Los compromisos y logros de Frontera 2020: Reunión de Coordinadores Nacionales

Por Jane Nishida
La región fronteriza entre Estados Unidos y México es una de las más dinámicas del mundo. Hoy por hoy sobre 14 millones de personas residen a lo largo de la frontera. Aproximadamente el 90% de la población reside en ciudades, mientras la población restante se encuentra en pueblos pequeños y comunidades rurales. Más de 430,000 de las 14 millones de personas en la región fronteriza viven en 1700 colonias, vecindarios en ciudades mexicanas sin autonomía jurisdiccional ni representación. Hay 26 tribus nativo americanas reconocidas por el Gobierno Federal estadounidense, muchas de las cuales comparten extensos vínculos culturales y familiares con los pueblos indígenas en la región fronteriza de México.
A finales de septiembre, mi equipo y yo nos unimos al administrador de la Región 6 de la EPA,  Ron Curry, y al administrador de la Región 9, Jared Blumenfeld, para la reunión de Coordinadores Nacionales bajo el Programa Ambiental México-Estados Unidos: Frontera 2020 que se efectuó en El Paso, Texas. Esta fue la primera reunión de Coordinadores Nacionales del nuevo Programa Frontera 20202. Juntos, rexaminamos las metas, objetivos y operaciones del programa, mientras renovamos nuestro consorcio binacional.

Border 2020 National Coordinators at a meeting in El Paso, Texas.
Durante las sesiones de trabajo, discutimos estrategias para alcanzar las metas programáticas y maximizar los recursos a lo largo del plan de trabajo de dos años. Estas sesiones se enfocaron en las cinco metas del programa Frontera 2020—la reducción de la contaminación del aire, mejorar el acceso al agua limpia y segura, mejorar la capacidad conjunta para respuestas ambientales, materiales, y gestión de desperdicios, y la limpieza de lugares contaminados, y mejoras en el cumplimiento y la protección ambiental.
No tan solo fue una oportunidad excitante para aprender acerca de los proyectos importantes que se están desarrollando a lo largo de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México, también estamos comprometidos para continuar fortaleciendo nuestra alianza y colaboración con los dies estados fronterizos, 26 tribus fronterizas estadounidenses y comunidades indígenas, gobiernos locales, la industria y el público para definir un nuevo curso de acción para hacer una diferencia visible en nuestras comunidades fronterizas.
La EPA y la Comisión de Salud Fronteriza (BHC, por sus siglas en inglés) es una de las alianzas excitantes, estamos trabajando juntos sobre asuntos importantes para mejorar el medio ambiente y la salud pública en la región de fronteriza entre Estados Unidos y México. Hemos establecido Unidades Especiales de Salud Pediátrica Ambiental (PEHSU, por sus siglas en inglés) a lo largo de la frontera para mejorar la salud infantil al mejorar los servicios educativos y consultivos para las comunidades. Nuestro nuevo acuerdo 2015-2016 ha identificado la salud pública y el liderazgo ambiental, la creación de capacidades institucionales para la salud ambiental, y el fortalecimiento de la resiliencia institucional y la rendición de cuentas como áreas prioritarias.
El año próximo es uno muy importante para el Programa Frontera 2020 porque comenzaremos la evaluación a medio plazo del Programa y planeamos desarrollar y publicar el Informe de Indicadores Fronterizos 2016. Estos hitos importantes podrían ayudar a asegurar que nuestra colaboración fronteriza se traduzca a beneficios ambientales para los habitantes de la región a lo largo de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

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Border 2020 Commitments and Accomplishments: National Coordinators Meeting

Jane Nishida Jane Nishida

By Jane Nishida

The United States-Mexico border region is one of the most dynamic in the world. Today, the border is home to over 14 million people. Approximately 90% of the population resides in cities, while the remaining population is found in small towns or rural communities. Over 430,000 of the 14 million people in the region live in 1700 colonias, neighborhoods in Mexican cities without jurisdictional autonomy or representation. There are 26 U.S. federally-recognized Native American tribes, many of which share extensive cultural and family ties with indigenous peoples in the border region of Mexico.

Border 2020 National Coordinators at a meeting in El Paso, Texas.

In late September my team and I joined EPA’s Region 6 Administrator, Ron Curry, and Region 9 Administrator, Jared Blumenfeld, at the National Coordinators meeting under the Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program held in El Paso, Texas. This was the first National Coordinators meeting for the new Border 2020 Program. Together, we reexamined the goals, objectives, and operations of the program as we renewed our bi-national partnership.

During the working sessions, we discussed strategies to reach program goals and maximize resources throughout the two-year work plan. These sessions focused on the five goals of the Border 2020 program – air pollution reduction, improvement of access to clean and safe water, enhancing joint preparedness for environmental response, materials and waste management and clean sites and enhancing compliance assurance and environmental stewardship.

Not only was it an exciting opportunity to hear about the important projects along the U.S.-Mexico border, we also committed to continuing the strengthening of our partnership and collaboration with the ten border states, 26 U.S.-border tribes and indigenous communities, local governments, industry, and the public, and to define a new course of action for making a visible difference for our border communities.

EPA and the Border Health Commission (BHC), one of the exciting partnerships, are working together on important issues to improve the environment and public health in the U.S.-Mexico border region. We have established Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) along the border to improve children’s health by enhancing educational and consultative services to communities. Our new 2015-2016 agreement has identified public health and environmental leadership, building environmental health capacity, and strengthening institutional resiliency and accountability as priority areas.

Next year is an important one under the Border 2020 Program because we start the mid-term evaluation of the Program and we plan to develop and publish the 2016 Border Indicators Report. These important milestones would help ensure that our border collaboration translates into environmental benefits for the inhabitants of the United States-Mexico border region.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Addressing Critical Water Access Issues along the U.S.-Mexico Border

NancyStoner Nancy Stoner

In most parts of the United States, regular access to water is an afterthought. We open our taps or turn on our faucets and out comes all the water we need for cooking, drinking, bathing and cleaning. But some communities, including many along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, lack access to the abundant, clean water that most of us enjoy every day. EPA, through its U.S.-Mexico border water infrastructure program, is working to address critical public health and environmental problems at the source by providing often first-time drinking and wastewater services to underserved communities.

Last month, I traveled to Laredo, Texas, and was able to see firsthand exactly how this program is helping provide communities there, known as colonias, with their first-ever access to drinking water and sewer systems. Many people in the colonias have not had regular access to water and modern sanitation systems because that type of infrastructure was not required to be installed at the time the properties were sold and their houses built.

This small water treatment plant near the U.S.-Mexico border provides about 3,700 people in the Laredo, Texas area with sewer system access, many for the first time. Photo credit: Stephanie Von Feck, EPA.

This small water treatment plant near the U.S.-Mexico border provides about 3,700 people in the Laredo, Texas area with sewer system access, many for the first time. Photo credit: Stephanie Von Feck, EPA.

 

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

The Power of Collaboration

MichelleDePass Michelle DePass

CEC flags

As Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs (OITA), I work with important partners to develop new and innovative ways to create a greener and healthier environment for future generations. Two of our closest partners are Canada and Mexico.

Each year, the Environmental Ministers from Canada and Mexico, along with EPA’s Administrator, meet to discuss our nations’ path forward under the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), the environmental side agreement of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The leaders met last month in Mexico at the 20th Annual Council Session for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), which is the commission established through NAFTA and NAAEC to implement our shared regional environmental goals.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.