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Compliance Assistance Policy Forum
Environmental stewardship compliance assurance and enforcement efforts are essential in any successful environmental regulatory program. Achieving these goals is made more difficult in a transboundary context, such as the U.S.-Mexico border, where laws and requirements may be significantly different and the ability to exercise domestic enforcement authority across a national border is limited. Despite this challenge, both the United States and Mexico share a common goal of ensuring compliance with respective environmental laws at the border. For this reason, policing the movement of waste, and especially hazardous waste, across the border is a high priority for the Border 2020 Program. For instance, it is important for inspectors to understand the patterns of movement of hazardous waste along each side of the border and across the border at the ports of entry, and how that waste is ultimately disposed of or treated, and the Border 2020 Program will seek to promote this important information sharing.
The rapid industrial growth along the border region from maquiladoras, their suppliers, and other industries also presents environmental impact concerns of this growing industrial base, while also providing an opportunity to better engage industry to promote greener business practices. To this end, the United States and Mexico are committed to supporting the development of environmental stewardship recognition programs, where appropriate, and extending them throughout the border region. Additional focus will be placed on public education, outreach, and information dissemination to help citizens and companies better understand and comply with environmental laws and adopt more environmentally friendly practices, including environmental self-audit programs.
Objective 1: By 2020, strengthen effective information sharing between U.S. and Mexican agencies regarding the movement of hazardous waste across the border and its ultimate treatment or disposal. In addition, ensure that land ports-of-entry have sufficient inspection capacity to police hazardous waste shipments.'
Objective 2: By 2020, in Mexico, increase by 25 percent the number of businesses in the border region enrolled in the National Program for Environmental Auditing (PNAA) and/or similar programs at the state level for facilities not regulated by the federal government, using 2012 as a baseline.
Objective 3: Using the U.S. Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and the Mexican Registry of Emissions and Transfers of Pollutants (RETC), along with other sources of environmental information, share information regarding activities contributing pollution to transboundary air and/or water basins along the border.
Objective 4: By 2020, implement at least five (5) binational workshops targeted to environmental enforcement professionals, including port-of-entry customs professionals, to promote the exchange of information and improve understanding of each country’s respective compliance and enforcement programs and tools, including field inspection and case studies.