Good Neighbor
Environmental Board
        Annual Report
      A Presidential and Congressional Advisory Committee
         on U.S.-Mexico Border Issues
            July 1998


    HEALTH	17
    HOUSING	21




 The Good Neighbor Environmental Board was created by the
 Enterprise for the Americas Initiative Act of 1992  (7 U.S.
 Code Section 5404) to advise the President and the Congress
 concerning environmental and infrastructure issues and needs
within the States contiguous to Mexico. The statute requires
the Board to submit an annual report to the President and the
 Congress. The Board has submitted reports in October 1995
 and April 1997.  The Board's 1997 report was also translated
 into Spanish and widely disseminated on both sides of the
    The Act requires that Board membership include repre-
sentatives from appropriate U.S. Government agencies; from
the governments of Arizona, California, New  Mexico and
Texas; and from private organizations, including community
development, academic, health, environmental, and other
nongovernmental entities with expertise on environmental
and infrastructure problems along the southwest border. A
list of members is provided in Appendix A.
    A Presidential Executive Order delegates implementation
authority to the Administrator of the Environmental Protec-
tion Agency (EPA). The Board operates under the  Federal
Advisory Committee Act and meets three times annually at
locations along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Board has met
nine times at various  border locations since its inception.
    Under the auspices  of both national governments, the
Board and its Mexican counterpart, Region I of the Mexican
National Advisory Council for Sustainable Development,
met jointly for the first time in September 1997. This
meeting initiated annual joint meetings of the  two advisory
committees. The Mexican National Advisory Council for
Sustainable Development has representatives from nongovern-
mental and public sectors in each Mexican state;  Region I
represents nine of the 31 states, including the contiguous
border states. The two committees will meet again in the fall
of 1998 in Mexico. The committees are also expanding
coordination through attendance at each others meetings and
development of joint priorities, projects, and recommenda-
    In this third annual report, the Board is reporting on the
status of Executive Branch and other implementation of prior
years' recommendations, as reported by the federal agencies'
represented on the Board. This report also identifies areas
requiring further effort, and new areas to be addressed by the
 The Board has developed a statement of its vision for the
 border region. The vision emphasizes the unique binational
 character of the region, its environment, and its peoples and
 the Board's hope for achieving sustainable economic develop-
 • The U.S.-Mexico border is a binational region, sharing
 responsibilities,  with sustained economic development that ensures the
 health and well-being of its residents, protects the environment
 and unique natural resources, engages the private sector, and
promotes equity, opportunity,  and empowered communities.
    The Board also developed a mission statement which
 describes its role to help implement the above vision:
    The Good Neighbor Environmental Board is committed to
providing direction,  guidance, and advice to enable achievement
 of an environmentally sustainable border region.
    The Board intends to apply this vision and mission to
 evaluate how governmental, industry and nongovernmental
 activities are moving toward sustainability, and as a bench-
 itark for future recommendations. The Board also intends
 work with its Mexican advisory committee counterpart to
 propose to both governments approaches for measuring the
 results of its human and infrastructure investments in the
 border region.

 Management of Federal Programs

 During the past four years, the Board has seen substantially
 greater intergovernmental cooperation with Mexico, as well a:
 improved federal and state interagency cooperation. The
 Good Neighbor Environmental Board and its counterpart,
 Region  I of the Mexican National Advisory Council for
 Sustainable Development, have also established ongoing
 coordination, including participation at each others regular
 meetings, joint annual meetings, and development of joint
 priorities and projects.
    The two federal governments are working together on a
 variety of projects through Border XXI, the Border Environ-
 ment Cooperation Commission (BECC), the North Ameri-
 can Development Bank (NADBank), the International
 Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and other venues,
 and the  states and local governments are cooperating on a
 wide variety of cooperative efforts. Nevertheless, the Board
 still perceives the need for a more comprehensive approach to
 border planning and priority-setting.

   While federal agencies are working on finding innovative
ways to cooperate with and assist each other, the U.S. govern-
ment still needs to address largely statutory limitations on
federal agency authorities and leveraging of resources in the
border region.  We again urge the Congress to consider:
• more authority to agencies to coordinate and integrate their
border program activities, to budget jointly for cooperative
projects, to leverage appropriations, to develop interagency
funding agreements, to provide multi-agency grants, and to
permit use of federal funds in both countries;
• authority for the Department of Health and Human
Services to address critical transboundary health problems;
• additional funding for the Departments of the Interior and
Agriculture to address priority natural resource protection
• continuing targeted funding for addressing issues in colonias
and similar settlements in the four states;
• assuring funding and increasing attention to problems facing
border region tribes;
• increased emphasis on emergency response and hazardous
materials management;
• increased funding for industrial and community pollution
prevention efforts;
• obtaining better census and economic development infor-
mation on both sides of the  border;
• focusing resources to the border from the state water
infrastructure revolving funds; and
• special tax-exempt infrastructure financing for the U.S.
border states.


In the past four years, the Board has seen the development of
numerous projects and very active work by binational work
groups on air, water, natural resources, hazardous materials
and waste, contingency planning and emergency response,
pollution prevention, enforcement and compliance, and
environmental information. In its 1996 inventory, the Board
identified over 400 federal projects that were underway or had
been completed. Since then, additional projects have been
developed, principally under the auspices of the Border XXI
   We commend growing efforts to address border problems
more comprehensively through airshed- and watershed-wide
programs.  However, we would like to see full implementa-
tion of the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez Air Quality Management
Basin agreement and use of this type of institutional frame-
work to address other binational environmental management
issues.  We also cite the need to more effectively address
widespread environmental emergencies that affect borders,
and complex issues such as water quantity, water allocation,
and land use that have  a large political dimension but are
critical to solving regional problems.
   While we commend progress to date, we reemphasize that
there is still an enormous amount of work that remains in
each area discussed in  the report, and urge all participants to
define a more comprehensive, integrated strategy under the
Border XXI program for addressing these needs in order to
achieve maximum environmental benefits.


We commend several important accomplishments in address-
ing environmental health issues including, for example,
establishment of the U.S. side of the Binational Health
Commission, improved coordination  at all governmental
levels, formation of the binational Border XXI environmental
health workgroup, the  border-wide tuberculosis control
program, professional training of scientists and allied health
workers, development of community-based outreach models
that can be replicated throughout the U.S.-Mexico border
region, and improved information access by the public and


Transportation agencies have also made substantial progress in
working to harmonize  standards  and data, improve highways
and border crossings, use new technology to provider safer
and more efficient movement and address delays and, through
the Livable Communities program, to integrate transportation
with training and community development to provide for
sustainable development in economically distressed areas.
While the Board endorses the recent report and two-year
action plan issued by the Joint Working Committee, it
continues to  emphasize the need for a comprehensive strategy
to address border transportation, environment and health


The Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) reports providing over $300 million annually in the
four border states for rehabilitation, construction and
improvement of housing and other basic infrastructure  (e.g.,
streets, potable water and sanitation) in colonias, developing
low cost housing programs, and purchasing housing contracts
from colonias developers and working with foundations to

help colonias residents own their own houses. There are also
significant programs managed by the Department of Agricul-
ture Rural Development organization providing subsidized
loans, loan guarantees and grants for infrastructure in rural
communities and colonias.

Native Americans

The Board has seen a significant increase in emphasis on
tribal issues and growing outreach to border tribes.  We
commend the conference that was held in February 1998,
bringing together the 25 tribal entities on the U.S. side of the
border with officials of federal and binational agencies to help
identify tribal issues and needs, to provide an opportunity for
these organizations to brief tribes on their programs and
resources, and to create new opportunities for assistance and
coordination. We also commend the increased staffing
focused on working with tribes. Although there has been a
substantial increase in targeted EPA funding ($17 million) for
tribal infrastructure needs, more funds are needed.

Border XXI

The Board commends EPA's lead role in Border XXI develop-
ment and implementation. We also note improved access to
these processes by state, local and tribal governments and the
public through regional work groups and ongoing informa-
tion dissemination.  We also cite the development of a
comprehensive set of border environmental indicators. It is
important to note that the federal program still needs much
greater emphasis on meeting and measuring achievement of
the goal of empowering communities, tribes and industry to
solve and prevent problems in the long term.


We commend the extensive binational training and technical
assistance being focused on maquiladora operations as well as
important state efforts through the ten border states  organiza-
tion and, for example, the Arizona-Mexico International
Green Organization (AMIGO) state-level partnership for
voluntary pollution prevention activities among industries.
We also urge greater efforts to assist smaller and medium-sized
non-maquiladora companies.  We emphasize that greater
industry involvement is needed in addressing issues related to
border economic development, conducting research, applying
technologies, and augmenting governmental resources for
infrastructure and training. We also urge the governments to
immediately address the implications of termination of the
maquiladora program, especially related to the management of
hazardous wastes.

The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC)
has established rigorous criteria and is focusing on certifying
sustainable projects in communities. Both BECC and the
North American Development Bank (NADBank) are now
providing technical assistance to communities on project
development and management issues. There is evidence of
growing cooperation among the International Boundary and
Water Commission (IBWC), the BECC and the NADBank.
We continue to urge the BECC to increase its emphasis on us(
of lower cost technologies by border communities. Due to iv
limited capitalization and charter requirements, NADBank
sees itself primarily as a lender of last resort, relying heavily
on providing grant funds through a program sponsored by
EPA.  We continue to urge the governments to consider
changes in the Bank's charter requiring that it charge a
" market-related rate of interest. We also urge the NADBank
to increase its outreach efforts and resources to a level more
comparable to the BECC.
   Thousands of people still live in colonias or similar
settlements with minimal infrastructure. We continue to
recommend targeted grant funding for colonias infrastructure
in all four U.S. border states, especially by EPA. Even if
States were to focus greater loan funds  to these settlements,
the communities lack the ability to pay in most cases. We
have seen improved coordination among agencies addressing
colonias issues, especially by the Departments of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) and Agriculture (USDA)
and EPA. New USDA flexibility has allowed more than $25
million of additional low interest rate construction and home
repair funds for colonias, and HUD has provided tools to
help build and repairhomes, installed septic tanks, bought
contracts of sale from developers, and developing housing
construction methods that will permit home purchases by
low income residents.


Information is a crucial component to sustainable develop-
ment of the border region. Comparable information must be
available to both federal governments; information must be
shared between federal and state governments; and informa-
tion must be available to communities and non governmental
organizations to allow them to participate effectively in
   We commend the work of the U.S. Geological  Survey
 (USGS) in mapping the border region. Aerial photography
and digital mapping products are being produced for pollu-
tion detection and monitoring, soils classifications, urban,
 rural planning, geologic mapping, watershed management,
 and water quality analysis.  We also commend the work of

 the Border XXI information work group, the participating
 agencies, and the EPA San Diego Border Liaison Office for
 making information more widely available, more easily
 accessible, and for encouraging more effective public partici-
 pation in the region.
    In the coming year, the Good Neighbor will build on its
 own previous efforts and its joint work with the Mexican
 Region I advisory committee.
    In the remainder of this report, the Board revisits recommen-
 dations that were contained in its two previous reports, provides
 status reports on implementation of those recommendations
 based on information provided primarily by the responsible
federal agencies and, in some cases, provides additional recom-
 mendations based on the Board's review of the status of imple-


Recommendations: One of the Board's roles is to promote a
paradigm shift to sustainable development of the border
region.  The Board recommends that agencies apply
sustainable development-oriented policies and environ-
mental sustainability criteria in planning and implement-
ing border region projects. Criteria for sustainability

• binational scope;
• community involvement in project planning, implemen-
tation and evaluation;

• a balance of remediation and prevention objectives;
• community and private sector capacity building;
• leveraging of resources and authorities through involve-
ment of other federal, state and local government entities
and the private sector; and
• assuring that needed information is accessible.

Response: The U.S. promotes sustainable development goals
through implementation of Border XXI, and through
BECC's sustainable development criteria for consideration of
project certification. Planning is underway for a multi-
sector conference on sustainable development in the border
region in Fall 1998 that will help further define sustainable
development in the border context.
• Most Border XXI projects are binational in scope, although
there are also U.S.-based projects which address unique issues
on the U.S.  side of the border and help U.S. agencies charac-
terize and inventory border resources.
• Community involvement in project planning and imple-
mentation occurs through sub-regional workgroups that
allow for greater local input into priorities; formal binational
public meetings to solicit local input on existing and antici-
pated projects and to aid inevaluating results; grants for local
initiatives; ongoing informal meetings and telephone contacts;
and outreach by border liaison offices.
• Priorities seek a balance between remediation and preven-
tion. Pollution prevention activities consist largely of
assistance to maquiladora managers and regulators on source
reduction, recycling, reuse, and pollution prevention.
Remediation assistance is provided through on site assess-
ment, risk assessment, liability determinations, and enforce-
ment actions.

