EPA's International


Serving U.S. Environmental, Economic,
Foreign Policy, and National Security Interest

              EPA's  International  Programs
                   Serving U.S. Environmental, Economic,
                Foreign Policy, and National Security Interests
merica's environmental interests do not stop at U.S. borders. The protection
of U.S. citizens and natural resources requires the cooperation of other
countries. EPA's international programs:
     • protect U.S. citizens from air, water and land pollution along our borders;

     • reduce global environmental threats, such as pollution of the atmosphere
       and oceans; and

     • enable the United States to benefit from, scientific, technological, and
       environmental management advances in other countries, thereby promoting
       "cleaner, cheaper and smarter" environmental protection in the United

International cooperation also serves important U.S. economic, foreign policy,  and
national security interests. EPA's technical assistance programs overseas, for
example, have led to commercial opportunities for U.S. environmental businesses,
thereby improving the U.S. trade balance and creating high-wage jobs for American
citizens. The promise of environmental cooperation has been an integral element of
the Middle East peace process. Our technical exchange program with Russia is
helping reduce barriers to the decommissioning of the Russian nuclear fleet.

EPA's Office of International Activities (OIA) leads the Agency's international
programs. Providing management and coordination on behalf of the EPA
Administrator, OIA works closely with EPA program  (e.g., air, water, and waste) and
regional offices, other federal agencies, international organizations, and foreign
governments to achieve U.S. environmental objectives overseas. This role assures
that the Agency speaks with one voice on international policy. It mobilizes the vast
scientific and technical expertise available at EPA in  a more cost-effective manner.

    Recognizing that the United States is part of a global ecosystem that is affecte
    by the actions of all countries, EPA should begin working with relevant
agencies and organizations to develop strategic national policies that link nation
security, foreign relations, environmental quality, and economic growth.

                                                    —Beyond the Horizon
                                                      EPA Science Advisory Boar
                                                      January 1995

Protecting Citizens Along  U.S. Borders
   lowhere are the benefits of EPA's international programs more apparent than in the Caribbean and
Arctic and along our common borders with Mexico and Canada.
Mexico: EPA's cooperative programs with Mexico, as
well as the Agency's role in negotiating the Environ-
mental Side Agreement to NAFTA, have led to con-
crete environmental gains in both countries. The
construction of wastewater and hazardous waste
treatment facilities in Mexico is helping solve decades-
old problems affecting human health and the environ-
ment in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
Joint air pollution efforts will help mitigate respiratory
and other problems in U.S. cities along the border, as
well as in their Mexican "sister"  cities. In addition, by
helping Mexico acquire the necessary regulatory and
enforcement capabilities, EPA's programs will help
ensure that Mexican companies are subject to the same
pollution control requirements as ours, thereby helping
to level the playing field for U.S. industry.

Canada: Long-standing cooperation with Canada has
resulted in significant environmental gains along our
northern border. Benefitting from the Great Lakes
Water Quality Agreement and other cooperative
agreements, mercury levels in fish in Lakes Michigan,
Huron, and Erie have dropped by more than 75 per-
cent since 1970. Phosphorous loadings into Lake Erie
                                                      decreased by more than 50 percent over the same time
                                                      period, thereby improving water quality and raising
                                                      fish stocks. Harmonized approaches under the U.S.-
                                                      Canada Air Quality Agreement have  cut transboundary
                                                      flows of sulfur dioxide and other compounds causing
                                                      acid rain.

                                                      Caribbean: The United States is part of the Wider
                                                      Caribbean Region. Environmental cooperation in the
                                                      Caribbean is helping improve water quality along U.S.
                                                      shores, as well as promote tourism and fishing indus-
                                                      tries that depend on Caribbean waters  for their liveli-
                                                      hoods. Ongoing work  includes the negotiation of a
                                                      protocol on land-based sources of pollution and coopera-
                                                      tive efforts  to control  marine debris. Such cooperation
                                                      will protect American coastlines in Texas, Louisiana,
                                                      Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

                                                      Arctic: EPA is spearheading a project to double
                                                      Russia's capability to  process low-level nuclear waste.
                                                      The project will reduce dumping of such wastes in the
                                                      Arctic and Pacific oceans,  and help Russia decommis-
                                                      sion part of its nuclear submarine fleet in accordance
                                                      with U.S.-Russian agreements.

