U.S./Mexico Border Contingency Planning and Emergency Response NRT/RRT Co-Chairs Meeting Albuquerque, New Mexico March 2003 Dan Meer, Chief Response, Planning and Assessment Branch EPA Region 9 - San Francisco
Key Programs • U.S./Mexico Joint Response Team • Border 2012 Program • Contingency Planning – Sister City Plans • Joint Exercises • Training • Hazard Assessment • HazMat and Emergency Response Resources
Joint US/Mexico Inland Contingency Plan (JCP) Key Responsibilities • Policies • Notifications • Prevention and Planning • Response Operations • Binational Preparedness • Training • Exercises
U.S./Mexico Joint Inland Contingency Plan • Objectives • Provide a bi-national coordination mechanism • Assure appropriate and effective cooperative preparedness and response mechanisms between the U.S. and Mexico • Develop incident notification systems and protocols
U.S./Mexico Joint Inland Contingency Plan • Key Aspects • Creates organizational structure for coordinating response efforts • Establishes Joint Response Team (JRT) and the Issue/Incident-Specific Joint Response Team (ISJRT). • Establishes notification procedures, response operations, roles and responsibilities of agencies • Recognizes that initial responsibility for incident response rests with local authorities.
BORDER 2012 PROGRAM GOALS #1 Reduce water contamination #2 Reduce air pollution #3 Reduce land contamination #4 Reduce exposure, particularly children’s exposure, to pesticides #5 Reduce exposure to chemicals as a result of accidental chemical releases and/or acts of terrorism
Border 2012 Goal #5: Reduce exposure to chemicals as a result of accidental chemical release and/or deliberate acts of terrorism • Objective 1: By 2004, have chemical emergency advisory/notification mechanisms in place • Objective 2: By 2008, have all 14 sister cities joint contingency plans in place and operating (including exercises), including bi-national committees for chemical emergency prevention (or similar border forums). • Objective 3: By 2012, 50 percent of sister city joint contingency plans supplemented with preparedness and prevention related efforts, such as risk and consequence analysis, risk reduction, ct, etc.
Status of Sister City Plans • To date, ten (10) sister city plans have been developed. • Brownsville/Matamoros; Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras; Laredo/Nuevo Laredo; McAllen/Reynosa; Nogales/Nogales; San Luis/San Luis; Del Rio/Ciudad Acuna; Cochise County/Naco; Columbus/Ascension-Puerto Las Palomas; and Douglas/Agua Prieta.
Sister City Plans in Progress • Sister cities working to develop their contingency plans, include: • City/County of San Diego/Tijuana • El Paso/Ciudad Juarez • Weslaco/Rio Bravo-Progresso Norte • Presidio/Ojinaga
Border Exercises • Two terrorism-related field exercises were held in Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras (Sept 02) and Mexicali/ Calexico (Dec 02). • Table-top exercise held in Santa Cruz County, CA and Nogales, Sonora. • In 2003/2004,bio-terrorism exercises scheduled for McAllen, Laredo, and El Paso, Texas and Cochise County/Naco, Sonora.
Contingency Planning and Emergency Response Training • ICS/UC training held in Mexicali, Baja CA and Brownsille, TX. • Hazardous Materials Awareness and Response course in Mexicali, Baja CA. • Hazardous materials workshop for first responders for 250 participants in Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras and Del Rio/Ciudad Acuna. • Field Operations Guide (FOG) course in Spanish for 150 participants in Brownsville/ Matamoros and Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras.
Conducting Hazards Assessment • Hazardous Materials commodity flow studies completed in the following sister cities: • Calexico, CA (February 2001); • Eagle Pass, TX/Piedras Negras, Coahuila (March 2002); • San Diego, CA (June 2001); and • Brownsville, TX/Matamoros, Tamaulipas (April 2002). • Commodity flow study for El Paso, TX/Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua should be completed in 2003.
Border Waste Tire Pile Project • ID Pile Locations • Characterize Piles • Recommendations • - Fire Prevention • - Response Planning • 4. Share Findings Binational commitment and actions to prevent tire fires
Gaining emergency response resources • EPA assistance to sister cities in obtaining emergency response resources includes: • Hazmat Trailer stocked with decontamination equipment for the City of Calexico (used in recent Imperial County/Mexicali cross border exercise) and • Specialized hazardous material emergency response and environmental sampling van.
Annual border-wide activities of the U.S./Mexico border program • Call-down notification exercises of the JCP notification procedures • Joint Response Team meetings • National Coordinators meeting as part of the requirements of the La Paz Agreement.
Additional Resources & Information • USEPA HQ Kim Jennings 202.564.7998 • USEPA Region 6 Fendol Chiles 214.665.2283 • USEPA Region 9 Lauren Volpini 415.972.3076 Updated information on the U.S./Mexico border program can be found on the CEPPO website at: • http://yosemite.epa.gov/oswer/ceppoweb.nsf/content/ip-bilateral.htm#mexicoborder