The EPA awarded $461,368 in grants this week for various environmental projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. About half of the funds went to projects in Calexico, CA and Phoenix, AZ, but the remaining $230,000 went to two cities on the Mexican side of the border, Nogales and Ensenada. The funding came under a partnership with the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, part of the bi-national U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program: Border 2020.
The projects funded in Mexico include:
Generally the funds are remitted to non-profit organizations to carry out the projects, although the grant for the used oil collection project will go directly to the city of Nogales. For the other projects,
the recipient organizations will provide matching funds, a total of $354,746.
Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional administrator, explained the benefits of these projects, as well as those on the U.S. side of the border:
These grants will help improve air quality, create a healthier river, and reduce the waste going into local landfills. Communities on both sides of the border will receive benefits as their environment and public health are better protected.
The EPA further touts the broader benefits to both countries from agreements going back decades, include the La Paz Agreement, as well as NAFTA:
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] and the 30th anniversary of the La Paz Agreement. Through these agreements, EPA has made significant investments that have resulted in major environmental benefits including more than 570 tons of e-waste properly disposed or recycled, the removal of more than 12 Million scrap tires from dump sites border wide, and the connection of households to drinking water and wastewater services benefitting the more than 8.5 Million border residents.