                               ironmental  Threats to
   lobal threats can become local threats. Chlorine-containing molecules rising to the upper atmosphere
deplete stratospheric ozone over the entire globe, not just over the country in which they were emitted.
Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases threaten to raise temperatures throughout the
global atmosphere, again regardless of origin. Irreversible losses of species and habitats imperil the
earth's biological diversity, threatening the health of ecosystems and depriving the world of commercially
valuable and potentially life-saving genetic materials. EPA's international programs address the serious
global threats that directly affect the health and environment of every American citizen.
Stratospheric Ozone Depletion: EPA played a leading
role in negotiating the Montreal Protocol on Substances
that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and it is now charged
with issuing the regulations that implement the
agreement in the United States. Conclusion of the
Protocol helped  enlist the cooperation of other nations
in reducing ozone-depleting substances. (The ozone
layer protects the earth's surface from harmful ultra-
violet radiation.) It has also helped ensure that U.S.
companies are not subject to more stringent controls
under domestic  legislation than their foreign competi-
tors, and enhanced the demand for substitute chemi-
cals and technologies, an area in which U.S. companies
have a distinct competitive  advantage.

Climate Change: Implementation of the climate
change convention has refined the understanding of the
processes that affect global  climate and boosted efforts
to reduce anthropogenic climate problems.  EPA's
voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction ("Green")
programs encourage  companies and public and private
agencies to voluntarily install energy-saving technology,
thereby reducing electricity demand. (Utilities  are one
of the major sources of GHGs.) These and  other pro-
                                                       grams have contributed to a thriving energy efficiency
                                                       and conservation industry in the U.S. and stimulated
                                                       demand for such technology here and abroad. They
                                                       also reduce other forms of air pollution and save
                                                       companies money through more efficient operations.

                                                       Marine and Coastal Pollution: EPA provides policy
                                                       and technical leadership under international agree-
                                                       ments to prevent and reduce pollution of the marine
                                                       environment from dumping, vessels, and land-based
                                                       sources. The recent agreement under the London
                                                       Convention to ban the  sea disposal of radioactive and
                                                       industrial wastes, for example, helps protect U.S.
                                                       coastal areas, fisheries, and human health.

                                                       Loss of Biological Diversity: Protection of biological
                                                       diversity is critical to the health of ecosystems the
                                                       maintenance, crop  diversity, and the preservation of
                                                       genetic resources that may be used to develop  life-
                                                       saving pharmaceutical  and other products.  Fishing and
                                                       birdwatching are just a few activities that are  affected
                                                       by loss of diversity. Medicines to treat painful or life-
                                                       threatening illnesses may never be developed if the
                                                       plants from which  they are derived become extinct.

Promoting U.S. Technologies and Services Abroad
   he United States is a world leader in environmental technologies and expertise. Twenty-five years of
rigorous environmental regulations have engendered an environmental industry second to none. Helping
American companies capture a larger share of the global market for environmental technologies and
expertise—currently estimated at around $300 billion a year-will help solve environmental problems
overseas while fueling economic growth and creating high-paying jobs in the United States.
U.S. TIES: EPA's U.S. Technology for International
Environmental Solutions (U.S. TIES) program is
enlisting greater participation of the U.S. private sector
on behalf of U.S.  environmental objectives overseas.
Launched in 1994 and serving as the primary interna-
tional component of the President's Environmental
Technology Initiative, U.S. TIES uses technical assis-
tance and training, information exchange, and technol-
ogy demonstrations to match pressing environmental
problems overseas with U.S. suppliers of proven and
cost-effective technologies and expertise.

