Board Proposes Options for Natural Disaster Response on the Border

The Good Neighbor Environmental Board (GNEB) recommends some new policy options to enable U.S. and Mexican officials to improve cooperation in coping with floods and other natural disasters. These options were presented in a report to the Council on Environmental Quality, according to a March 19 press release.

The board, an independent presidential advisory committee managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, identified the following options:

•Prevent or minimize the impacts of natural disasters through appropriate zoning codes, building codes, landscape requirements, watershed management, and municipal strategic planning.

•Build capacity at the local, state, regional, and tribal levels to effectively manage natural disasters, including cross-border coordination.

•Better integrate current disparate preparedness and response management systems and practical exercises so as to cover all types of emergencies, including natural disasters.

•Expand existing domestic and binational agreements to incorporate U.S.-Mexico border-specific measures related to natural disasters, including measures tailored to specific natural features and human settlements.

Board members include representatives from all four U.S. border states as well as nine federal agencies. Border state representatives include senior officials in business and industry, state and local government, ranching and grazing, non-profit groups, tribes, and the academic community. Each year, the board meets several times in different communities along the U.S. side of the border.

To view an electronic copy of the report, go to (English version) http://www.epa.gov/ocem/gneb/gneb11threport/English-GNEB-11th-Report.pdf or (Spanish version) http://www.epa.gov/ocem/gneb/gneb11threport/espanol-gneb-11th-report.pdf.

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