San Diego Union Tribune reporter Sandra Dibble asked NACTS to provide some background and commentary on a potential new binational air quality control program between the U.S. and Mexico. The initiative was announced by Mexico's Secretary for the Environment, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, at the 2008 Border Governor's Conference held this week in Hollywood and hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger.
The binational districts would “give us clearer control over emissions and allow us as a fundamental goal to have cleaner air,” Elvira said in a telephone interview from the conference.
Elvira said his proposal is part of a broader effort to address the challenges of pollution and global warming on the U.S.-Mexico border, a largely dry region where growing populations must compete for a limited water supply. Elvira also urged the construction of desalination plants in coastal areas.
Environmental cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico goes back several decades and was given a boost by the 1983 La Paz Agreement, signed 25 years ago this week between President Ronald Reagan and President Miguel de la Madrid. The agreement created the conditions for a host of subsequent binational initatives, including Border 21 and the current Border 2012 programs overseen by EPA and SEMARNAT.
NACTS represents ASU in the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP), a consortium of U.S. and Mexican universities that focus part of their research efforts on border environmental issues.
Read the entire article here.