For example, Mexico, like many countries, has a
problem ensuring the safety of its drinking water
supply. Such problems can lead to outbreaks of diar-
rhea, cholera, and other water-borne intestinal diseases
in that country (including regions bordering the United
States). The U.S. environmental industry is a leading
competitor in drinking water treatment technologies,
                                                      including the small community systems of particular
                                                      interest to Mexico. Under the Mexico drinking water
                                                      demonstration project begun in FY 1994, EPA is
                                                      working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
                                                      American vendors and universities, and Mexican
                                                      officials to demonstrate the performance of low-cost,
                                                      reliable,  and easy-to-operate package plants for three
                                                      small Mexican communities.

                                                      USETI: The U.S. Environmental Training Institute
                                                      (USETI) is another important vehicle for enlisting the
                                                      private sector on behalf of the environment. Launched
                                                      by EPA  in 1990, USETI introduces public and private
                                                      sector officials from foreign governments to U.S.
                                                      environmental management techniques and technolo-
                                                      gies. The result is improved environmental quality
                                                      abroad with enhanced commercial opportunities for
                                                      U.S. businesses.

Removing Barriers to  U.S.  Trade
 J. he Agency's international work also serves U.S. business interests by removing barriers to trade. By
working with foreign governments and international organizations, EPA seeks to improve environmental
conditions internationally while ensuring that U.S. businesses are not left at a competitive disadvantage
due to poor environmental enforcement overseas. The upward harmonization of standards internationally
also helps improve the safety of products imported into the United States.
Upward Harmonization of Standards: By working
directly with the International Standardization Organi-
zation (ISO), the European Union (EU), and other
international organizations, EPA is helping establish
international standards for products ranging from
chemicals to automobiles and tractors. For example,
EPA works closely with EU regulatory bodies to ensure
that European vehicle emission standards are compat-
ible to U.S. standards. This enables American car and
off-road engine manufacturers to sell their products in
the EU, thereby avoiding potential trade barriers that
could affect thousands of American jobs. Other efforts
to improve environmental standards overseas prevent
the creation of "pollution havens" that siphon off U.S.
jobs and help American businesses compete in the
global marketplace.

NAFTA: EPA is working with its Canadian and
Mexican counterparts under the Environmental Side
Agreement to NAFTA to ensure that all NAFTA
signatories reach comparable levels of environmental
protection. These levels will ensure that no country
offers an unfair competitive advantage to business (e.g.,
through weak enforcement of environmental statutes).

Strengthening Environmental  Protection Overseas
 J- he Agency is recognized throughout the world as a leading source of environmental information and
expertise. Benefitting from over 25 years of environmental experience in the United States, EPA is now
engaged in a comprehensive effort to strengthen environmental institutions and human resource capabili-
ties throughout the world.
Central/Eastern Europe and the NIS: EPA's pro-
grams to strength environmental institutions ("capacity
building") in Central and Eastern Europe and the
Newly Independent States (or "NIS," the former Soviet
Union) have played a critical role in helping restore
environmental quality in this part of the world. These
programs are also helping to build the regulatory and
enforcement capabilities that drive demand for environ-
mental goods and  services, thereby creating trade and
investment opportunities for U.S. business.

The EPA-launched Regional Environment Center in
Budapest operates a business information center to
help firms better understand the region's environmen-
tal markets. EPA and several other agencies jointly
funded energy efficiency centers in the Czech Republic,
Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and China. After seeing the
benefits of this U.S. technology, foreign countries have
purchased $5 million of U.S.-produced environmental
goods and services, with agreements signed for $25
million more. Another project in the Czech Republic led
to a $7.5 million sale of air pollution  equipment.
Finally, the demonstration of U.S. coal-bed methane
recovery technologies in Poland has resulted in an
additional $10 million sale.

