(May 21, 2019) – Officials from EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management, along with EPA Regions 6 and 9, held an initial conference call on May 15 with several NACWA members and the North American Development Bank (NADB) to discuss collaboration opportunities with clean water utilities from Mexico. EPA’s primary focus is to mitigate the transboundary contamination that often flows north into the United States, but the Agency is also interested in addressing aging infrastructure and funding issues.
NACWA utility executives from Albuquerque, NM; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; and El Paso, TX participated in this initial conference call and offered feedback on how they can best assist EPA, what their utilities and states are already doing in this space, and opportunities for peer-to-peer collaboration. Among the issues identified as areas where US-Mexico border utilities can collaborate were operator training initiatives, particularly in emergency situations; asset management; infrastructure needs; and public education and outreach.
EPA, NACWA, and the NADB will work to identify and organize a pilot meeting in a specific region of the Southwest and invite U.S.-Mexico border utilities to participate in this initial peer-to-peer dialogue.
NACWA invites all member utilities along the US border to get involved in this early effort. If members are interested or have questions, please contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.