Presidential Advisory Group develops recommendations to improve environment on U.S.-Mexico border

The Good Neighbor Environmental Board, a presidential advisory committee managed by the EPA, has released a new set of recommended strategies for improving environmental conditions along the U.S. border with Mexico.

May 1st, 2003


May 1, 2003 -- The Good Neighbor Environmental Board (GNEB), a Presidential advisory committee managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has released a new set of recommended strategies for improving environmental conditions along the U.S. border with Mexico.

The GNEB report, sent to the President and the Congress, calls for the federal government to undertake initiatives in four areas: water resources, power plants, human health, and natural resources conservation. Included were recommendations to:

* strengthen U.S.-Mexico cooperation on shared rivers and other surface waters;

* initiate a border-wide groundwater assessment program;

* pursue airshed-based emissions caps for power plants and other pollutant sources;

* promote energy alternatives, e.g., solar power, energy efficiency, conservation;

* fill in research data gaps;

* promote public participation at the outset and throughout policy deliberations; and,

* highlight diverse partnerships, for instance, with ranchers, farmers, and environmental groups.

"Our recurrent theme is that communities along our nation's southern border must play a pivotal role in shaping the region's environmental and infrastructure policy," said Placido dos Santos, GNEB chairman. "Moreover, because the effects of increased trade, immigration, homeland security, and other national policies have an especially strong effect on these communities, ensuring that they have the resources required to fully exercise this role is in our national interest."

The advisory committee includes representatives from eight federal government agencies and from each of the U.S. border states: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The combined expertise reflects perspectives from many U.S. sectors: federal, tribal, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, business and academic institutions.

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