Asia: EPA's participation in the U.S.-Asia Environmen-
tal Partnership and other programs has  helped boost
environmental protection efforts in a  region undergoing
enormous economic and environmental changes. It has
also increased demand for U.S. environmental technolo-
gies and expertise. For example, EPA's technical
assistance to Thailand helped alleviate a significant
health and environmental problem posed by electric
power plants in the MaeMoh Valley. It also opened the
way toward a $100 million purchase of U.S. monitoring
and control equipment.

Africa and the Middle East: EPA efforts under the
Middle East peace process have introduced the latest
U.S. approaches and technologies for dealing with
chemical and oil spill emergencies, small community
wastewater problems and reuse opportunities, and
environmental monitoring and measurement. In coop-
eration with two international agencies, EPA has
supported efforts to introduce World Health Guidelines
for Drinking Water Quality involving nine countries  in
East and Southern Africa.

Latin America: EPA's environmental programs in
Latin  America will help build stronger environmental
programs in this region of the world, while expanding
opportunities for trade and investment throughout the
hemisphere. Through the Agency for International
Development (AID), EPA is promoting safer pesticide
use in Central America,  including work  to control
excessive use of pesticides, discourage the use of
dangerous ones, and improve compliance with U.S.
import requirements to help ensure the  safety of the
U.S. food supply.

Reducing the  Cost  of Environmental  Protection in the U.S.
   ae Agency's international programs can elevate the quality and reduce the cost of environmental
protection in the United States. Cooperative programs enable the United States to benefit from scientific,
technological, and environmental management breakthroughs in other countries and to share the burden
of environmental research and regulation internationally.
Cooperative Research Agreements: Cooperative
scientific and technical exchanges enable EPA to
benefit from foreign environmental research and
experience.  These programs furnish EPA with informa-
tion, technologies, and practices that can be adapted to
U.S. circumstances and conditions. This often results in
better regulatory design and at less cost than if U.S.
researchers and industry had to address a given issue
without foreign input. Historically, the major sources of
scientific and technical information have been Canada,
Germany, Sweden, Japan, and the Netherlands. For
example, joint research between the United States and
China provides an extremely cost-effective way to
gather data and verify air pollution tracking methods.
Air pollution studies in China (including a study of the
effect of certain pollutants on children) are being
carried out  at less than half the cost ($2 million, rather
than $4 to $5 million) than if done in this country. In
addition, China presents unique environmental, geo-
graphic, and demographic conditions, allowing scientists
to collect data not available in the United States.

Innovative  Regulatory Approaches: While the United
States has often been at the forefront of incentive-
based regulatory and enforcement approaches, the U.S.
                                                      can also benefit from innovation elsewhere. The United
                                                      States, for example, learned about Germany's effluent
                                                      fee systems, and the Germans learned about our
                                                      experience with "emissions trading" (which lets compa-
                                                      nies buy and sell rights to emit pollution) and the
                                                      "bubble" concept (which gives companies greater
                                                      flexibility in cleaning up pollution sources). The Neth-
                                                      erlands and Sweden have  also been sources of ad-
                                                      vanced concepts on "user-friendly" regulations.

                                                      International Organizations: Cooperation with inter-
                                                      national organizations enables the United States to
                                                      share the burden of environmental research and other
                                                      data collection efforts. Through the Organization for
                                                      Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), for
                                                      example, the world's most industrialized nations are
                                                      sharing the cost of toxicity testing for over 700 high
                                                      production chemicals. OECD nations are also  sharing
                                                      data used in reregistering  older pesticides,  at  an
                                                      enormous savings of time and resources for both EPA
                                                      and U.S. pesticide manufacturers. The World  Health
                                                      Organization and other international technical agencies
                                                      allow EPA to validate research methods and conduct
                                                      scientific investigations and analyses with the United
                                                      States paying only a fraction of the costs.