Texas: City of Laredo Health Department (A Former EPA CARE Project)
The summary below provides a description of a Laredo, Texas project that received a cooperative agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2007. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.
The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.
City of Laredo Health Department
EPA Region 6
The City of Laredo Health Department (CLHD) is the recipient of a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement. The CLHD’s mission is to provide a better quality of life, by promoting a healthy and safer environment through community involvement, health education, disease prevention, and risk reduction. Laredo is a Texas-Mexico border city with more than 225,000 residents, 97 percent of the population is Latino, primarily Mexican American, and over 50 percent are under-insured or uninsured. Laredo is the largest inland port of entry, with over 40 percent of the nation’s product and goods passing through its four international bridges between Mexico and the United States. Various steps to safeguard the environment, initiate pollution risk reduction, develop hazardous materials management, and ensure environmental and health risks prevention have been taken.
Under the CARE Cooperative Agreement, CLHD proposes to conduct a stakeholder-based citywide intervention that will provide community-wide environmental and health education to address the environmental priorities. A few environmental health issues of concern are high levels of lead, mercury and arsenic in blood, untreated waste water, air pollution from border- and port-related commercial activities, and illegal dumping.
Established CARE Partnership: Keep Laredo Beautiful; Several Bi-National Border 2012 Task Force groups; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ); Secretaria De Salud; Jurisdiccion #5; Nuevo Laredo; Tamiaulipas Mexico; Ecologia, Cila, Universidad Autonoma De Tamaulipas School of Nursing, Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene Program.