects

Release Date: 12/7/2004
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, U.S. EPA, (213) 244-1815

Funds help erosion control, first responders, educational outreach programs

SAN FRANCISCO As part of the Binational Border 2012 program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded $234,000 in grants to fund six environmental projects along California's U.S.-Mexico border.

The wide range of projects include improvements in erosion control and storm water management in Los Laureles Canyon and the Tijuana River National Estuarine; a training program for Tijuana-based first responders; and an extensive educational outreach program to area families and high school educators concerned about air quality, encouraging residents to not burn tires in Imperial Valley and Mexicali.

"The environmental challenges faced by the U.S. and Mexico require the cooperation by both of our countries," said Laura Yoshii, the EPA's deputy regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "By funding projects such as these, we are ensuring that families and children on both sides of the border share the benefits of clean air and clean water."

The U.S.-Mexico Border 2012 Program is a 10-year binational cooperative plan aimed at protecting public health and the environment along the 2,000-mile border region where almost 12 million citizens of both countries live. The program focuses on decreasing air, water, waste and soil pollution, and lowering the risks of exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.

The grants are as follows:
Establishment of a Green Business Pilot Program for the Automotive Industry in Tijuana, Mexico The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health received $29,000 to help reduce hazardous waste in the automotive industry through education and cost savings incentives. The Department of Environmental Health will develop a program for Tijuana which includes inviting Tijuana government and business leaders to San Diego Area Green Business meetings, providing training to Mexican Program leaders in order to host joint auto workshops promoting waste reduction.

Demonstrating Improvements in Erosion Control and Storm Water Management in Los Laureles Canyon and the Tijuana River National Estuarine research Reserve. The International Community Foundation was awarded $50,000 to fund local institutions in Tijuana for implementation of erosion control and storm water management demonstration projects in Los Laureles Canyon between June and December 2004. The California Department of Parks and Recreation will document this project and serve as manager of the project.

Emergency Management Academy in Tijuana The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health received $60,000 to develop a sustainable training program for Tijuana-based first responders. The program will ensure that Mexican emergency responders are adequately trained to respond to chemical and biological emergencies. The project will include the development of a Spanish version of the California Specialized Training Institute curriculum for Mexican personnel.

Public Education Program for Clean Air in Imperial/Mexicali The American Lung Association received $15,000 to provide educational outreach to families and high school educators in Mexicali and Imperial County concerned about air quality; the program will also conduct a "No Burn" media campaign in Imperial Valley and Mexicali encouraging residents to not burn tires, Christmas Trees, and firecrackers in Mexicali and Imperial County during the Holiday season.

Review of the Current Program and Strategies to Improve Air Quality in the Imperial-Mexicali Valleys
San Diego State University, Imperial Valley received $15,000 to analyze air quality trends in the binational region, review the existing plans and propose improvements in a draft strategic plan.

Exploration of Using Environmental Education in the Scope of Task Force Projects $30,000 was awarded to the Environmental Education Council for the Californias and the Environmental Education Task Force for Border 2012, to inform and educate residents about Border 2012 environmental improvement projects that are being implemented in their communities.

Water System Needs Assessment for Baja California Tribal Communities Aqualink received $35,000 to survey Baja California indigenous communities along the U.S. Mexico Border to identify their water and wastewater infrastructure needs.

For more information on the EPA's U.S. - Mexico Border 2012 Program, please visit:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/border/index.html