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EPA Funds Reduce Water Pollution, Increase E-Waste Recycling

The EPA has awarded more than $8.6 million in grants to fund environmental improvement projects to reduce water pollution and increase e-waste recycling along the US–Mexico border.

The federal funds were awarded in partnership with the North American Development Bank and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission to advance commitments in the US–Mexico environmental collaboration known as the Border 2020 Program.

The funding includes:

The EPA is providing $5 million to the North American Development Bank for the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund, which funds the construction of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure along the US–Mexico border. Projects along the California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas border regions will receive funding based on a selection process conducted by the EPA with assistance from the Border Environment Cooperation Commission.

The city of Holtville, California, will receive $3.5 million from the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. The $11 million project is jointly funded with a $4 million California Clean Water State Revolving Fund grant and a $3.5 million loan. The project will reduce ammonia pollution discharges to the Salton Sea.

In partnership with Mexican federal, state, and local agencies, the Sonoran Institute, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, will use $65,000 in EPA Border 2020 funds to clean and restore a segment of the New River in Mexicali, Baja California and launch community environmental education and capacity building efforts to prevent future illegal dumping and degradation in the river that flows north into California.

Fundación Hélice, a nonprofit environmental organization, will use $52,500 in EPA Border 2020 funds to collect and recycle e-waste, using internationally recognized best management practices, and divert these materials from landfills and dumps in Mexicali, Baja California, potentially affecting the New River watershed. Similar projects are being implemented in the Arizona-Sonora border region.

The California Department of Public Health will use $49,180 in EPA Border 2020 funds to collect and analyze health data to determine environmental health disparities and priority needs along the US–Mexico border. The project will include a plan of action to replicate this effort in other parts of the border area and help target future environmental health efforts.

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