All News Releases By Date
MAYORS OF SAN LUIS, ARIZONA, AND SAN LUIS R O COLORADO, SONORA, MEXICO, SIGN BORDER HAZARDOUS MATERIALS EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN
Release Date: 2/24/2000
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587
San Francisco -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the signing of the first Binational Prevention and Emergency Response Plan between the border cities of San Luis, Arizona, and San Luis R¡o Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. The plan improves the ability of these U.S.-Mexico sister cities to jointly prevent and respond to emergencies involving fire, chemicals, or hazardous materials which may affect border residents.
In a formal ceremony held today at the San Luis Port of Entry, Mayor Alex Joe Harper of San Luis and Presidente Municipal Ing. Florencio D¡az of San Luis R¡o Colorado signed the plan, which created a Binational Emergency Planning Committee (BEPC). The BEPC will be a forum to maintain and improve binational relations and work with the community, industry and public officials.
"This binational plan marks an important and historical advance in cooperation between our two nations," said Felicia Marcus, U.S. EPA's Regional Administrator. "This plan will have direct, tangible benefits for local residents, and we are pleased to have helped these communities make it happen."
In recent years, the U.S.-Mexico border area has experienced tremendous economic and industrial growth, producing a vibrant economy and thousands of new jobs in the border region. However, increased trade and industrial activity has also brought greater risk of exposure to toxic chemicals from the use and transportation of hazardous materials. The Binational Prevention and Emergency Response Plan was developed to identify and reduce these risks.
Representatives from the San Luis Fire Department, the Protecci¢n Civil in Mexico, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Mexican Attorney General for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the U.S. and Mexican Customs and Immigration and other state and federal agencies developed the plan over several months.
The governments of the United States and Mexico have been working together since signing the La Paz environmental agreement in 1983. EPA pledged assistance to help 14 pairs of sister cities along the U.S.-Mexican border to prevent and prepare for accidents involving hazardous materials.