• Capacity building is a very high priority. Substantial
amounts of training and technical assistance are being pro-
vided on an ongoing basis. Efforts are being made through
regional subgroups and other outreach efforts to provide
information and to encourage greater participation by local
governments, tribes, nongovernmental organizations and
community leaders.
• Resources are increasingly being leveraged through coopera-
tion among federal, state, and local government entities. The
Border XXI Program acts as an umbrella, aiding in coordinat-
ing among U.S. and Mexican national and state agencies.
Technical and financial resources are pooled among agencies
to expedite implementation of projects. At the local level,
communities generally must fund a portion of infrastructure
costs for BECC projects; Border XXI grants also require a
matching contribution.
• Access to information is a fundamental goal. EPA supports
a 1-800 number for toll-free access; a repository of border
documents; monthly and quarterly meetings; regular visits to
border communities; newsletters and fact sheets on Border
XXI workgroup activities and contacts; Websites which
include on-going projects, hotlinks to other organizations and
Border XXI documents; and access to data, studies, contacts,
andprojects underway along the border. EPA funds transla-
tion of documents and interpretation of meetings where

Recommendation: Using the Border XXI Framework and
sustainable development-oriented policies, establish more
formal strategic, project, and budget coordination  among
agencies in annual project priority setting and scoping.
Each agency's existing authorities and resources, especially
related to the border region, should be summarized,
 clarified and coordinated.
       se:  Border XXI emphasizes institutional strengthen-
 ing and decentralization as one of its implementation strate-
 gies. While Border XXI provides no new regulatory author-
 ity, it has established a coordinated binational framework for
 the direct participation of federal, state, local, and tribal
 governments; academics; the private sector; and nongovern-
 mental organizations. The program is producing substantial
 improvements in coordination among federal border pro-
 grams and priorities as well as better coordination among
 stakeholders, while recognizing the sovereignty of each
 nation. The border states themselves have also developed
 expanded coordination mechanisms for addressing environ-
 mental problems in the region, e.g., the Border Governors'
 Conference which meets to discuss common themes, includ-
 ing environmental issues, and regular meetings of the heads of
 the environmental agencies in the ten U.S. and Mexico border
states to support actions agreed to by the governors and to
increase coordination efforts. Although U.S. states have been
more quickly integrated, Mexico has made a number of
significant advances in the past few years toward decentraliza-
tion of previously federal government authorities.  All 31
Mexican states have enacted comprehensive environmental
statutes that provide the basis for regulation within state
jurisdiction and the clarify environmental authority between
the state and local levels.
    Identifying and assessing each agency's authorities to
provide services on the border will improve collaboration
among the federal agencies by providing specific information
on capabilities andlimitations. The matrix of U.S. federal
activities in the border, developed by the Board, is enhancing
federal agency efforts to coordinate and leverage resources. As
a result of its review of the Board's matrix and its cooperation
with the Board, Mexico's National Advisory Council for
Sustainable Development and  SEMARNAP have agreed  to
develop a similar matrix of Mexican federal activities that will
be combined with the U.S. data to improve binational project

Inventory and Analysis of
Border  Region Programs and Projects

To better understand the extent of federal agency programs
and funding in the border region, in 1996 the Board asked
each of the eight federal agencies participating on the Board to
provide available information concerning work initiated
between 1992 and 1995.  The resulting document, "Summary
Matrix of Selected U.S. Agencies U.S.-Mexico Border Region
Programs and Projects,"  provided information on approxi-
mately 400 projects implemented since 1992.   Reported
projects addressed both specific and broad issues related to air
and water quality management, compliance, emergency
response, solid and hazardous waste management, pollution
prevention, natural resources management, environmental
health, information management, transportation,  urban
development and other infrastructure. The data reflected a
significant commitment to assisting Mexico to develop
governmental staff and institutional capacity;  assisting
communities on both sides of the border improve human
health and the environment; meeting water infrastructure
needs; and assisting border industry to develop and imple-
ment remediation and prevention programs. The Board  also
analyzed the data against several criteria developed to assess
the programs' contributions to sustainable development  of
the region  and developed the following observations which
we believe are still current.

Geographic Scope: Over 40 percent of projects are binational;
approximately one-third are multi-state or border-wide. The
rest of the projects are focused locally or regionally in the
four states.  There was limited evidence of ecosystem-level
effort, although there are notable projects addressing airsheds,
watersheds and nature preserves.

Capacity Building: While human and institutional capacity
building efforts were apparent in all agencies' programs,
emphasis was on informing the public about the programs, as
opposed to adjusting priorities and resources based on input
from the communities.  We cannot overstate the importance
of this relationship-building in achieving successful U.S. and
binational efforts.

Remediation and Prevention: Given the severity of existing
environmental and health-related problems, agencies have
placed heavy emphasis on remediation, but there was also a
positive trend toward a parallel emphasis on promoting
prevention of pollution.

Institutional Development: Development of effective com-
munity institutions on both sides of the border is equal in
importance to building infrastructure capacity. There were
relatively limited resources associated with solid and hazard-
ous waste management and emergency response issues. We
reemphasize the need for greater federal emphasis on address-
ing Native American environmental and health issues.

Information Management: Given the very large investments
in data collection and information system development by
multiple agencies, there is a high risk of duplication of effort
and high probability that lack of overall coordination may
preclude  sharing of information among data bases and broad-
based analysis.  There was also little apparent priority for
providing information to communities and nongovernmental
organizations on both sides of the border.
   Although some agencies were able to provide only partial
data largely because their internal tracking systems do not
report border-specific information separately from national
programs, each of the departments and agencies have agreed
that compilation of this information will continue to be very
valuable for improving interagency coordination and for
increasing leveraging of existing statutory authorities and
program budgets. The Mexican environmental and natural
resources agency, i.e., SEMARNAP and the Region I Mexican
National Advisory Council for Sustainable Development are
cooperating to develop a similar matrix of information on
programs and projects on the Mexican side of the border.

Recommendation: Develop a more comprehensive multi-
year estimate of needs and a long-term funding commit-
Response: Developing a comprehensive inventory of needs in
the border area is an ambitious task. The list of needs
continues to change as more information and analysis is done
on the problems in the border area. However, the develop-
ment of agreed-upon estimates of needs will contribute to
long-term planning and commitments thus serving to narrow
the number of activities for which there is insufficient
funding in a given year.  While U.S. funding projections are
generally made at least two years in advance because of budget
cycles, funding is still based on annual appropriations by
Congress. The Border XXI Framework Document lists the
studies performed on the needs and the resources required to
address these needs.

Recommendations: Given that federal resources will
continue to be inadequate  in relation to the magnitude of
border problems, we recommend that the U.S. Govern-
ment develop new authorities to permit agencies to
budget jointly for cooperative projects, to leverage appro-
priations, to develop interagency funding  agreements, to
provide multi-agency grants, and to permit utilization of
federal funds in both countries to make projects truly
binational  and sustainable. Recognizing that these
innovations will generally require congressional action, we
urge the Congress to consider:
• funding authority for the Department of Health and
Human Services to permit it  to address critical
transboundary health  problems;
• additional  funding for the Departments of the Interior
and Agriculture to address priority border-specific natural
resource protection needs;
• increased emphasis on  border emergency response and
hazardous  materials management;
• increased funding for industrial and community pollu-
tion prevention efforts;
• obtaining better census and economic development
information of the border;
• special tax-exempt infrastructure financing for the U.S.
border states;
• focusing  resources to the border from the federal and
state water infrastructure revolving funds; and
• creating with the government of Mexico a public/
private fund for binational demonstration projects.
   We endorse congressional proposals for biennial
budgeting and commend the multi-year funding commit-
ment by the three NAFTA countries for implementation
of the environmental side  agreement. To  the extent
feasible, we support negotiation of binational multi-year

funding commitments to address sustainable development
priorities for the border region.
   The Board strongly urges congressional attention to these
proposals that we believe will contribute substantially to
"reinventing government" in the border region and to meeting
its unique needs.

  Board Reaction: Considerable time and resources are
  being devoted by federal and state agencies to collect
  data and develop analyses needed to prepare environ-
  mental assessments for projects and programs. Sub-
  stantial cost and time savings can be found if federal
  and state agencies working in the border region
  develop agreements to coordinate requirements and to
  accept each others' environmental assessments.


The Border XXI Framework establishes important goals for
the region and for the governments themselves. It establishe
five year implementation objectives for each of the nine focu
areas, an annual work planning process, and a regional as wel
as binational approach to issues.
   The Board has been asked by the government to assist in
the development, implementation and evaluation of Border
XXI. Since the inception of the Border XXI framework and
planning process, the Board has been providing comments
and recommendations on Border XXI, focusing on develop-
ment of its goals and objectives, program coverage,
regionalization, work planning and implementation, and
public participation.
   The Board believes that the process has resulted in a
number of excellent projects, substantially improved inter-
agency and federal-state  coordination and public participa-
tion, and enhanced  community and local government
participation. The  Board intends to continue to monitor an
assist with further development of this program.

Recommendation: The binational Border XXI workroups
must be held accountable to overall goals and objectives,
to addressing priority concerns identified by the public
and state and local governments, to assuring clear
connections between goals, objectives and annual work
plan priorities, and to  objective evaluation of plan

Response: The National  Coordinators guide the Border XXI
Workgroups, coordinate with policy makers from participat-
ing departments of both governments, and hold all
workgroups accountable for overall Framework goals and
objectives and for accomplishment of annual implementatioi
plans. All workgroup co-chairs and staff names, addresses,
telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses have  been
made available to the public through a variety of published
materials and a Web Site.

Recommendation: Assure that the public has real input
into annual work planning, establishment of priorities,
and evaluation. Border XXI should provide for and assist
substantial, continuous and informed input from all
segments of the public, including state and local govern-
ments and communities, on both sides of the border.
Establish regional  sub work groups with participation by
state and local governments, nongovernmental organiza-
tions, tribes, and industry; and establish clear mechanism
for consideration of citizen priorities.

Response: One of the key strategies of Border XXI is the
participation of state and local governments, tribes, and the
public. The success of all Border XXI work depends on the
involvement of all sectors of border communities.
   Multiple opportunities exist for public participation in
workgroups' activities. Specific formal mechanisms include
comment periods on specific documents. Annual Implemen-
tation Plans provide the public with written material on
projects.  A Biennial Border XXI Progress Report to be issued
in 1999 will identify changes in priority, direction  and
activities that may have emerged since publication of the
Framework document. Many informal mechanisms are also
used to create two-way communication with border commu-
nities,  including  information centers within the three EPA
border liaison offices; 28 repositories; a toll-free telephone
line; a Web Site with links to agencies working on border-
related issues; Internet work stations for the public to access
environmental information without cost to them; e-mails,
faxes, and phone calls; correspondence; public meetings;
quarterly newsletters and fact sheets. The public is also
encouraged to contact the workgroups and public advisory
committees such as the Good Neighbor Environmental
Board, Region I of Mexico's National Advisory Council for
Sustainable Development, or the Joint Advisory Committee
for the Improvement of Air  Quality in the El Paso, Texas,
Ciudad Juarez and Dona Ana County Air Basin.
   While the  Border XXI program is successfully coordinat-
ing federal agencies and programs, it requires substantial
efforts by agency staff who have limited resources  and other
responsibilities, resulting in difficulties in maintaining the
level of public involvement  and information dissemination
that is desired and expected.

Recommendation: Industrial interests on both sides of the
border have played a very  minor role in formulation of
border objectives and programs. Border XXI needs to
address more effectively the significant impacts of indus-
trial growth on the border environment and to identify
mechanisms for  greater participation by industry.

Response: Border XXI's industry outreach initiative has
focused on maquiladoras and municipalities.  One of the most
successful activities has been voluntary site assessments by the
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission at various
maquiladoras  at the invitation of PROFEPA. The participat-
ing maquiladoras have  reported annual reductions of 4-5
million gallons of waste water, over 7,000 tons of hazardous
waste saved, over 4 7,000 tons of non-hazardous waste saved,
and a reduction in their electricity of over 8 million kilowatt
hours.  Pollution  prevention techniques that have been
implemented, such as engineering changes, product substitu-
tions, and better inventory controls, have resulted in a savings
of over $5 million.
   Other activities include a series of recycling workshops,
capacity-building for universities and municipalities, and
sector-specific pollution prevention workshops, including the
wood-finishing, electronics, textile, and automotive industries.
In El Paso, for instance, operators of auto body shops are
trained in using auto spray paint booth recovery systems.
   The Commission for Environmental  Cooperation is
working with Mexican small and medium-sized businesses to
implement pollution prevention techniques. Loans are repaid
with money that a company saves, plus a four percent
administration fee.

  Board Reaction: The Board commends the numerous
  programs and projects that are underway to inform
  and assist maquiladora operations and to encourage
  their participation in various remediation and pollu-
  tion prevention programs. At the same time, we
  encourage the agencies to focus efforts on providing
  comparable information and assistance to other
  medium and smaller non-maquiladora companies, as
  well as towork with and solicit the assistance of large
  companies in providing information  and technical
  assistance to counterparts.  We also continue to
  encourage all Border XXI work groups to promote
  participation in work plan development and imple-
  mentation by business and industry. Industry officials
  have informed the Board that they are anxious to be
  invited to participate and to offer their knowledge.

Recommendation: Establish relevant performance and
environmental measures to measure the extent to which
annual work programs support Border XXI objectives and
goals and the extent to which overall efforts are leading to
sustainable development of the border region.

Response: One of the major concerns of border communities
and the Border XXI workgroups has been the need to
evaluate the effectiveness of border environmental policy. As
a result, environmental indicators have been developed to
assess both achievements and obstacles to progress.
Workgroups have developed binational indicators as well as
indicators unique to one country or geographic region. The
indicators will assist analysis of implementation efforts, and
be an important tool for dissemination of information on
progress.  The indicators also measure performance to evaluate
whether programs are meeting their intended goals. Since
states in both countries are a source of some of the data as
well as an important audience for its findings, they have also
been involved in selecting indicators;  border tribes have also
provided input. The first Environmental Indicators Report
was published in both English and Spanish in early 1998.

