OK-SAFE, Inc. – NASCO’s (North America’s SuperCorridor Coaltion) latest newsletter included this article about a bi-national agreement dealing with the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border.
The Border 2020 Mission Statement reads:
As a result of the partnership among U.S. Border Tribes and federal, state and local governments in the United States and Mexico, the mission of the Border 2020 program is to: Protect the environment and public health in the U.S.-Mexico border region, consistent with the principles of sustainable development.”
Border 2020 is funded in part by the BECC (Border Environment Cooperation Commission) and the NADBank, (North American Development Bank) and is another example of the move toward regional governance. Border 2020 institutionalizes a structure that crosses traditional boundaries – both national and jurisdictional.
The talking points this time emphasize public health and public health risks – translate this into meaning there will the collection and sharing of health data and information across borders.
Quote: “Measure program progress through the development of environmental and public health-based indicators.”
Border 2020 opens the door for more U.S. funded infrastructure in Mexico, environmentally and otherwise, much like was included the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill a few years back. [Back then, when a constituent asked OK Sen. James Inhofe why we were funding transportation projects up to 100 miles into Mexico, Inhofe refused to answer the question. Other government officials later answered this question by saying it is “in our own best interests” to fund infrastructure projects in Mexico.]
Expect that there will be plenty of U.S. funding “in our own best interest” south of the border to fulfill the objectives of the Border 2020 plan.
La Paz Agreement – 1983
“The new accord is the latest working document stemming from the 1983 U.S.-Mexico La Paz Agreement. It builds on the Border 2012 program and encourages meaningful participation from communities and local stakeholders through regional task forces.”
For more on the 1983 La Laz agreement signed by Pres. Ronald Reagan, see the article entitled “La Paz Agreement – Pathway to Disintegration” by Vicky Davis.
From the EPA’s website:
The U.S. and Mexico signed the Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental program agreement on Aug. 8 to address high priority environmental and public health problems in the 2,000 mile border region.
The new pact follows the Border 2012 environmental agreement which ends this year, the EPA said in a statement.
The Border 2020 program works to organize stakeholders and communities on both sides to reduce pollution in water, air, and on land, reduce exposure to chemicals from accidental releases or from terrorism, and improve environmental stewardship.
The signing by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Mexico’s Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources Juan Elvira Quesada was witnessed by a number of leaders including the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne; Vice Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation Wavalene Romero; California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez, Baja California Governor José Guadalupe Osuna Millán and Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante Anchondo.
“Addressing the environmental issues along the border has long been a priority we share with our colleagues in Mexico, because we know that environmental degradation, pollution, and the diseases they trigger don’t stop at the national boundaries,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
“Thanks to help from our partners in government, industry, academia and local communities, the Border 2020 agreement will build upon the significant progress already made, and families on both sides of the border will continue to benefit from cleaner, healthier communities for decades to come.”
The new accord is the latest working document stemming from the 1983 U.S.-Mexico La Paz Agreement. It builds on the Border 2012 program and encourages meaningful participation from communities and local stakeholders through regional task forces.
ANALYSIS: Over the next eight years, the Border 2020 Environmental program will work towards significant improvements that will focus on five key areas:
– Reducing air pollution in bi-national air sheds by promoting vehicle inspection programs and road paving, and encouraging anti-idling technologies such as diesel truck electrification at border ports-of-entry.
– Improving access to clean and safe water as well as improving water quality in the bi-national watersheds.
– Promoting materials and waste management, and addressing contaminated sites as well as management practices for addressing electronics, lead acid batteries, tires, and trash.
– Enhancing joint preparedness for environmental and emergency response.
– Enhancing compliance assurance and environmental stewardship.
The new Border 2020 program also strengthens its focus in regional areas where environmental improvements are needed most: establishing realistic and concrete goals; supporting the implementation of projects; considering new fundamental strategies; and encouraging the achievement of more ambitious environmental and public health goals.
Border 2012, which concludes the current year, resulted in numerous achievements, including connecting households to drinking water and wastewater services benefitting more than 8.5 million border residents.
In addition, the program helped remove more than 12 million scrap tires from dump sites border-wide and more than 75.5 metric tons of obsolete pesticides from rural areas in the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Sonora, and Tamaulipas.
As the 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.
The Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental program will protect the environment and public health for 10 states on both sides of the 2,000-mile border, including 26 U.S. tribes and seven groups of Mexican indigenous people.
The mission of the accord is to “Protect the environment and public health in the U.S.-Mexico border region, consistent with the principles of sustainable development.”
In this program, sustainable development is defined as “conservation-oriented social and economic development that emphasizes the protection and sustainable use of resources while addressing both current and future needs and present and future impacts of human actions,” the EPA said in a fact sheet issued with the EPA signing statement.”
End. Entire article here.