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Climate Change Contacts

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Climate Change in the Pacific Southwest
— U.S.-Mexico Border

Border 2012 projects map

In order to protect the environment and public health in the U.S.-Mexico border region, numerous binational entities developed the Border 2012 program, consistent with the principles of sustainable development. The ten-year Border 2012 program takes a bottom-up, regional approach which relies heavily on local input to best address environmental issues in the border region. It brings together a wide variety of stakeholders to prioritize sustainable actions that consider the environmental needs of the different border communities.

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Border 2012 Climate Change Goals

Six goals were identified to help meet the serious environmental and public health challenges facing the border region, including reducing air, water and land pollution, and improving environmental health, emergency response and environmental stewardship.

As part of the goal to reduce air pollution, we have completed the U.S.-Mexico Border Region Greenhouse Gas Inventories and Policy (PDF) (42 pp, 808K). Using the results from the baseline emissions reductions study, specific emission reductions strategies and air quality and exposure objectives are targeted to be achieved by 2012. The states of Sonora (PDF) (91 pp, 2.7MB) and Baja California (PDF) (13 pp, 140K) have also completed emissions inventory.

In 2008, an new climate change objective was incorporated into Border 2012, which will estimate GHG emissions in at least eight border states, and identify the sources and locations from which reductions may be achieved. This will include promoting and/or expanding voluntary energy efficiency and other GHG reduction programs (i.e., Methane to Markets, Smartway, others) in at least two border states, and track the emissions reductions associated with those programs.

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Projects to Reduce Border GHG Emissions

us-mexico border emissions reduction projects
U.S.-Mexico Border Emissions reduction projects| Larger Image

Engine Idle Reduction Activities
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s automatic funding to all U.S. states for diesel emission activities, Region 9, through the West Coast Collaborative, funded the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality $1.73 million in April 2009. Exiting EPA (disclaimer) These funds will be used to install electric systems to prevent unnecessary engine idling by heavy-duty trucks along the Arizona-Mexico border and rest stops through southern Arizona, significantly reducing diesel fuel use and, in turn, reducing greenhouse and criteria pollutant air emissions.

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Energy Audits

EPA funded the Western Governors’ Association to perform four energy audits of manufacturing plants in Baja California. The purpose of these audits was to identify opportunities for increasing energy efficiency at the plants. The audits enabled the plant not only to complete simpler, less expensive energy efficiency investments, but also provide data to support larger investments. The types of plants that were audited were an auto parts manufacturer, a food processing plant, a controls technology plant, and a manufacturer of semiconductor chips. The audits showed that the four plants combined could save 5.3 million kilowatt hours annually.

Biodiesel Fuels

pouring biodiesel
Pouring biodiesel

Biodiesel Production from Waste Great in Mexicali
This project promotes the processing of waste grease from restaurants to generate biodiesel.

Ambos Nogales Biodiesel Capacity Building Project
The Arizona-Sonora Air Water, Waste and Environmental Health Task Forces developed a project to build biodiesel production and distribution capacity within the Ambos Nogales region. This demonstration project intends to reclaim waste vegetable oil and grease from local restaurants and maquiladoras, covert it to biodiesel, and demonstrate the use of the fuel in school buses and public sector safety vehicles.

Alternative Fuel Research for Brickmakers in Aqua Prieta
This project investigates the use of residual cooking oil from restaurants as an alternative to residual motor oil.

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Engine Retrofits

Diesel Truck Retrofits
Trucks from Mexicali and Tijuana were retrofitted with either a diesel oxidation catalyst or diesel particulate filters to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

school bus retrofits in ambos nogales
School bus Retrofits in Ambos Nogales

Retrofitted School Buses
Rio Rico School District
The school district retrofitted 32 buses, 29 with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOCs) and 3 with Diesel Particle Filters (DPFs). All buses are using biodiesel (B20). The school district acquired a storage tank for biodiesel exclusively.

Nogales Unified School District
The school district is in the process of retrofitting 10 buses. The original plan was to use DPFs, but after the initial testing the selected buses did not reach the required temperatures so the contractor is now analyzing the possibility of using a different type of equipment, probably DOCs.

Engine Idle Reduction

This report describes a concept for using anti-idling technologies, with an emphasis on Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) to reduce diesel emissions at international Ports of Entry between the United States and Mexico.

Additional Resources

Contact Christine Vineyard

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