  Board Reaction: The Board commends the work that
  has been done to develop and publish indicators for
  tracking and reporting environmental and public
  participation accomplishments under Border XXI.
  However, we note that these indicators are primarily
  oriented to tracking processes and routine progress
  against work programs, rather than measuring
  outcomes and impacts of the overall program. In
  conjunction with its Mexican counterpart, the Board
  intends to press for greater attention to tracking and
  reporting environmental results, development of
  human and institutional capacity, and progress toward
  achieving the Board's vision of and criteria for sus-
  tainable development.
     In the Board's view, a key component of this effort
  is measuring the impact of Border XXI and other
  public participation activities. We encourage contin-
  ued efforts to  improve the effectiveness of current
  mechanisms for public participation.  We commend
  the outreach work of the agencies, especially the EPA
  San Diego Border Liaison Office; increasing and
  more sophisticated dissemination of information, and
  the greater participation of local and state govern-
  ments, tribes, and nongovernmental organizations in
  regional work groups. However, we urge the govern-
  ments to shift emphasis from simply providing
  information to people to measuring how the informa-
  tion is resulting in increased capacity to shape com-
  munities, build human and infrastructure capacity,
  manage development, prevent pollution, improve
  health, and move toward sustainable development.
  We also urge the governments to increase their
  assistance to nongovernmental organizations and
  municipal governments on both sides of the  border to
  facilitate their critical roles in education, participation
  and feedback and to establish public participation
  programs defined by sustainable development criteria.
     The Board is working on development of key
  sustainable development indicators and intends to
  propose outcome measurements and define more
  specifically its expectations for results in future
  reports. The Board offers to help agencies construct a
  system that can report on Border XXI results as well
  as processes, and at the same time give agencies the
  flexibility to achieve results within available resources.

Recommendation:  Border XXI should continue to expand
coverage and integrate additional issue areas becoming,
over time, the umbrella process for defining an overall
sustainable development strategy for the region, linking
binational efforts and coordinating public and private
programs and resources.
   Border XXI needs to address transportation issues
emphasizing a comprehensive, cross-border transportation
planning process; water resources especially groundwater
management, water conservation and reuse, and coastal
and in-stream-flow issues;  commerce and economic develop-
ment emphasizing coordination of economic development
priorities with those of other environmental, natural
resources, transportation and housing agencies of the two
governments, and obtaining population and economic
data on both sides of the border; and natural resources to
reduce negative impacts on fragile ecosystems and species.

Response: The  Border XXI goal of sustainable development
for the border region is reflected throughout the structure of
the program and funded projects. The national coordinators
and each of the workgroups are committed to furthering the
goal by using sustainable development concepts in prioritiz-
ing, designing, and implementing Border XXI projects.
Participation in the certification process of the Border
Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) is another
part of the overall strategy for sustainable development.
   The Border XXI Framework Document identifies the key
federal agencies involved in its development and implementa-
tion. The workgroups recognize that there are also other
federal entities doing important work along the border and,
as the Border XXI Program develops, other agencies will be
encouraged to participate. For example, while not all trans-
portation issues are within the scope of Border XXI,
workgroups consider specific environmental impacts related
to transportation issues.  Water conservation and reuse are
being discussed in existing workgroups. In addition, the both
governments are discussing generating binational hydrologic
data that can be used to characterize border water resources.
While economic development has not been specifically
emphasized, itis being addressed.  However, before expanding
Border XXI coverage to include more federal agencies and
programs, it is  important to assure optimum coordination
among agencies participating currently. Regional subgroups
provide a forum for representatives from local, municipal, and
state organizations to participate in identifying priorities,
coordinate with each other, and exchange information.

Recommendation: Identify crucial "hot-spots" areas for
priority natural resource protection and conservation

Response: The Department of the Interior (DOI) and
SEMARNAP, the Mexican national environmental and
resource conservation agency, have identified "hot spots,"
including Cienega Santa Clara/Lower Colorado River; the
San Pedro and Santa Cruz Rivers, Organ Pipe Cactus Na-
tional Monument, Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, Cabeza Prieta

National Wildlife Refuge, Big Bend National Park, Big Bend
State Ranch, Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, Santa
Elena Canyon, Maderas del Carmen, and Laguna Madre. In
addition, Otay Mountain has two designated Wilderness
Study Areas and contains the world's largest stands of Tecate
Cypress and other unusual vegetation.

Recommendation:  Officials of the federal drug interdiction
agencies should consult with federal natural resources
management agencies to devise effective drug interdiction
practices that will reduce negative impacts on fragile
ecosystems and species.

Response:  DOI has had discussions with the Department of
Justice (DOJ) on the need for consultation on environmental
concerns related to border barriers and roads. These discus-
sions followed the 1995 Immigration Act that waived Endan-
gered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA) requirements "to the extent the Attorney
General determines necessary to ensure expeditious construc-
tion  of barriers and roads." DOJ did not request this waiver
and has indicated that it will make every effort to comply
with environmental laws. Big Bend National Park has a
history of cooperation with the various drug interdiction
agencies to increase sensitivity to the fragile ecosystems and
species and is working with U.S. Customs officials to allow
temporary travel between adjacent protected areas in the U.S.
and Mexico for park rangers, tourists, and local residents.

Recommendation: Address land use issues along the border
emphasizing sustainability of the natural resources and
more integrated approaches to managing border region
lands recognizing the complex, interconnected ecosystems
that they are.

Response: The relationship  between land use and water
resources is well established. Land use planning efforts
should consider the resultant impacts on the available water
resources.  Land use planning on non-federal land is typically
done by city and municipal planning agencies. Depending on
proposed land uses, some lands require detailed planning
while others require very little.  DOI has authority to
implement land use planning and management only for
federal lands managed by its bureaus, i.e., about one-third of
the land on the U.S. side of the border, and sustainability
concerns are addressed in its plans. In addition, the Depart-
ment works with tribes along the border, but does not have
authority over land use planning  on tribal lands. The
American Heritage Rivers program provides some opportuni-
ties to work with border communities on some issues related
to land use planning.
Recommendation: Implement ecosystem-wide management
strategies and programs.

Response: The Border XXI Framework divides the border
into five geographic regions based on political subdivisions
(California-Baja California, Arizona-Sonora, New Mexico-
Texas-Chihuahua, Texas-Coahuila-Nuevo Leon, and Texas-
Tamaulipas) to help address the unique environmental,
political, and social characteristics of each region. Political
subdivisions were used instead of ecoregions because they are
the main administrative units of the border and because many
issues do not organize by ecoregions,  e.g., enforcement, air
quality, and hazardous waste. In some cases, implementation
of Border XXI occurs inpre-determined ecoregions, e.g., the
Rio Grande and Colorado River systems and the El Paso-
Ciudad Juarez-Dona  Ana County Air Quality Management
Basin.  The Border XXI Natural Resources workgroup is
establishing regional  subgroups to help focus on unique
border ecosystems. The Rio Grande Alliance is implementing
ecosystem-wide management strategies and programs, coop-
erative activities, community-based decision making, interdis-
ciplinary approaches  to environmental problems, basin wide
exchange of information and technology, and projects that
specifically address human health issues.

Recommendation:  Every four years, federal agencies, the
Good Neighbor Environmental Board and its Mexican
counterpart should sponsor a binational border-wide
conference to  review the status of Border XXI implemen-

Response: Formal evaluation of the implementation of Border
XXI is essential and the Good Neighbor Environmental
Board should play a key role.   Subject to the availability of
resources and support from the Mexican government, a
conference could be a very useful, binational public forum.
The Board and the Mexican Region I  Council for Sustainable
Development may wish to consider holding such a conference
in conjunction with their annual binational meeting.





Recommendation: Because they share many ecosystems,
watersheds and airsheds, the U.S. and Mexican govern-
ments should work more closely to develop additional
joint cross-border programs, involving representatives
from local, state and tribal governments as well as the
federal governments.

Response: There is an increasing number of binational
projects.  While these projects require clearly defined stan-
dards and responsibilities and a high level of sensitivity to
differing technological, cultural, and organizational environ-
ments, the U.S. and Mexico are cooperating very effectively
and there is increasing involvement of a wide range of stake-
holders in their development and implementation. Technical
and financial assistance are also important components to
help build on and transfer successful cross-border programs.

Recommendation: Encourage greater coordination of U.S.
and Mexican government border programs with those of
the International Boundary and Water Commission
(IBWC), and the NAFTA North American Commission
for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).

Response: The International Boundary and Water Commis-
sion (IBWC) exercises responsibilities for implementation of
several U.S.-Mexico treaties. These treaty-mandated responsi-
bilities provide the two countries the ability to deal with
binational water quantity and quality data gathering, informa-
tion sharing, wastewater infrastructure development and
potential water quantity and quality problem identification
and resolution.  Reflecting a Board recommendation, IBWC is
carrying out these responsibilities in partnership with states
and municipalities and federal agencies of the two govern-
ments.  IBWC has actively supported the environmental
cooperation process established by the La Paz Agreement
along with other mechanisms, including working with the
BECC and NADBank. The IBWC finds the  Board's support
of sustainable development in project planning, recognition of
the transboundary nature of environmental infrastructure,
focus on basin-wide nature of the resources, and the treaty
mandates on water quantity to be an added impetus for its
strategic planning into the 21st century. Importantly, this
supports an IBWC focus to lessen, over time,  federal resource
obligations in operations and maintenance of pre-NAFTA
wastewater projects, and cooperation with other agencies an
organizations to support programs to improve the institu-
tional capacity of the Mexican sanitation system operating

The IBWC  is leading binational technical efforts on water
quality and quantity questions, supporting natural resource
information needs in the Colorado River Delta, leading
binational technical committees of state, federal and local
officials to facilitate data gathering and information sharing
the Santa Cruz River and the El Paso-Juarez aquifers, and
leading similarly structured binational technical committees
in facility planning efforts at Mexicali, Nogales, Reynosa,
Piedras Negras, Ciudad Acuna, Nuevo Laredo and
Matamoros to enhance their chances for BECC certification
and NADBank financing.

The NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation
(CEC) is addressing specific issues, e.g., San Pedro River
habitat and water issues as well as broader transboundary
impact assessment processes.

Recommendation: Continue to build needed local capacity
to address problems on an ongoing basis. Assist nongov-
ernmental organizations and provide networking assis-
tance to help share information and resources. Encourage
binational community-level cooperation on cross-border
issues and programs. Provide technical and financial
assistance to build on and help transfer successful commu
nity-level cross-border programs.  Widely publicize
binational success stories which might serve as a models.

Response: Border XXI is working to help build capacity and
decentralize  environmental management in order to augment
the participation of state and local institutions. Meeting this
challenge involves assuring access to information, training,
and support  of locally identified priorities.
    The binational Environmental Information Resources
Workgroup has been working to establish a number of
mechanisms for building capacity. There are a number of
programs to  assure access to information; state and local
government, community and industry training programs are
being conducted directly and through nongovernmental
organizations and universities; and there are a number of
ongoing programs to assist the Mexican government
developits own capacity.  Community development support
is being provided through participation in sub-regional
workgroups, binational public meetings to further local

input into existing projects and anticipated future projects,
and BECC and NADBank grant programs to help communi-
ties plan and develop needed infrastructure. In addition, over
the past two years, 28 Border XXI grants averaging $40,000
have been awarded to help border organizations implement
local, regional and border-wide programs. These competitive
grants have supported local and binational initiatives,
including efforts in environmental education, recycling,
hazard prevention, and training, in Cochise County, Ambos
Nogales, San Diego/Tijuana, western Sonoran Desert, San
Elizario, Donna, Laredo, Columbus/Palomas, Big Bend, and
Brownsville.  Grant funds also supported the Campo Band of
Mission Indians in designing a Kumeyaay Environmental
Strategy. In addition, the Fish and Wildlife Service Border-
lands Initiative has been providing grant funds in Mexico
averaging $25,000 to broadly based community projects
focusing on local capacity building, sustaining ecosystems,
and information transfer and management
   The Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Office of Community Development is supporting the
Southwest Border Partnership, involving local governments
and community organizations in the four border states, to
help address community and economic development and
infrastructure issues. The Partnership has also invited partici-
pation by other regional organizations such as the Tennessee
Valley Authority to provide technology transfer on successful
approaches in other parts of the U.S.
   It is also recognized that the Good Neighbor Environ-
mental Board is providing a forum for the public on the  U.S.
side of the border and for growing coordination with the
public on the Mexican side of the  border. We are confident
that the Board will provide an increasingly broad and bina-
tional perspective on the border publics' needs and  concerns
and development of a sustainable future for the border region.


Recommendation: All levels of industry and government
must more effectively address the significant impacts of
industrial growth on the border environment and identify
mechanisms for greater industry participation.  We
encourage development of public-private sector programs
that link environmental protection and economic develop-
ment objectives.  We also encourage the governments and
communities to recognize the growing number of compa-
nies that are demonstrating a strong commitment to
pollution control, prevention, recycling and reuse.

