The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $326,776 in grants to fund four environmental projects along the U.S.-Mexico Border of California and Baja California. These projects aim to increase understanding of binational air shed data, assess transboundary wastewater spill impacts, improve waste management, and reduce plastic bag pollution. Funds will be matched by an additional $318, 813 from the recipient organizations such as The University of Washington, who will assess and prioritize sources of particulate matter through the installation of air quality monitors; and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which will study transboundary wastewater spill impacts along the Pacific coastline between Punta Bandera and Imperial Beach. The assessment will lead to more accurate and timely beach advisories and quantify the extent of the February 2017 wastewater spill in the San Diego/Tijuana region.
Two additional projects seek to prevent transboundary waste from entering the Pacific Ocean, Tijuana River Estuary and New River. These projects will increase the use of reusable bags, reduce plastic bag marine debris, promote recycling and improve waste management along the U.S.- Mexico border.
The Chamber submitted letters in support and advocated for the inclusion of $10 million in funds in the federal budget for the EPA’s U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program. We appreciate the support of our Congressional Delegation in securing the necessary funds to protect the community’s public health and the environment through essential drinking water and wastewater projects that were otherwise financially unfeasible for the area.
According to the EPA, these grants will fund projects aiming to mitigate health and environmental risks, advance economic development, and provide clean water and air for families living in the region. The funds were awarded in partnership with the North American Development Bank under the U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 environmental program and the selected projects address the program’s goals. For more information on the Border 2020 Program, please visit: www.epa.gov/border2020.