EPA Outlines Six Priorities for International Pollution Control Strategy
At a meeting of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Guanajuato, Mexico, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson outlined the agency's top six priorities for preventing and controlling pollution internationally.
“Pollution doesn’t stop at international borders, and neither can our environmental and health protections. The local and national environmental issues of the past are now global challenges,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. (Click here for a transcript of Jackson's speech.)
EPA’s bilateral and multilateral partnerships have taken on new significance in the face of shared environmental and governance challenges, such as global climate change and improving children’s environmental health outcomes. The agency’s international priorities will guide EPA’s collaboration with CEC and all international partners.
The priorities include:
Building strong environmental institutions and legal structures. EPA will work with countries such as India, Ghana, Kenya and Brazil to develop and support the promotion of good governance, improve judicial and legal structures and design the regulatory systems necessary for effective environmental protection around the world.
Combating climate change by limiting pollutants. The agency will promote global strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants such as methane from landfills and black carbon from cookstoves. These pollutants are damaging especially vulnerable regions such as the Himalayan glaciers and the Arctic.
Improving air quality. EPA will work with organizations and local and national governments, such as Jakarta, Indonesia, to improve urban air quality in rapidly developing cities and communities.
Expanding access to clean water. The agency will support global partners and regions, such as the Caribbean, in creating safe and efficient drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. The agency also will help in providing long-term, sustainable and high-quality drinking water and sanitation systems for overburdened and underserved communities such as those along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Reducing exposure to toxic chemicals. The agency will work with its global partners to provide protections for people and consistency for industry. In working with partners like the United Nations Environment Programme, EPA will strive to reduce or eliminate the impact of pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
Cleaning up e-waste. EPA will work with international partners to address the issues of e-waste. In the near-term, the agency will focus on ways to improve the design, production, handling, reuse, recycling, exporting and disposal of electronics.
The CEC was created by the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The group of U.S., Canadian, and Mexican environmental leaders has gathered to discuss the commission’s strategic plan and establish priority projects for the next five years.