Response: In order to develop cooperative partnerships
among government agencies, nongovernmental organizations,
and industry, a number of projects are also currently under-
way, such as the Arizona-Mexico International Green Organi-
zation (AMIGO) program, the State of Texas voluntary audits
program, and the San Diego/Tijuana pollution prevention
partnership. The AMIGO program is a binational state-level
partnership for pollution prevention designed to create
partnerships leading to voluntary pollution prevention
activities among industries located in the Arizona-Sonora
border region. A collaborative industry pollution prevention
program is under development for the Tijuana area involving
NGOs, Federal and state governments,  maquiladoras,  and
academia to provide technical assistance to selected
maquiladoras; the program may be funded by contributions
from maquiladoras  based on cost savings resulting from
application of pollution prevention techniques and technolo-
gies. Joint U.S.-Mexico staff site assessments and follow-up
site visits are focused on determining opportunities to
implement pollution prevention and clean technology for
Mexican industrial facilities.  These have resulted in reduc-
tions in waste and air emissions and have also saved over $1
million through pollution prevention. Bilingual pollution
prevention manuals have also been developed for the several
key industries.  The Department of Health  and Human
Services also sponsored an international symposium on
health which addressed the maquiladora industry's impact on
the environment and development. Under the Government
Performance and Results Act, binational environmental
indicators have been developed to quantitatively measure
success in implementation of programs; Mexico is undertak-
ing a similar effort.  A variety of measures have been identi-
fied which will require Mexico and the U.S. to compile and
report data on key indicators of success.
    Two important efforts have been initiated in the past year
to address waste management issues associated with industry:
development of a waste generation model to help determine
the amount of hazardous wastes being generated along the
Mexican border, and binational measures to collect data from
Mexico relating to  the maquiladora solid and hazardous waste
issues.  The waste generation model will help the U.S.
evaluate the extent of industrial growth impacts and monitor
how this changes over time, allowing better targeting of waste
minimization efforts.
    Discussion is underway regarding expanded programs to
recognize companies that are implementing programs which
are environmentally responsible and cost effective. The U.S.
already has an array of recognition programs for to involve
industry and promote pollution prevention  such as the
Environmental Leadership Program, Border Waste Wi$e,
Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community programs,
and other programs.  Mexico has also developed  "Industria
Limpia" to recognize Mexican national industry for their
environmental achievements. There are also recognition
programs at state levels such as the Clean Texas 2000  and
pollution prevention round tables. The ten  border states are

considering a "showcase" of border industries which are
successfully participating in existing programs and a forum
for transferring successes to others, providing incentives for
more industry participation and partnerships.


Recommendation: Native American nations along the
border still have not been included to any significant
extent in planning or implementation of border programs.
Substantially accelerate efforts to include Native American
representatives in border planning.  Because several of the
tribes' lands and peoples are in both countries, actively
involve the Mexican national government in addressing
tribal cross-border issues.

Response: EPA provided a total of $17 million from fiscal year
 1996 border infrastructure funds to help meet environmental
infrastructure needs identified by border tribes. Based on
these estimates and the use of allocated funds, EPA believes
that no additional tribal infrastructure funding will be
required immediately.
   Under Border XXI, the two governments agreed to
encourage greater involvement of tribal nations in all
workgroups. Tribal representatives have been invited to
participate in regional subgroups and at the annual National
Coordinators meeting where key policy decisions are made.
Native American community representatives are already
involved in binational natural resources protection
under a binational Letter of Intent on Adjacent Protected
Areas. The Tohono O'odham Nation is helping lead a
project for the Western Sonoran Desert to identify
 threats to cultural resources. A conference  was held
 February 3-5, 1998 at San Diego that brought together
the 25 tribal entities along the border with federal
officials to help identify tribal issues and needs, to provide
 an opportunity for federal agencies to discuss their
programs and resources with tribes, and to create new
opportunities for assistance and coordination. The Environ-
mental Information Resources Workgroup also has worked
closely with tribal staff to solicit input on environmental
indicators.  The San Diego Border Liaison Office has also
held seminars for tribal representatives to discuss participa-
tion in the Border XXI Program and has hired a full time
coordinator to work with tribes in Arizona and California.

  Board Reactions: The Board commends the progress
  that has been made over the past two years in working
  with border tribes to identify and address their needs,
  and to increasingly recognize the special relationship
  tribes have with the governments, the environment
  and the land. The Board believes that tribal environ-
  mental infrastructure needs substantially exceed the
  $17 million allocated by EPA. In addition, tribes have
  informally identified significant health, housing,
  transportation, and related needs to the Board and to
  agencies at the recent tribal conference. The Board
  encourages EPA, other agencies, BECC and
  NADBank, to work with the 25 border tribes to help
  them as needed to develop plans and funding esti-
  mates, and to work closely together to leverage their
  existing authorities and funds to meet these needs.
      The Board endorses the border tribes proposal to
  hold a binational conference in 1999, following on the
  1998  domestic conference, that will include indigenous
  peoples' representatives from both sides of the border
  along with representatives of both U.S. and Mexican
  federal and state governments.

Recommendation: Evaluate the implementation of the
binational Air Quality Management Basin  and Joint
Advisory Committee (JAC) for the El Paso-Juarez airshed
to determine if this model may be useful for addressing air
quality issues elsewhere in the region, as well as for other
transboundary environmental problems, such as water,
hazardous waste, and health.

Response: The JAC was formed through a consensus that
regional air quality problems are shared and that it was
essential to address the problems on a binational basis. The
binational JAC formulates recommendations to the Border
XXI Air Work Group. The Paso del Norte Air Quality task
force, a non-governmental, non-partisan organization, has led
the effort to advocate and sponsor pollution abatement
throughout the basin, to create public awareness of air
pollution problems, and to garner governmental support for
studies to define problems and possible solutions.
    The San Diego and Tijuana area has also begun examining
the possibility of forming an entity similar to the JAC for the
SanDiego/Tijuana/Rosarito area. In November 1997, the
Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) hosted a
meeting in San Diego to provide a forum for individuals
interested in forming such an entity.  Several individuals with
experience in the creation of the El Paso-Juarez JAC attended
the meeting to provide their experience.
  Board Reaction: The only binational entity for the El
  Paso-Ciudad Juarez air basin is the binational public
  advisory body that advises the Border XXI Air
  Working Group. The Board continues to urge the
  establishment of the authorized air quality basin
  management entity for the El Paso-Juarez region, and
  for other major urban binational regions such as San
  Diego-Tijuana. We also continue to recommend
  potential application of the concept to address other
  transboundary environmental problems, such as water,
  hazardous waste, and health.

Recommendation: Address visibility problems at Big Bend
National Park on a binational and multi jurisdictional
basis using the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Coin-
mission (GCVTC) as  a model. Apply a truly binational
effort to reduce emissions from Carbon I and II and from
other sources on both sides of the border which are
affecting air quality in the region.

Response: The Board recommendation contains a number of
the characteristics that define U.S. government efforts to
address visibility problems in the Big Bend region. EPA, the
Department of the Interior, Texas, and the government of
Mexico are working to  develop a conclusive understanding of
the sources and remedies of visibility problems in the Big
Bend region. EPA views the Board's reference to the Grand
Canyon Visibility Transport Commission (GCVTC)  as an
example of how visibility is a problem that requires a regional
solution. The U.S. and Mexico designed the  1996 joint field
study to cover a vast area containing much of northern
Mexico and Texas. The impact of many sources beyond
Carbon I and II were, and will be, considered in deciding
which sources have the greatest impact.  Other elements of
the GCVTC effort included collaboration on regional studies
and data gathering, use of outside experts when possible, a
collaborative effort where all interested parties are invited to
participate, and anticipation that the analysis will guide
interested parties to a comprehensive, equitable solution. The
Big Bend effort shares these characteristics with the GCVTC.
   The agencies  welcome the opportunity to deal with issues
of air quality in the Big Bend area and emissions  from Carbon
I and II on a truly binational basis.  EPA has sought to
address the issue on a regional basis, proposing the series of
studies now underway. If the  studies bring to light the need
to control sources within the United States that affect
visibility in Big Bend, EPA will address these issues as part of
the national program on acid rain, visibility, and fine particu-
late control. EPA appreciates and shares the Board's desire to
see the United States and Mexico reach an appropriate

  Board Reaction: Given the promulgation of new
  National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone
  and small particulates (PM 2.5) in July 1997, the Board
  recognizes the need for additional collaborative
  research concerning the impact of these and other
  pollutants on human health, and recommends that
  federally-funded research programs investigate these
  impacts, especially on low-income peoples of the
  border region.

Recommendation: The Board recommends consideration of
the Department of Commerce's binational sustainable
development study of the Rio Grande River (that ad-
dressed economic development, water use, and watershed
planning) as a possible model for other airshed and
watershed areas.

Response: Funding is expected in fiscal year 1999 for unified
assessments to assess and characterize water resources from a
watershed perspective. This effort will be led by EPA and the
U.S. Geological  Survey.  The Department of Commerce
expresses its appreciation for the Board's  recognition of its
work and its willingness to work with other agencies consid-
ering application of its approach as a model.

  Board Reaction: The Board commends expanding
  interagency efforts to develop unified watershed
  assessments along the border. These unified assess-
  ments should have very positive impacts on approach-
  ing management of all water resources, as well as
  improving public health and water quality.

Recommendation: Much greater focus is needed on water
quantity issues. In many locations along both sides of the
border, there are still critical questions about the location,
amount, quality and movement of groundwater, and
ecosystem relationships. We urge the two governments to
work jointly and with the states and the International
Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) to collect
essential water quantity data, using joint protocols, and to
discuss water allocation issues.
Response: On the U.S. side of the border, primary authority
and much of the responsibility to protect groundwater
resources resides with U.S. states.  Although the U.S. federal
government has some jurisdiction over groundwater, it is
more limited than its jurisdiction over surface water. Con-
gress has authority under the Commerce Clause of the U.S.
Constitution to regulate groundwater in the U.S., including
instances in which groundwater crosses the  boundary be-
tween U.S. states  or between the U.S. and a foreign country.
EPA takes the position that Congress has chosen to provide
some Federal jurisdiction over groundwater through the
Clean Water Act. In addition, some portions of the Safe
Drinking Water Act authorize EPA to regulate contamination
of underground sources or potential underground sources of
drinking water. The Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act (RCRA) regulations deal directly with groundwater, and
both RCRA and the Comprehensive Environmental Re-
sponse, Compensation and Liability  Act (CERCLA or
"Superfund") provide some remedial authority with respect
to groundwater. Nevertheless, since there is no
comprehensive Federal authority over U.S. groundwater
resources, efforts to  protect groundwater on the U.S.
side of the border with Mexico must  focus mainly on action
by the U.S. border states.
    The IBWC's policies emphasize sustainable, holistic,
watershed-based approaches; the importance of binational
communications,  and establishing a new operating paradigm
with the BECC and NADBank. Operating under several
treaties, IBWC conducts data gathering, facilitates information
sharing, and conducts planning on boundary rivers. A 1970
boundary treaty gave the IBWC a number of responsibilities
for  flood plain management and for providing some degree of
natural restoration to the rivers. In the lower Rio Grande
Valley, during the drought of 1992-1993, IBWC negotiated a
loan of water to Mexico and at the same time increased the
dialogue between both countries bringing in the water sectors
from the lower Rio Grande Valley and counterparts  in
Mexico to  find ways to develop better knowledge of the water
system. IBWC is still in charge of operating and maintaining
the  vitally important international Amistad and Falcon
Reservoirs.  They also have had a number of agreements tied
to the delivery and quality of Colorado River water that  is
delivered to Mexico.  With NAFTA, IBWC is under pressure
to take a different view in the manner in which deliveries are
made to Mexico, on the quality of the waters delivered to
Mexico, and data gathering beyond the 24-mile reach of the
Colorado River.
    IBWC  has developed wastewater infrastructure projects
based on federal directives that will require long term govern-
ment subsidies, but are taking steps to reduce federal govern-
ment costs, and increase work with the NADBank and local
communities to build local capacities. IBWC receives re-
sources from EPA, including $47 million for a facility plan

for five Mexican communities on the Rio Grande River and,
on the land boundary, with Nogales and Mexicali to meet
BECC  certification requirements in 1998. IBWC also serves
as a coordinator of agencies with the ability to move equip-
ment and personnel from one side of the border to the other
unimpeded.  IBWC has been a partner with other U.S. and
Mexican agencies before signing of the  1983 LaPaz Agreement
and continues to be very active  in the Border XXI water work

Recommendation: Develop new binational water quantity
and ground water management institutional arrangements
at key  locations along the border that combine the
planning and public oversight aspects of the El Paso-
Ciudad Juarez Air Quality  Management Basin and Joint
Advisory Committee, and the implementation and
management aspects of the Rio Grande River Water

Response: With respect to new binational institutional
arrangements,  the Department of State endorses development
of appropriate  binational entities that facilitate innovative
solutions to transboundary problems.

Recommendation: Develop and implement a border wide
and bilateral strategy and programs  for the conservation
and use of ground and surface water sources. Because
many water quantity problems relate to agricultural
practices, the Board recommends greater efforts to encour-
age use of "best management practices" and local water
conservation programs.

Response: The  Border XXI water work group believes that,
prior to being able to establish border-wide strategies, data
must be comparable on a regional basis. The link between
cause and effect, such as  agricultural practices on water
quality, can only be established  through well-defined and
implemented monitoring plans.

Recommendation: Increase emphasis on addressing in-
stream flow issues.

Response:  In-stream flow is a major concern to Department
of the Interior resource managers in the Lower Rio Grande
Valley where reduced flows threaten native flora, fauna, and
recreational values. Information is needed by federal, state,
local, and non-governmental  organizations to document
historical hydrologic trends for the river, to determine the in-
stream flow requirements of the flora and fauna, and to
develop management decisions  that will result in maintenance
and enhancement of the river's biodiversity.   One obstacle to
influencing instream flow decisions is that Rio Grande water
management authorities do not endorse management of
in-stream flows for habitat and recreation. They are primarily
concerned with flood control, municipal use, and irrigation.
In addition, Federal reserved water rights for in-stream flow in
the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is
currently under adjudication in Arizona state court.


