In 1983, the federal governments of the United States and Mexico signed the La Paz Agreement for the protection, improvement, and conservation of the environment on the U.S.-Mexico border. The border region was defined as the area within 62 miles (100 Km) on either side of the geographic border separating the two countries. Nine years later, environmental authorities of both countries released the Integrated Border Environmental Plan (IBEP), which involved six workgroups including: Air, Water, Hazardous and Solid Wastes, Pollution Prevention, Contingency Planning and Emergency Response, and Enforcement. The implementation of the IBEP was criticized because the public was not asked to help develop the plan and because little attention was given to natural resources and environmental health issues. These identified shortcomings led to the Border XXI Program, which ran from 1996 to 2000. Then in 2001, the U.S. and Mexican agencies explored ways to improve binational environmental planning efforts in the region and created the Border 2012 program to address environmental issues in the region for the next 10 years.
CDC’s Environmental Hazards and Health Effects Program (EHHE) has been and continues to be active in environmental health activities along the U.S.-Mexico border. EHHE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [external link], and other federal agencies are involved in the Border 2012 program to address environmental health issues along the U.S.-Mexico border. Information on the Border 2012 program can be found at http://www.epa.gov/usmexicoborder/ [external link].