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Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Arizona's Official Website
Office of Border Environmental Protection

Who We Are

The Office of Border Environmental Protection (OBEP)'s mission is to protect public health and the environment in Arizona border communities by facilitating efforts that address environmental problems with a transboundary link and enhancing collaboration with other border-focused programs. OBEP's emphasis is on transboundary issues that impact Arizona's environment and its citizens. This entails working in a binational and bicultural setting to facilitate efforts aimed at improving air quality, waste management and water quality conditions in Arizona border communities. These efforts are further supported through ADEQ's collaboration with other organizations and programs addressing environmental issues along the U.S.-Mexico border. This area is defined in the 1983 La Paz Agreement as a 100 kilometer (62.5 mile) buffer zone on either side of the international boundary between the United States and Mexico.

Air Describes air related activities and projects that OBEP staff performs along the Arizona-Sonora border region.
Contact Us OBEP personnel and their contact information.
Helpful LinksA list of links to organizations that perform environmental activities along the border region.
Map of Border Region Accesses a map of the border region and notes the main sister cities.
Partnering Organizations Describes the collaborative efforts that OBEP and other entities, such as the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) and the Border Governors Conference (BGC) carry out in the border region. This section contains links to reports and other technical documents.
Water Discusses water related activities that OBEP staff performs along the Arizona-Sonora border region.
WasteThis section describes waste related activities and projects that OBEP staff performs along the Arizona-Sonora border region.

Helpful Links

Border 2020 Border 2020 is a collaborative U.S.-Mexico environmental program designed to improve the environment and protect the health of the nearly 12 million people living along the border.
Arizona-Sonora Regional Workshop Link to the Region 9 Workgroups section of the EPA’s web site, containing useful information about activities that support the efforts of local task forces.
Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) The AMC’s mission is to improve the economic prosperity and quality of life for all Arizonans through strong, public/private collaborations in advocacy, trade, networking and information.
Border Governors Conference (BGC) The Border Governors Conference (BGC) is the largest binational venue to discuss and resolve some of the most important border issues affecting the United States and Mexico.
EPA Region 9EPA's Region 9 web site
Children's Environmental Health Flag ProgramADEQ's Children's Environmental health web page
BARA-ARAN This web site provides a summary of the main projects that both ARAN and BARA have worked on, the last several years. ARAN is an Association in Nogales, Sonora that promotes and performs environmental activities in the region. BARA is the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, a unique academic research unit within the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona that forms part of ARAN.

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Arizona Border Trash

Arizona-Mexico International Green Organization or AMIGO

The Arizona-Mexico International Green Organization or AMIGO is a binational partnership for pollution prevention which is sponsored by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). This program creates partnerships leading to voluntary pollution prevention activities among industries located in the Arizona-Sonora border region. AMIGO brings industries in Arizona and Mexico together to share information and technologies that reduce waste and pollution while increasing profits, worker safety, and environmental health.

AMIGO Environmental Annual Award

The AMIGO Environmental Award was established to recognize partners who demonstrate leadership in implementing and supporting the goals of pollution prevention to reduce the amount and toxicity of hazardous waste and the use of toxic substances in the Arizona-Sonora border region. There are two award categories - process improvements and pollution prevention promotion. There are five evaluation criteria: environmental benefits, economic benefits, employee and community involvement, management commitment, and pollution prevention hierarchy, which highlights disposal as the least favored option. The evaluation committee selects award recipients and is comprised of one representative from each of the following agencies: ADEQ, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Commission of Ecology and Sustainable Development for the state of Sonora (CEDES), and the Sonora Delegation Office of Mexico's Federal Attorney General for the Environment (PROFEPA).

The governors of Arizona and Sonora present the annual award to the selected recipients during the fall plenary session of the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) . The AMC is a public-private partnership whose mission is to improve the well-being and quality of life for residents of Arizona by promoting a strong, cooperative cross-border relationship.

AMIGO Accomplishments

Companies such as Bose, Motorola, Master Lock, Chamberlain, Becton-Dickinson, Alcatel-Lucent, and the Association of Environmental Professionals of Sonora have spearheaded efforts to foster pollution prevention both within their industrial processes and in their communities. Some specific accomplishments by individual industries include pollution prevention seminars and environmental management systems training for over 3,500 employees, reducing the generation of paint waste by up to 1,700 gallons a year, eliminating lead emissions by replacing lead solder with an aqueous-based solder solution, and reducing the annual amount of waste sent to the landfill by 7,300 pounds.

Also, several of these companies partnered with municipal and academic institutions, and community volunteers to construct a fibercrete home. On Oct. 17, 2008, a dedication ceremony was held to present the first fibercrete home in Nogales, Sonora to the new owners, a single mother and her three children. Fibercrete, or papercrete, is a construction material that uses less concrete and sand as building components when mixed in with shredded paper to form blocks. This alternative building material reduces the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling because of its insulating nature, which reduces the need to burn wood for heating during the winter. This is important because a winter inversion layer affects air quality on both sides of the border. This project reduced the amount of paper and cardboard waste going to the local landfill by eight tons. Participants estimate that they saved 100 trees in the construction process. This number of trees can sequester 1,200 lbs. of carbon dioxide and generate 1,800 lbs. of oxygen annually.

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Contact Us

Title Name/Email Phone Fax
Director Edna A. Mendoza (520) 628-6710 (520) 770-3540
Air Monitoring Coordinator Gerardo J. Monroy Herrera (520) 628-6732 (520) 770-3540
Project Manager José M. Rodríguez Olvera (520) 628-6952 (520) 770-3540
Waste Management Coordinator Gerardo Mayoral (520) 628-6717 (520) 770-3540
Hydrologist/GIS Specialist Hans Huth (520) 628-6711 (520) 770-3540
Border Infrastructure Engineer Vacant (520) 628-6797 (520) 770-3540

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