Recommendation: Improve the efficiency and reliability of
notification and monitoring of hazardous materials
transported across the border

Response: EPA, U.S. Customs  and the Department of
Transportation continue to cooperate to address problems
associated with transportation of hazardous materials  across
the border. In order to understand what hazardous chemicals
cross the border and to facilitate development of realistic
sister city contingency plans, EPA is completing commodity
flow studies at various high risk crossings, such as
Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and El
Paso. In addition, the Haztraks database has been developed
to facilitate U.S. and Mexican efforts to track hazardous waste
shipments crossing the border, and to enable  both countries
to conduct import and export compliance monitoring and
enforcement activities. The Haztraks system has seen system
and data improvements over the past two years resulting in
more accessible, accurate and timely data. Mexico has
developed a new tracking database containing substantially
more Mexican data than Haztraks that will interface directly
with Haztraks and should allow for comprehensive tracking
of transboundary waste shipments. However, correlating the
U.S. and Mexican data has been difficult due to lack of data
from Mexico on original shipments and different waste
definitions between the two countries. EPA recently  com-
pleted a prototype waste correlation dictionary to help
correlate and track transboundary shipments. Plans are
already under development to begin training Haztraks
customers to use both systems as soon  as possible.

  Board Reaction: Further efforts are needed to accu-
  rately monitor and control  cross-border flows of
  hazardous wastes, including the more effective opera-
  tion o/Haztraks.

Recommendation: Develop binational agreements and
joint emergency response programs that facilitate the
rapid movement of emergency response personnel and
equipment across the border, improved availability of
emergency equipment at crossings, development and
testing of response plans, improved tracking of cargoes

prior to inspection, and thorough training of inspectors
on both sides of the border.

Response: U.S. government staff have been working with
sister cities to help develop contingency plans which address
the hazardous chemical risks associated with their commu-
nity, accelerate movement of emergency response personnel
and equipment across the border, improve availability of
emergency equipment at crossings, track cargoes, and train
inspectors.  Grants have been provided to states to address
sister city issues, for chemical emergency response training for
border emergency responders, for workshops to facilitate
development of sister city contingency plans, and for specific
technical assistance.  EPA also chaired a Cross-Border
Workgroup to discuss barriers to responding to hazardous
materials emergencies in the border area and to identify
potential solutions for overcoming barriers. The workgroup
found that several issues could be resolved at the local level
through coordination with appropriate local agencies. IBWC
also has the ability to move equipment and personnel from
one side of the border without immigration/customs restric-

Recommendation: Obtain donations of usable equipment
and simplify transfer of equipment to Mexico.

Response: Currently, U.S. regulations do not permit donation
of equipment to foreign countries.  However, EPA has been
working with local communities to explore opportunities to
share such equipment. Local U.S. communities along the
border have donated equipment to their Mexican neighbors.

  Board Reaction: The Board recommends that the
  governments expand their border region contingency
  planning efforts to address large scale emergencies,
  such as the recent fires and eruptions, that may affect
  the border region. The Board notes that this was a
  major topic of discussion at the recent Binational
  Commission meeting.

Recommendation: Begin addressing immediately the
implications and requirements for hazardous waste
disposal in the border region that will result from the
termination of the maquiladora  program in 2001.

Response: The maquiladora program will continue beyond
2001 unless Mexico terminates it. Approximately 80-90% of
the maquiladoras are U.S.-owned; the remainder are owned by
companies in non-NAFTA countries. The NAFTA phase-in
of tariff elimination will not affect these non-NAFTA
countries and they can be expected to continue using the
program; some research suggests that the advantages of
conducting business under the maquiladora program are such
that U.S. companies may choose to continue doing business
under this program despite the elimination of tariffs as a
result of NAFTA. These advantages include expedited
customs brokering, continued tariff and tax breaks for
products that will not be affected by tariff reductions until
2008 under the NAFTA schedule, and continued exemption
from value-added taxes for inputs into the manufacturing and
assembly processes. In any case, many U.S. companies can be
expected to take advantage of the NAFTA tariff reductions
and to establish subsidiaries in Mexico outside of the
maquiladora program.  This will be important for waste
management in that Mexico may be required to handle a large
increase in hazardouswastes generated by U.S. companies that
will no longer be required to be returned to the U.S.  for
treatment, storage and disposal.  Mexico has completed a
"vulnerability atlas" which identifies acceptable locations for
the siting of hazardous waste treatment facilities. Companies
have been invited to bid on the construction of such facilities
within the targeted zones. The U.S. has offered technical
assistance  to the Mexican government in the design, construc-
tion and management of such facilities, but cannot fund any
activities directly through any Mexican entity.


Recommendation: Address the unique public health issues
of the border region.  Consider establishment of the
authorized U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission.
Provide funds to continue to support border health
training programs, increase training in surveillance,
epidemiology, and environmental health; implement a
tuberculosis control program at the border; strengthen
and expand  community-based, electronic, binational,
environmental health  surveillance systems; create a truly
binational clearinghouse on environmental and health
data, research and resources.

Response:  A significant number of steps have been taken to
implement Board recommendations regarding border environ
mental health institutional needs. In 1994, legislation
authorizing a binational U.S.-Mexico Border Health  Commis
sion (BHC) was passed by Congress, which allocated $800,00(
for BHC implementation in fiscal year  1998. The Secretary
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS) will chair the  U.S. side of the BHC which is now
being formed, and the first meeting is being scheduled. The
Department  is working with Mexico and border community
groups to  maximize the BHC's initial meeting. The Depart-
ment agrees  with the Board's earlier recommendation that to
be effective, the Commission must ultimately be binational.
DHHS provides funds to the border region in support of
training efforts through various mechanisms. Most  of the

DHHS support comes from its normal grants mechanisms to
 State and local governments. It also supports the Pan Ameri-
 can Health Organization's (PAHO) Field Office in El Paso,
Texas, which provides training opportunities in epidemiology
 and program management. The National Institutes for
Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 (CDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
have cooperated to train health scientists, clinicians, epidemi-
ologist, toxicologists, engineers, industrial hygienists, chem-
ists, and allied health workers in both general environmental
health and occupational health. Recently, they have been
training physicians from maquiladoras in occupational health.
CDC also offers a distance learning program for public health
professionals and a training program for people to design,
implement, and evaluate prevention programs and interven-
tions at the community, state, and national levels.
    Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a public health concern
on the border. The Ten Border States lead a binational,
border-wide, public/private tuberculosis control campaign.
The tuberculosis control project accelerates sharing informa-
tion, education, and state-to-state agreements.   CDC is
continuing its multi-year collaborative project with Texas on
tuberculosis prevention and health promotion.  Additional
efforts are being discussed with the advent of increased
prevalence of drug resistant TB.
    Several mechanisms have been developed over the past
years to address the need for better environmental health
surveillance and communication systems on the border. The
Interagency Coordinating Committee for Environmental
Health on the U.S.-Mexico Border (ICC) continues to be an
important forum for U.S. federal, state and local health and
environmental representatives.  The PAHO Field Office is
also an active ICC participant. ICC members conduct
research projects with support from the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to determine the potential risk of
environmental contaminants on human health. Some of the
work which originated in the ICC has been expanded to a
binational forum through the Environmental Health
Workgroup of Border XXI (EHWG). The ICC and the
EHWG are inextricably linked, with the ICC providing a
domestic focus for environmental healthissues and the
EHWG offering ICC members an avenue for pursuing
binational environmental health issues.
   The Border XXI Environmental Health Workgroup is
focusing on seven initiatives: 1) a Health Alert Bulletin Board
was established to help share epidemiological data and
information about environmental health related issues
quickly across the border. The initiative is considering the
development of a binational directory of environment and
health officials, an electronic conduit for communication
among border health offices and federal agencies, and a
communication system to share product alerts;  2) Pesticide
 Exposure and Health Effects in Young Children is being ad-
 dressed in three phases: discover what pesticides are being
 used, locate the people exposed, and identify risk factor
 values.  Phase I has been completed and Phase II is underway;
 3) Pediatric Lead Exposure Identification and Risk Reduction.
 Although the lead program within CDC and EPA now
 receives less funding than before, pediatric lead exposure is
 still considered a problem on the border. Recently, a new
 technology that provides a simple and very rapid reading of
 blood lead levels was introduced and is being used in a project
 in Arizona and New Mexico; 4) The Advanced Training
 initiative is a collaborative effort with PAHO to provide
 adequate and appropriate training to individuals in the realm
 of toxicology, epidemiology, and environmental health. Four
 scholarships have been awarded for advanced training for
 public health workers in the border region;  5) Poison Control
 Center Development, including establishment of a poison
 control center in each of the Mexican border states that will
 provide a central point of assistance  to alert both governments
 to potential problems, and will link laboratories, the poison
 center and an epidemiologist to assure a full range of public
 health services; 6) Geographic Information Systems for Envi-
 ronmental Health are being expanded, working with the
 pesticides initiative to develop a visual data base; and 7)
 Neural Tube Defects are still a concern regarding potential links
 to environmental exposures. By the end of  1998, a report will
 be presented to border communities about what is known
and how to target resources.
   Several efforts are underway to address health and environ-
 mental data communication needs. DHHS is working with
PAHO and community-based organizations to evaluate data
 infrastructure needs through demonstration programs in each
of the border states. The Sister Communities Health Profiles,
 a 1991  compendium of binational demographic and health
statistics for the U.S.-Mexico Border, is currently being
 updated by the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association
 (USMBHA). The initial preformation process of the U.S.-
 Mexico Border Health Commission looked at the availability
 of border health data to formulate a baseline of information.

 Recommendation: Evaluate the benefits of the health
 deliverypromotora concept and provide additional
promotora training.

 Response: The Department of Health and Human Services is
 funding development of community-based health outreach
 models that can be replicated in urban and rural areas
 throughout the U.S.-Mexico border region. The four U.S.
 border states are utilizing the promotora concept (training and
 using community representatives) to improve community
 access to health care and community services. In the third
 year of funding, the project is moving along well.

  Board Reaction: The Board continues to support the
  prom otora concept. We find that prom otoras are being
  asked to perform more and more health care functions
  and believe it is time to develop standards for assuring
  the effectiveness ofpromotora training and delivery of
  health care services.

Recommendation: Improve management and coordination
of natural resources in the border region.

Response: The Field Coordinating Committee of the Depart-
ment of the Interior (DOI) is a very successful effort at
improving communication among regional and local staffs of
the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau
of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of
Reclamation,  Geological Survey, and Minerals Management
Service. It meets regularly to share information, establish
common positions, and jointly finance projects all of which
improves consistency and the impact of Federal conservation
work along the U.S. Mexico border. Under Border XXI, the
natural resources work group is focusing on 1) exchange of
information on vegetation, wildlife and other natural re-
sources to support natural resource management decisions in
the U.S. and in Mexico; 2) coordination of natural resource
management programs and decisions among federal and state
agencies on both sides of the border; and 3) holding training
courses, educational programs and outreach activities regard-
ing natural resource management and wildlife and habitat
protection. Efforts this year will emphasize increasing state,
tribal and other public participation on both sides of the
border in development of priorities.
   In the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land
Management, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service administer nearly 10 million acres within 100
kilometers of the border. There are also millions of acres held
in trust for Native Americans in reservations along the
border. The Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park
Service provide extensive technical and leadership training
with Mexico.  Together, they provide about $900,000 annu-
ally in grants to support locally-generated projects addressing
capacity building, ecosystem conservation, and information
transfer. The  Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park
Service also support training projects along the border to
restore natural vegetation in riparian zones while managing
the land for the combined purposes of wildlife habitat,
nature-oriented recreation and environmental education at the
grassroots level.  Participants include Mexican personnel as
well as local groups and communities.
    The Interior department has also been developing a
 binational framework agreement with Mexico to cooperate
 on wildfire management and rapid response to emergency
 wild land fire regardless of what side of the border the fire is
 occurring. In a separate but related effort, a guidebook has
 been developed to provide natural resource information for
 fire management and law enforcement officers. Regarding tl
 illegal trade in wildlife products and wildlife, the Fish and
 Wildlife Service has worked with U.S. Customs agents to
 teach them how to identify illegally traded wildlife products.
 In addition, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and counterpart agencies
 in Mexico and Canada have held workshops on trade in
 reptile skins and birds and, in Mexico, the forensic aspects of
 wildlife investigations.  The U.S. Geological Survey has just
 initiated a major five year analysis of the factors controlling
 the occurrence and distribution of ground water in the
 southwestern U. S. and along the border.  Many of the study
 findings will have relevance to establishing links between
 existing water resources and natural resource variables.
 Forlshe Department of Agriculture, primarily the U.S.
 Service, is also involved in managing two  national forests
 along the border totaling 2.3 million acres. USDA's Natural
 Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development are
 also very involved in the border land management and rural
 infrastructure development.

 Recommendation: Use "best management practices," such
 as drip irrigation in irrigation water management in the
 border region, which is almost universally water poor.

Response: USD A, through the Natural Resources and
 Conservation Service, is committed to best management
 practices in its conservation efforts. Irrigation management is
 an important element of the overall strategy and the depart-
 ment has sponsored a large number of projects along the

Recommendation: A top priority for border development
must be the establishment of a rational and binational
transportation planning process that is coordinated with
Mexican agencies. Develop a comprehensive, cross-border
transportation planning process. In the meantime,
develop cross-border transportation authorities to guide
state transportation investments.  Upgrade cross-border
and border area highways and establish joint emergency
response capabilities for dealing with accidents involving
hazardous waste and hazardous materials in the region.

