WASHINGTON — Pressing environmental problems along the U.S.-Mexico border should not be sidelined to issues of immigration and national security in talks between the United States and Mexico, an advisory group warned the president and Congress on Tuesday.
Inadequate water quality and quantity, air pollution and the possibility of hazardous waste accidents still vex communities along the border, including the Imperial Valley, reported the Good Neighbor Environmental Board, created in 1992 to advise the administration on environmental practices along the border.
"Despite (changed priorities since Sept. 11) and the limited resources available, the border area has to continue to be a high priority with both the U.S. and Mexican governments," said board chairwoman Judith Espinosa. "They must continue funding programs that improve public health and safety and provide for sustainable development."
In its report, the board recommended more binational cooperation at all governmental levels to regulate the border's water supply, alleviate adverse air-quality effects from existing and planned power plants and ensure all border communities can respond to hazardous materials spills.