SAN FRANCISCO This week Jared Blumenfeld, U.S
SAN FRANCISCO – This week Jared Blumenfeld, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, is touring areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, meeting with Tribal leaders and kicking off the public comment period for a new, 8-year U.S.-Mexico Border Environment agreement, known as Border 2020.
Blumenfeld’s tour will take him to the recently upgraded South San Diego International Wastewater Treatment Plant as well as the Tijuana River Estuary and the Border Field State Park. The estuary is designated as a Wetland of International Importance due to its critical wildlife habitat, one of the last of Southern California’s river mouths not bisected by a road or rail trestle.
On each stop Blumenfeld will discuss efforts to improve water quality and habitat in a region where sediment build-up, wastewater and trash still pose major threats to wildlife and human health. While in the area, he will also meet with officials from Mexico’s Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), as well as Campo Kumeyaay Nation Chairwoman Monique La Chappa to discuss the Border 2020 program.
“While we have made great progress in improving the environment along the border, there are still dire, basic needs not being met,” said Jared Blumenfeld. “Clean, safe drinking water, adequate wastewater treatment and sufficient waste management are serious public health threats that need to be addressed by both nations.”
Working with Mexico, the ten Border States and 26 border tribes, the EPA is requesting comments from interested parties and border stakeholders on the draft framework. A public meeting will be held October 5 in Calexico’s City Council Chambers from 6-8pm. In addition, a list of upcoming public meetings can be found at: www.epa.gov/border2012.
The U.S-Mexico border is home to over 14 million people and is one of the busiest cross-border trade regions in the world. Although both countries benefit economically from the commercial exchange, the probability of pollutant exposure to those who live along the border continues to increase.
The goals of Border 2020 are “to protect the environment and public health in the U.S.-Mexico border region, consistent with the principles of sustainable development”. Border 2020 is the latest multi-year planning effort under the La Paz Agreement, a bi-national environmental pact signed in 1983 by U. S. President Ronald Reagan and Mexico president Miguel De la Madrid. The agreement succeeds the current bi-national program Border 2012.
Media interested in attending Wednesday’s tour should contact Margot Perez-Sullivan in advance with name, contact info (include email and phone) and media affiliation to email@example.comASAP to receive additional details, schedule an interview and/or participate in a portion of the tour.
More information: http://www.epa.gov/usmexicoborder/index.html