'Response: The Department of Transportation (DOT) is
working to better coordinate and integrate the planning of
transportation infrastructure with Mexico. Through the
Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations, the
Department is participating in the Joint Working Committee
(JWC), which is a binational effort at the state and federal
levels of government. The U.S. and Mexican state depart-
ments also are part of this effort. The JWC recently com-
pleted a $2.4 million study emphasizing trade and transporta-
tion planning. This study and its implementation plan can
provide the framework recommended by the Board.
    In addition, the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) has been working with other US. agencies, the
states, as well as with its counterparts in Mexico to improve
the compatibility of commercial motor vehicle safety stan-
dards, signage and signals, permissible vehicle weights and
dimensions, and to better coordinate compliance and enforce-
ment activities including the processing of vehicles at border
crossings.  Efforts also are underway to improve the collection
of transportation, trade, and related data. These improve-
ments foster the Board's  safety goals through the safer
handling of all commodities including hazardous materials
and wastes.
    There are a significant number of highway improvement
and border crossing projects being put in place or being
developed through both  public and private funds.  Much of
the federal surface transportation aid has been provided
through state Departments of Transportation and other
entities rather than through unique border programs. Over
the last several years, bridges have been permitted outside of
metropolitan areas, and commercial traffic, especially hazard-
ous materials, is being routed to specific ports of entry that
have modern facilities normally located outside of population
centers, e.g. Los Tomates/Matamoros, Laredo III and IV,
Nuevo Laredo, and the new land crossing at Calexico East/
Nuevo Mexicali.
   In seeking to improve border crossings, FHWA efforts
extend to the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems,
binational planning efforts, as well as the placement of new
infrastructure away from congested urban centers e.g., Laredo
Ill/TV Bridge and the crossing at Mexicali/Calexico. The ITS
efforts are best  demonstrated through the  North American
Trade Prototype (NATAP) which is an effort by DOT,
Treasury/Customs, and Justice/INS to create a single federal
database for the processing of all transborder trade and the
vehicles and drivers used to move those goods. This data base
also is expected to generate more timely and reliable informa-
tion about NAFTA trade flows. It also will serve as a key
component in the International Trade Data System which
will create a single federal data base for all the movement of
all international cargoes and the vehicles and drivers used to
transport them.
   Other cooperative federal and state efforts include the
Land Transportation Safety Standards Committee (LTSS) and
the U.S.-Mexico Binational Bridges and Border Crossings
Group. The LTSS is a trilateral working group established
under NAFTA, which is, among other things, seeking to
harmonize requirements and vehicle standards, reduce air
pollution as part of the larger effort to improve safety and the
environment as  well as expedite cargo processing at the
border. The U.S.-Mexico Binational Bridges and Border
Crossings Group meets regularly to coordinate border
crossings  and bridges and their related infrastructure.
   FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are
using a variety of innovative financing tools to expedite the
creation of needed infrastructure.  Advanced construction
loans and state infrastructure banks (SIBS) are two tools the
border states now have to finance those transportation
improvements that best meet their needs.  All border states
have or are creating SIBs and are use the other federal financ-
ing tools as well as the more traditional grant programs.
Reauthorization of the federal surface transportation pro-
gram, TEA-21  (Transportation Equity Act for the 21st
Century) will provide increased capital for these efforts.
   The FTA has created a Livable Communities program
which integrates transportation with other federal services
such as training and community development to provide for
sustainable development in these economically distressed
areas.  The Corpus Christi, Texas project has successfully

integrated transportation with child care, training, and
economic development.
   In addition, FTA has funded a model project in McAllen,
Texas to provide variable route service to increase transit
availability. In developing the system, studies revealed that
the biggest obstacle the poor and unemployed face is lack of
access to flexible and reliable transportation. The Depart-
ment recognized this link between transportation and
transitioning people from welfare or underemployment to
work. TEA-21 includes the Administration's plan to provide
about $600 million ($100 million/year nationally) in funds to
aid in this transition. The Department is also working with
the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to
see how to best leverage the monies DOT spends on
paratransit and the funds DHHS spends on health care

  Board Reaction: The Board continues to recommend
  that transportation issues in the border region be
  viewed and addressed in a broad context and that a
  goal be to establish integrated, sustainable transporta-
  tion systems. The Board perceives a number of
  interrelated mobility, land use, watershed and water
  quality, air quality and hazardous waste and hazard-
  ous materials issues that are part of a solution to
  transportation issues. Each of the border states are
  facing increasing traffic and border region congestion.
  This is also being exacerbated by Section 110 of the
  1996 Immigration Act,  requiring the Immigration and
  Naturalization Service to create an exit control
             ion: Providing sanitary and safe housing is a
critical element to addressing environmental problems
along the border and in lower income communities.

'Response: The Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment (HUD) is focusing primarily on improving living
conditions, cleaning up areas and providing for housing.
HUD emphasizes providing assistance directly to home
owners rather than to developers, and educating people how
to build homes  and to help them stay on their property.
HUD administers a number of funding programs helping to
address these issues: the Community Development Block
Grants (CDBG), HOME, single family and multi-family
housing, FHA program, fair housing, Native American
housing, rehabilitation funding, public housing and Section
8. Funds are allocated to states and directly to selected
entitlement communities.  HUD has helped to establish self-
help centers; provided tools to people to help build and repair
their homes; installed septic tanks; provided funds to buy
contracts of sale from developers and put title in the hands of
the property owners; amended its standards to make housing
available to many more people; and is working with universi-
ties to develop plans for construction of houses at about $20
per square foot to put a house within reach of a family for
$175 a month. In addition, HUD has been working with
other federal agencies, communities and foundations to
identify other sources of funds for non-housing infrastruc-
ture, including local bond monies.
    In 1997, HUD funding in the four border states totaled
approximately $300 million: over $125 million to Texas, over
$20 million to New Mexico, nearly $70 million to Arizona,
and more than $85 million to California. The funding assists
rehabilitation and construction of affordable housing, streets
and drainage, sanitation, environment, potable water, social
services, capacity building. Border states (except for Califor-
nia) are required to set-aside 10 percent of their CDBG funds
for assistance to colonias.  A new block grant program has
been established in the HUD Office of Native American
Programs providing border tribes the opportunity to apply
for funds through a plan that they submit. This program
gives tribes a new opportunity to leverage community
development block funds with EPA, USD A, and other
funding sources. In addition, for example, a foundation in
Texas has contributed $1.8 million for interest-free housing
assistance in colonias. Studies by the Cooperative Housing
Foundation and others have identified needs for approxi-
mately 215,000 additional low income housing units in U.S.
border states (primarily Texas and California) and 280,000
units in Mexican border communities.

The Department of Agriculture (USD A) provides over $4
billion of housing programs to rural communities across the
country. More than $1 billion of direct loans for low and
very low income rural residents are loaned at subsidized
interest rates through several hundred county-based offices.
These same offices also provide more than $60 million in
home repair loans and grants to very low income residents.
USDA also offers $3 billion of loan guarantees to lenders
loaning to rural mortgage applicants whose incomes are
between 80% and 115% of median incomes.
    USDA also provides $150 million in multi-family and
elderly apartment financing along with farm labor housing
and housing preservation grants. The multi-family program
also offers over $540 million in rural rental assistance to
nearly 1 million rural residents. These programs are espe-
cially utilized in rural communities along the U.S.-Mexico
border, providing mortgage financing in communities where
the absence of other credit is a continual problem.


Recommendation: While U.S. private foundations have
provided some funding to Mexican and U.S. entities to
encourage development of more effective nongovernmen-
tal organizations, there are still very substantial needs for
enhancing the ability of communities to address  develop-
ment issues  and improve access to needed information.
U.S. income tax law restricts deductibility of charitable
donations when the funds are to be spent outside the U.S.,
making it very difficult for nongovernmental organiza-
tions to obtain funds for transboundary projects. We
encourage changes in U.S. tax law to encourage private
support to these public purposes, the creation of bina-
tional foundations,  and technical assistance to Mexico to
develop a private foundation network.

Response: The recommendation with respect to changes in
tax law is not supported by the Treasury Department.
Because U.S. legislation restricts tax exempt status to state and
local governments and establishes limits on the total of tax
exempt funding outstanding, any tax exempt funds that
would betargeted to Mexico would reduce tax exempt funds
available to U.S. jurisdictions.


Recommendation: For the past several years, both sides of
the border have experienced significant developmental
pressures due to industrialization, migration and popula-
tion growth. Environmental, health, housing, transporta-
tion and other infrastructure has not kept pace with this
development. The interconnection of environment,
health, housing, and transportation infrastructure-related
problems makes it imperative that infrastructure issues be
addressed more comprehensively.
   Compile a comprehensive, integrated, binational
inventory and priority list of infrastructure needs to help
rationally allocate limited resources, identify localities that
are more stressed, and communicate priorities to commu-
nities competing for funding. Develop this information,
at least regionally, to support  a rational allocation of
limited resources; to identify localities that are relatively
more stressed by economic, environmental, and public
health issues; and to communicate priorities to communi-
ties competing for funding.

Response: As one example of a strategic approach, the Rural
Development program within the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) has developed both a multi-year strategic
action plan and one-year tactical action plan for meeting the
needs of rural communities, including sections that  deal
specifically with the border region. These plans include
specific goals for expanding outreach to partners in order to
leverage assistance to the communities being served. Empow-
erment Zones and Enterprise  Communities were also required
to create a strategic plan to ensure prioritized needs  are met
first.   The two Enterprise  Communities are expected to apply
for status as Empowerment Zones which will include addi-
tional goal setting and prioritization. Currently, USDA
agencies are not empowered to deal binationally but work
closely with the NADBank and BECC on infrastructure
projects on the  U.S. side of the border. A Border Region
Initiative is also being developed to help border communities
to identify common problems and to search for solutions at a
regional level. In Arizona, the designation of the Arizona
Border Region Enterprise Community and the creation of a
strategic plan by these border communities during the
application process also emphasized sustainable development
policies. In Texas and California similar plans were  the basis
for the designation and working relationship with the Rio
Grande Valley Empowerment Zone and the Imperial Valley
Enterprise Community.


Recommendation: BECC should continue to identify ways
to streamline its application process to encourage more
rapid certification of projects for NADBank and other
funding sources.  We emphasize that this acceleration
should not occur at the expense of an effective public
participation process in the affected communities.
   The BECC technical assistance program and sustain-
able development project review criteria should emphasize
alternative technologies, i.e., technologies that generally
have low capital, operating and maintenance costs, and
should exercise leadership  in promoting water conserva-
tion practices.

Response: The BECC has incorporated enhanced sustainable
development criteria for review of border environmental
projects, and has initiated a program to assist smaller commu-
nities in developing project proposals. The BECC's High
Sustainable Development work plan includes several activities
leading to recognition of model programs on the border:
internal education/training; identification of experts in the
field to serve on an advisory board; and linkages with other
governmental, industry and nongovernmental organizations
where sustainable development is a goal. The BECC is also
in the process of developing workshop and training sessions
in value engineering, principles that will enhance project
sustainability, and is exploring a number of innovative
technologies suitable for water supply systems and waste
water treatment plants. It plans to have two managers on
staff responsible for assuring that projects implement sustain-
able development principles.
   With the help of state and local governments, technical
committees have been developed in every border state to
review needs assessments and prioritize projects to be certi-
fied.  The new technical reorganization includes five project
managers to  cover an equal  number of regions based on
Border XXI subdivisions.
   While the BECC is currently focused on water, wastewa-
ter and solid waste priorities, it anticipates beginning to
address other environmental issues such as air and hazardous
waste in the future.

  Board Reactions: We continue to encourage the BECC
   and NADBank to foster  the use of appropriate, proven
   alternative technologies  to help reduce the capital,
   operating and maintenance costs of needed facilities.
     As binational entities, the BECC and NADBank
   can play a potentially important role with indigenous
   peoples on both sides of the border.  We commend and
   encourage efforts by these organizations to work with
  tribes to help them identify, plan for and meet their
  environmental infrastructure needs.
     The Board urges the U.S. to appoint its full
  complement of members to the advisory council to
  the BECC Board of Directors to assure appropriate
  formal public input to Board decisions. Several
  advisory committee members have resigned and the
  committee is no longer functioning as intended.

Recommendation: Despite being fully capitalized, North
American Development Bank (NADBank) has approved
few loans during its existence, relying instead largely on
grant funds provided by EPA and working with other
funding institutions.  The binational agreement establish-
ing the NADBank requires that the Bank charge a mar-
ket-related rate of interest.  This requirement precludes
the neediest communities on both sides of the border
from use of NADBank funding. The Board strongly
recommends that the governments renegotiate the
NADBank's charter to authorize reduction of its interest
rate to support below-market lending and consider
application of U.S. State Revolving Fund guidelines to
NADBank operations. The Board urges the NADBank to
further improve its communication with border commu-
nities and to work with the BECC to implement a coordi-
nated outreach effort.

Response: The  Bank has three roles: 1) an advisor on a
community's current condition; 2) an investment banker who
tries to find other, cheaper sources of money first; and 3) a
lender of last resort.  From its inception, the Bank has been
limited by project preparation capacity, insufficient financial
resources, and its lending requirements. On the U.S. side,
Arizona has identified $228 million of needs, and that
understates needs of the tribal communities. Texas' needs are
much larger than that and New Mexico's and California's are
also very substantial. The Bank has received total capitaliza-
tion from the U.S.  Government and Mexican governments of
$202 million each. While the Bank is allowed to invest the
U.S. capital only in low risk vehicles such as U.S. Treasury
bonds, it is receptive to creative solutions to borrowing
money and to subsidizing interest rates to bring down interest
costs.  The Bank can lend 20 percent maximum of its capital.
The Bank is also required to lend at  a market-related rate of
interest. Rather than focus on reducing interest rates, the
Bank has been  focusing on reducing technology and operating
costs to the communities.
   The Bank has established an institutional development
cooperation program to deal with institutional capacity, the

Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), and formal
and informal working relationships with federal agencies,
especially EPA and USD A. EPA has provided the Bank a
grant of $170 million, to be awarded in grants over three to
five years, to establish the BEIF. This fund is proving essen-
tial because rural communities along the border are typically
very poor. The Bank's institutional development program,
funded by interest on Bank capital, helps communities with
rate studies, audits, management reviews, computers and
software.  The program has worked in 36 communities on
both sides of the border, including colonias. The Bank has
also established an Internet-based newsletter and encourages
the public to attend its meetings. The Bank expects to be
involved in most Mexican loans and in most U.S. solid waste
facilities, but not to be a participant, except for interim loans,
in water or wastewater systems in U.S. communities which
are expected to rely on the State Revolving Fund (SRF)
   As with other entities established under the NAFTA
agreement, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation,
BECC and NADBank will be evaluated as part of the manda-
tory triennial review of NAFTA implementation.

