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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $461,368 in grants to fund 7 environmental projects along the California and Arizona U.S-Mexico border.

The projects include restoration of an important estuary, expansion of a municipal oil recycling program and several efforts to track air pollution in the region.

The funds were awarded in partnership with the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, under the bi-national U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program: Border 2020.
The projects selected address the public health and environmental protection goals of the Border 2020 Program and are part of the overall environmental funding available for the California/Baja California and Arizona/Sonora regions. The funds will be matched by an additional $354,746 in funding from the recipient organizations.

The bi-national project was funded by the San Diego Foundation and EPA’s Border 2020 through a grant to 4walls International. 4walls constructed bi-national park space using trash pulled from the Tijuana River Valley and tributary canyons. The re-purposed trash might have otherwise entered the Tijuana River, harming the fragile ecosystem of the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve in San Diego. Mexico’s Environment Ministry is also contributing significant resources to the beautification of Los Sauces Park in Tijuana.

The following organizations received grants:

  • Imperial County Air Pollution Control District: Idling impacts at the Calexico west and east ports of Entry Calexico, California – Grant Amount $98,800.
  • Pronatura-Noroeste A.C.: Restoration of the Upper Tijuana River Corridor, Ensenada, Baja California – Grant Amount $98,500.
  • Tijuana Calidad de Vida: Air emissions inventory for Nogales, Sonora – Grant Amount $53,610.
  • Arizona State University: Mariposa port of entry wait time emissions study, Phoenix, Arizona – Grant Amount $67,314.
  • Arizona Department of Environmental Quality: Tools to help border communities reclaim resources, Phoenix, Arizona – Grant Amount $63,621.
  • Asociación de Protección y Seguridad Ambiental: Training on handling of wastewater containing metals and cyanide, Nogales, Sonora – Grant Amount $63,015.
  • City of Nogales, Sonora: Used oil collection and management in Nogales – Grant Amount $16,508. 

    Published in the March 2014 Edition of American Recycler News