  Board Reaction: Unlike the BECC, the NADBank has
  only one person responsible for public outreach and
  coordination in the ten border states. NADBank
  needs to increase staffing to meet their critical educa-
  tion, information and capacity-building responsibili-
  ties.  We recommend that an outreach budget be
  established comparable to that of the BECC.

Recommendation: The rate of continuing urbanization in
colonias and rural areas, and the absence of proper urban
planning and local zoning controls, is threatening the
ability of the governments to provide essential infrastruc-

Response: Since 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),
and the International Boundary and Water Commission
(IBWC) have allocated nearly $500 million to address colonias
infrastructure problems.  Most of these settlements are
located in Texas and New Mexico although there are compa-
rable settlements in Arizona and California. Estimates
indicate the United States border communities will require
investments of more than $1 billion over ten years to bring
them up to acceptable standards. Mexico estimates needed
investment for border region water services through the year
2000 at more than $442 million:  $132 million for drinking
water; $265 million for wastewater. These estimates do not
address critical air, hazardous and solid waste, transportation,
or housing infrastructure needs.

Recommendation: Establish closer collaboration among
the departments in addressing colonia infrastructure and
natural resources management needs. To help determine
needed changes in  direction, we urge a matrixed assess-
ment of each individual agency's authorities for providing
assistance to colonias.

Response: The delivery of services to colonias requires close
coordination to assure that resources are used wisely and
projects provide maximum benefit to colonia residents. EPA,
HUD and USD A, the key U.S. agencies addressing colonias
infrastructure issues, are now working very closely together to
coordinate programs, priorities, and allocation of resources
and have agreed to work toward reducing the administrative
burden for communities who are applying for water infra-
structure assistance from one or more of the agencies.
Development of the proposed matrixed assessment of existing
assistance authorities will be discussed by the agencies.
   In Texas and New Mexico, for example, work groups have
been established to coordinate water-related projects in
general. In both states, the effort involves several state
agencies as well as regional representatives of HUD, USD A,
and EPA. The working groups have helped to establish close
coordination and developed a summary listing of all projects
underway or planned by the various agencies.

Recommendation: Due to their lack of access to low-cost
State Revolving Funds (SRF) loans, tax-exempt bond
revenues or significant sources of user fees, colonias and
small communities need continued priority focus and
subsidization. Continue federal grant and low cost loan
assistance at existing levels for infrastructure, health
facilities, and training in U.S. colonias for at least the next
10 years.
   Expand the definition of colonia to address similar
substandard developments lacking basic infrastructure in
all four border states.  While major colonias funding to
date has focused on designated colonias in Texas and New
Mexico, there are similar substandard developments
lacking basic infrastructure in Arizona and California.
Eighteen areas have been identified in California in
Imperial, San Diego, Riverside, and Kern counties.
Arizona and California settlements receive limited funds
from USDA, but not from EPA because these states did
not identify colonia-like settlements.

Response: When EPA established its program of wastewater
assistance to colonias, the agency committed to providing
assistance based on assessments of need prepared by the
States.  These assessments indicated that about $300 million
of EPA funding, combined with State matching funding,
would be needed to address wastewater needs in Texas
colonias, and $20 million in New Mexico colonias. Since the
$300 million initially estimated has been funded by Congress,
EPA does not intend to request additional funding targeted to
colonias. Subject to congressional action, EPA expects to
receive future funding as part of the general U.S.-Mexico
border environmental infrastructure funding program that
will include assistance targeted to low-income border commu-
nities such as colonias.  Appropriations to USDA for colonias
infrastructure are currently $20 million, slightly less than
previous years.
    Although there is agreement that colonia-like settlements
exist in California and Arizona, these states did not recognize
the existence of colonias and so were not included in the
initial estimates provided to EPA. Since EPA does not intend
to request further funding for targeted assistance for colonias,
a change in definition is not needed. USDA and HUD
continue to provide funding to colonias and similar substan-
dard developments in all four border states.
    There is agreement that substantial needs remain in
Arizona and California, as well as in Texas and New Mexico.
The tribal nations of Tohono O'odham and Cocopah have
also designated all or substantial numbers of communities on
their reservations as colonias resulting in substantial addi-
tional infrastructure needs.  The Indian Health Service, EPA
and USDA are coordinating on funding tribal projects. EPA
dedicated $17 million for tribal infrastructure last year and
has been working with tribes to identify priority needs for
these funds.

  Board Reaction:  The  Board rCCmphasizCS its view that
  targeted, line-item based funding must continue for
  addressing colonias' environmental infrastructure
  needs. We recommend that EPA revisit its policy not
  to seek additional colonias set-aside funding following
  appropriation of the $300 million initially estimated,
   or to recognize "colonias" in California and Arizona.
  These initial funds have not addressed any of the
   needs in California and Arizona for colonia-like
   settlements or for tribes which have designated
   colonias on their tribal lands. In addition, there are
   significant remaining infrastructure needs in Texas
   and New Mexico that we believe cannot be met by
   funds available from State Revolving Funds or other
Recommendation: Mechanisms currently being used by
county officials to promote public housing and provide
financial assistance to colonia residents should be enlarged
and structured as block grants, and flexibility should be
provided to facilitate combination of various federal
program moneys, such as those established through the
Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone.

Response: Initial funding for Empowerment Zones and
Enterprise Communities of the Rio Grande Valley, Arizona
border region, and the Imperial Valley came from the enact-
ing legislation. Subsequently, USDA has targeted over $159
million since FY  1995 in business, community facility, and
water and sewer funding to the three Empowerment Zones
and thirty Enterprise Communities located in rural areas. Of
these targeted funds, over $11.8 million went to three areas
located on the border. A second round of Empowerment
Zone/Enterprise Community designation was authorized,
although not funded, by the Congress last year.
    USDA, through its Rural Development program, is
working to direct more funding to colonias housing. They
are channeling more than $1 million of their colonia appro-
priation to provide grants to low income residents to "hook
up" to recently completed water or sewer system. In addi-
tion, new flexibility has allowed more than  $25 million of
additional low interest rate construction and home repair
funds to be directed to designated colonias.  USDA also works
with state, tribal, and local governments to leverage scarce
affordable-housing funds to develop more colonia housing.
    Unfortunately, neither NADBank nor the BECC have the
resources or the mandate to address housing issues.

Recommendation: Accelerate the approval and distribution
process for currently available  federal funding assistance
for residential water and wastewater hookups and fixtures
assistance in colonias in Texas  and New Mexico.

Response: With the recent enactment and state legislative
approval for the creation of a revolving fund for water system
infrastructure loans, more resources are now available to be
utilized for these communities.  In  1991,  EPA established a
$ 15 million fund in Texas to provide low-interest loans to
colonia residents for connecting homes to water distribution
systems and sewage  collection systems, as well as for house-
hold plumbing improvements; funds have been provided to
several communities. EPA has also provided flexibility for
li mited amounts of its grant assistance in New Mexico to be
eligible for hookups and fixtures if needed.
    State governments have also begun to do more in helping
to address the problem. Coordination of funding sources is
improving through coordinating groups sponsored by state
government. Examples include the Texas Water Development

Board and the Rural Infrastructure Committee in Arizona
which bring together several funding sources, identify
community needs, and meet to decide how to fund necessary
improvements. These mechanisms accelerate the application
process among funding sources and help to eliminate some
"red tape."  USDA has also streamlined its regulations to
speed up application processing.
    Recent enactment of Safe Drinking Water Fund legislation
has led to the development of water system revolving funds to
augment wastewater revolving funds in each of the border
states.  While the majority of these moneys are loans, some
allow for forgiveness for the poorest communities. Some
states, especially Texas, have developed supplementary
funding through state general funds directed to colonias.
These funds are in addition to earmarked Community
Development Block Grant funds which are available through
state governments.

Recommendation: Allocate a major portion of funds from
border state wastewater revolving funds to border infra-
structure needs.

Response: Allocation of a major portion of the funds in the
state wastewater revolving fund to border infrastructure needs
is a state matter within the requirements of each state's
Revolving Fund program. Each state has a sensitivity to their
border needs and is implementing its SRF accordingly.
Recommendation: We recommend that the U.S. Depart-
ment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
continue to provide financial assistance and incentives for
upgrading substandard housing in the colonias, and work
closely with state agencies in the U.S., and with federal
and state agencies in Mexico, to develop mechanisms for
promoting low-cost public housing construction in the
border region.  We also recommend that mechanisms
currently being utilized by county officials to promote
public housing and provide financial assistance to colonia
residents be enlarged and structured as block grants, and
that flexibility be provided to facilitate the combination of
various federalprogram monies, such as those established
through the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone.

Response: HUD continues to increase funding for cleaning up
areas and providing for housing. In the 1200 colonias in
Texas, in excess of 500,000 people are living without basic
housing. HUD has been working with communities and
other agencies to identify sources of funds for non-housing
infrastructure, including local bond monies. Often these
funds are used in conjunction with USDA Rural Develop-
ment funding through formal collaborations patterned after
those taking place  in the infrastructure arena.
   HUD has a community development block grant pro-
gram,  home monies, single family and multi-family monies,
the FHA program, fair housing, Native American housing,

rehabilitation funding, public housing and Section 8. In
addition, HUD requires that 10% of the non-entitlement
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocations
be allocated to colonias; these funds are increasingly being
allocated to housing construction and rehabilitation. In
Texas, funds are being set aside out of the home and CDBG
monies to buy contracts of sale from developers and put title
in the hands of the property owners so that they have an
equity in that property. HUD has amended its standards so
that colonia housing standards are the  same as those for the
American Indian, which has made housing available to many
more people. Two universities are working toward developing
a good house that can be built for about $20 a square foot
that will put a house within reach of a  family for $175 a
month. In addition to government, the private sector,
foundations, and joint ventures must be involved.
   Various foundations and non governmental organizations
also assist local communities respond to housing needs
through self help, micro loans, bulk materials purchasing, etc.
Moreover, certain maquiladoras are providing housing
construction assistance to their employees and more of these
companies are being encouraged to provide housing assistance

Recommendation: Greater public-private and privatized
environmental infrastructure financing is needed on both
sides of the border. In addition, those that have contrib-
uted to the environmental and public health problems and
that have benefitted from NAFTA implementation should
bear more of the cost.

Response: The BECC has increased its emphasis on private
sector funding of municipal environmental infrastructure,
including new criteria for certification of private sector
projects and a Build-Operate-Transfer (EOT) program. There
are significant opportunities for full privatization of hazard-
ous waste handling and solid waste  management facilities,
infrastructure which are not necessarily public environmental

  Board Reaction: The Board notes that there has been
  considerable U.S. federal and state government and
  private sector investment in development of related
  economic infrastructure, including international trade
  routes, bridges  and highways.  We urge that the
  governments assure that investments  in environmen-
  tal and economic infrastructure be managed and
  balanced to help assure that economic development is
Recommendation: Take enforcement actions against
developers of illegal settlements and discourage their
establishment in the future.

Response: Although this is primarily a state issue, EPA
grants to Texas and New Mexico Attorneys General Offices
have supported innovative enforcement of state environmen-
tal, consumer fraud, land-use and nuisance laws against
developers of border colonias to remedy severe environmental
health degradation and promote environmental justice. Texas
and New Mexico have initiated a number of lawsuits against
colonias developers  and obtained judgments in the majority
of cases, resulting in remediation of contamination, upgrading
of substandard environmental infrastructure, and preventing
new inadequate developments. EPA and the Department of
Justice,  in cooperation with the Texas Attorney General's
Office, brought a civil judicial action under the Safe Drinking
Water Act and obtained a  settlement with a colonia developer
to bring safe drinking water to the residents of Cuna del Valle
colonia  in El Paso, in the first federal action of its kind.

Recommendation: Promote with Mexico legislation to
authorize municipal bonding authority for Mexican
communities. Consider providing tax-free status for
public bonds issued in the U.S. for cross border projects
and other incentives to encourage public-private and
privatization efforts in both countries.

Response: Mexico is taking some steps in decentralization of
financial responsibility, but its national constitution currently
prohibits municipal  or state bonding authority. U.S. efforts
to promote municipal bonding authority for Mexican
communities would be viewed by Mexico as significant
interference in its internal affairs. In the U.S.,  tax exempt
bonding authority is restricted to use by state and local
governments  and there are also statutory limits on the total of
tax exempt funding outstanding. Use of U.S. tax exempt
funds in Mexico would result in dollar-for-dollar loss of funds
for domestic purposes.


Recommendation: Although substantial amount of envi-
ronmental, natural resource, health and related data
already exists in both countries,  access to the information
is a critical prerequisite to effective community participa-
tion and government action in setting priorities,selecting
the most feasible approaches, and locating needed finan-
cial and technical resources.
   Identify what information already exists, systematize
its availability, and define ways to improve access to
information by border communities, states and national
governments. Establish more coordination among federal
agencies, state agencies, local governments, Indian Na-
tions, and community groups on both sides of the border.
Establish a federal-state-local clearinghouse network, in
cooperation with the border offices of federal and state
agencies, to provide more rapid transfer of information
among levels of government and to local community
groups in the incorporated and unincorporated areas.

Response: While a tremendous amount of information about
the border environment has been collected, there is no
comprehensive inventory of existing border environmental
data and information. A U.S.-Mexican Border Environmental
Information Web/Web Fronteriza de Informacion Ambiental
project will provide access to the agencies and people working
on the  solutions. The project will have two main compo-
nents, an Inventory and Directory. These two aspects will
complement each other and help maximize the use of the
system by the public, U.S. and Mexican elected officials, and
private- and public-sector agencies. The Inventory will
include environmental information, data about data, data-
bases, projects, program activities, grants information, and
other useful border-related information. The Inventory will
include a search mechanism for the online version and indexes
for hard copies to enable users to conveniently search for
information. The Directory will contain useful information
on agencies, organizations, groups, and projects related to the
border environment. The Inventory and Directory will be
available through the World Wide Web in English and
Spanish, and in hard copy versions.
    The Department of Health and Human Services main-
tains Web sites.  One called healthfinder"' allows the user to
perform key-word  searches on health information, links to
other public and private health sites, and up-to-date news
   USDA has a Webpage for the department as well as for
each of the mission areas. The Rural Development Webpage
now includes agency regulations. The Empowerment Zone/
Enterprise Community (EZ/EC) Initiative has its own
Webpage with new ideas, meeting notices and other current
and relevant information (  USDA also
provides grants for both Distance Learning and Telemedicine.
The Distance Learning grants help bring educational re-
sources via computers to the most remote of locations.
Telemedicine grants link medical personnel in rural commu-
nities with advanced diagnostic assistance in larger hospital
and medical centers.

Recommendation: Develop educational curricula and
materials that promote  sustainable development

Response: Border XXI Workgroups and liaison offices have
taken significant steps toward the development of an effective
strategy to integrate and build on environmental  education
activities in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Last summer, an
environmental education round table was held in El Paso,
Texas to exchange ideas and experiences, identify successful
programs, and define areas  requiring additional effort.
   EPA has awarded a Border XXI Grant to the  Tides Center
for Project Del Rio Sustainable Development Curriculum to
develop, test and disseminate  a sustainable development
curriculum on water issues  related to the U.S.-Mexico border.
The result will be a strong  binational educational tool that
involves students in discussions of sustainability  along the
border, a regional forum for the exchange of ideas and
information among environmental educators, and increased
environmental awareness in the Rio Grande international
watershed. EPA has also funded an integrated assessment of
the binational Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin watershed.
The project provides scientifically sound and practical policies
and management options for sustainable development within
the watershed. Geographic  information systems (GIS) and
water quality/re source modeling tools are being  applied to
integrate information for consideration by decision makers
and stakeholders.
    The San Diego Border Liaison Office has created two
cooperative agreements.  One agreement covers  the Arizona/
Sonora border region, the other covers the border communi-
ties of California/Baja California. Both cooperative agree-
ments were created with local entities that have extensive
experience in environmental  education at the local and
binational level. Each agreement provides for local environ-
mental education organizations to identify and inventory
each border community's most important environmental
education programs, training capacity needs, and to establish
regional bases of information that respond to those needs.
The agreements will organize a series of conferences on

formal environmental education in the border region, create a
council of educators and two action plans that will propose
solutions for the identified regional needs of each border
state. In addition, the EPA San Diego office is hosting a
sustainable development conference that will explore and
promote sustainable development within the U.S.-
Mexico border region.
   The Pan American Health Organization's field office in
El Paso, TX has proposed the creation of an information
system infrastructure that could improve greatly public access
to health-related data along the border. A health bulletin
board and other health communication tools, including a
Website, are being established for health officials in the U.S.-
Mexico border region. Data on border populations, informa-
tion on vacancies at community and migrant health centers,
and a directory of key health  officials and contacts in the
border-wide area also will be available on the Website.

Recommendation: Integrate  and analyze data using ad-
vanced Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

Response: Mexico and the United States share many environ-
mental, land management, and cultural concerns within the
border region.  While current and consistent binational
geospatial data has not been available, Geographic Informa-
tion Systems (GIS) can be used to develop appropriate
strategies to address the issues. For the U.S., the U.S. Geo-
logic Survey (USGS) is  the lead agency in the development of
the U.S.-Mexico Aerial Photography Initiative. USGS
mapping activities supports all Interior bureaus, the Environ-
mental Protection Agency (EPA), the International Boundary
and Water Commission (IBWC), the Transboundary Resource
Inventory Program (TRIP) and their Mexican counterparts.
Through partnerships, the USGS has begun to make available
these essential base mapping products along a 100-mile wide
buffer on the U.S. side of the border.  Through the USGS
funded and coordinated Department of Interior High-
Priority Mapping Program, the 1:40,000 scale Color-
Infrared photography, 1:24,00-scale Digital Elevation Models,
Digital Raster Graphics, Public Land Survey System and
Boundary production activities were completed in fiscal year
1996 for the entire U.S. portion of the border region. In
fiscal year 1997, the initial production of digital
orthophotoquads was begun and plans are to begin digital and
graphic map revisions in fiscal year  1998. Aerial photography
and digital mapping products will be produced for a variety of
applications such as pollution detection and monitoring, soils
classifications, urban and rural planning, geologic mapping,
watershed management, and water quality analysis.

Recommendation: Assist states and communities to
develop "community right-to-know" programs that make
it easy for citizens to obtain access to environmental,
project, financial, regulatory, and health data.

Response: In the U.S., there is community right-to-
know legislation and regulations in place which provide
complete information on the type, amount, and location of
hazardous materials in the community. The communities can
access this information through their Local Emergency
Planning Committee (LEPC) or the State Emergency Re-
sponse Commission (SERC). In Mexico, community right-to-
know legislation was recently passed which provides some
hazardous chemical information to the community. In
addition, through the Contingency Planning and Emergency
Response Workgroup, hazardous materials information will
be available to communities through a system called the
Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations
(CAMEO) which is currently being translated into Spanish.
The NAFTA-related Commission for Environmental Coop-
eration has been working with the three countries to develop
a continent-wide system for monitoring and reporting
pollutant releases and transfers. They have begun producing
annual Taking Stock reports that are based on increasing
amounts  of data from the  three countries.

Recommendation: Conduct binational studies concerning
border population trends to improve the effectiveness of
border region planning for infrastructure and programs.
Establish binational Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
to highlight the large binational population and economic
bases in the region.

Response: Although the two national census agencies work
only in their own countries, the U.S. Bureau of Census and
its Mexican counterpart, INEGI, currently are cooperating
and sharing data. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in
the U.S. are determined by the Office of Management and
Budget; there are no binational MSAs at this time.

Recommendation: Direct research funding to solving real
world border problems and make the results more acces-
sible to the communities, other academics, and the
governments.   More actively involve academia and
identify research needs cooperatively with the academic
community. Funding sources should require that research
products intended for use in border communities be

Response: Applied research to help solve real world border
problems is being conducted by the Southwest Center for
Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP), a consortium
of nine educational institutions, five in the United States and
four in Mexico. SCERP has been funded by Congressional
add-on since 1991 with annual appropriations of approxi-
mately $3 million. SCERP undertakes applied research that
addresses the objectives and environmental problems identi-
fied  in the Border XXI Framework Document. Projects are
solicited from the consortium and must address short or
medium term solutions; clearly demonstrate application of
results; involve collaboration with potential users of the
project results; involve member institutions, particularly
between the U.S. and Mexican universities of SCERP; and
provide opportunities for students to participate in environ-
mental research. In FY 1997 SCERP funded 24 projects in air
quality, water, environmental health, environmental informa-
tion resources, hazardous and solid waste, natural resources,
pollution prevention and Indian tribes.  While SCERP
receives substantial federal funding assistance, other universi-
ties in the border region are also producing research on
border-related problems.
  Board Reaction: Additional research funding and
  emphasis on border issues is also needed by other
  border region universities.  While we endorse
  SCERP's focus on border area research, we also
  encourage greater funding by and focus on solving
  real world border problems by other universities as
  well. All of the universities need to place emphasis on
  making research results more accessible to the commu-
  nities, other academics, and the governments.
National Institutes of Health awards are made on the basis of
scientific merit and are made for "directed research" when
special allocated funds are available. The Fogarty Interna-
tional Center of NIH organized U.S.-Mexico biomedical and
behavioral research development workshops in cooperation
with the key Mexican scientific and health organizations and
leading Mexican research institutions based on mutual
priorities. Five such workshops have been held, each of
which has included research recommendations relevant to
U.S.-Mexico border health.

 Coordination with the Mexican National Advisory Council
for Sustainable Development

 The Board and its Mexican counterpart (Region I of the
 Mexican National Advisory Council for Sustainable Develop-
 ment) have established ongoing communication. The two
 advisory committees met together formally for the first time
 in September 7997 to begin development of coordinated
 agendas and to discuss development of joint recommenda-
 tions.  As a result of this meeting, a Joint Communique was
 developed identifying several areas for joint efforts by the two
 advisory committees. These areas include:
 • Sustainable development: The two  committees agreed to
 assist the governments as well as border residents in identify-
 ing practical ways to meet and measure achievement of this
 critical goal.  The committees agreed to try to develop a joint
 list of indicators to measure sustainable development.

 • Environmental education: The committees endorsed
 improved environmental education programs at all levels,
 including elementary, secondary, university and professional
 training.  They also endorsed greater emphasis on project-
 specific and general education about sanitation projects.
 ••Communication and coordination: The committees endorsed
 more effective coordination and communication among all
 levels of government, as well as with non-governmental
 organizations and industry, particularly emphasizing the use

of electronic communications technologies. The committees
agreed to develop information and publish such in similar
formats to facilitate public access in both countries.
• Measurement and evaluation of progress: The committees
believe that quantitative and qualitative evaluations are
needed to monitor and report on progress toward a sustain-
able future for the border region. The committees com-
mended both governments for their ongoing efforts in this
important area.
• Greater engagement of the private sector:  The committees
agreed that the private sectors of both countries must play a
larger role in solving environmental problems and in develop-
ing appropriate infrastructure and technologies.
    The Good Neighbor Environmental Board and the
Region I National Advisory Council for Sustainable Develop
ment pledged to continue their joint efforts to form addi-
tional mechanisms to carry out the mandate of Border XXI,
agreed to build on the progress and cooperative relationships
resulting from their first meeting, and committed themselves
to meet in a joint session on a yearly basis. Members of the
two committees are attending each other's regular meetings
and are maintaining working-level contact. Joint efforts are
expected to result in near term identification of proposed
binational indicators of sustainable development and other
recommendations addressing priorities reflected in the Joint
Communique and potential additional areas of cooperation.
The members of both committees are looking forward to
their next annual meeting which will be held in Mexico in
the fall of 1998, and a close long-term relationship between
the committees and members.

                                                   Appendix A

                            GOOD NEIGHBOR ENVIRONMENTAL BOARD
Mr. James Marston, Chair
Director, Texas Office
Environmental Defense Fund
44 East Avenue, Suite 304
Austin, TX 78701

Mr. Pat Banegas
General Manager
Water and Sanitation District
P.O. Box 1751
1470 N. 4th Street
Anthony, NM 88021

Mr. Tibaldo Canez
U.S.-Mexico Border Affairs
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
3033 North Central
Phoenix, AZ 85012

Ms. Judith Espinosa
Acting President
Alliance for Transportation Research
1001 University Blvd., Suite 103
Alburquerque, NM 87106

Mr. John K. Flynn
Supervisor, Ventura County
808 S. Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 95665

Charles G. Groat, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Environmental Resource Management
University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, TX 79968

Ms. Alison  Hughes
University of Arizona College of Medicine
250 IE. Elm Street
Tucson, AZ 85716
Ms. Jennifer L. Kraus
Global Environmental Consulting Company
11502 Alborada Drive
San Diego, CA 92127

Ms. M. Lisa LaRocque
Director, Project Del Rio
1494A S. Solano
Las Cruces, NM 88001

Mr. Garry Mauro
General Land Office
State of Texas
1700 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701

Ms Elsa R. Saxod
Director, Border Progress Foundation
P.O. Box 33419
San Diego, C A 92163

Mr. Bill Summers
Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 1499
Weslaco, TX 78599-1499

Professor Jorge Vargas
University of San Diego School of Law
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, California 92110

Mr. Kenneth Williams
Legislative Council Member
Tohono O'Odham Nation
P.O. Box 827
Sells, AZ 85634


Ms. M. J. Fiocco
Transportation Specialist
Office of Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
Room 10126(8-3)
400 Seventh Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20590

Mr. Pedro Garza
Director, Economic Development Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
903 San Jacinto, Suite 121
Austin, TX 78701

Mr. John Klein
Assistant Regional Hydrologist
U.S.  Geological Survey
Placer Hall, Suite 2015; 6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6129

Ms. Felicia Marcus
Regional Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

Mr. Winston Martin
Special Projects Officer
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
800 Dolorosa Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78207

Mr. Alan Stephens
State Director, Rural Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
3003 Central Avenue,  Suite 900
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Ms. M. Elizabeth Swope
Coordinator for U.S.-Mexico Border Affairs
Office of Mexican Affairs (ARA-MEX)
U.S. Department of State
Room 4258 MS
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520

Mr. Rosendo Trevino in
State Conservationist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
6200 Jefferson Street, Northeast
Albuquerque, NM 87109-3734

Mr. Richard Walling
Director, Office of the Americas and the Middle East
Office of International and Refugee Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Room 18-75, Parklawn Building
Rockville, MD 20857


Mr. John Bernal
U.S. Commissioner
International Boundary and Water Commission
417 IN.  Mesa,  Suite C-310
El Paso, TX 79902

Designated Federal Officer

Mr. Robert L. Hardaker
Office of the Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20460
202-260-2477; 202-260-6882 fax