Officials meet to discuss environmental issues at the border

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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - A binational meeting to discuss several topics regarding the environment and initiatives to protect it was held on Wednesday morning.

During the Border 2020 meeting, organizations and government departments from both Mexico and the U.S. met to talk about the environmental issues that both sides of the border face. The meeting is under the framework of the La Paz Agreement.’

Carlos Rincon is the border office director for the EPA who covers New Mexico and Texas. He works with his counterparts in the four Mexican states to implement the Border 2020 Environmental plan.

Rincon says, the La Paz Agreement was signed in Baja, California in 1918 and has to do with environmental issues along the border
Wednesday’s presentation revolved around the Rio Grande; specifically, the sludge produced at the city’s water treatment plants.

Riazul Mia with the utilities department says the project will take the sludge, produce high-grade liquid fertilizer and they are also looking to produce electricity.

Mia says the city is not investing a single penny, so they have nothing to lose.

The City of Laredo says the amount of sludge produced out of the six water treatment plants is approximately 100 tons per day.

During the event, environmentalist Tricia Cortez with the Rio Grande International Study Center shared some of the issues that may arise from building a border barrier, including the disruption of animal migration between both regions and the possible disruption of free flow of creeks into the river.

This was the first of three meetings this year; others will be held in June and August.

After that, information will be shared with national coordinators of the La Paz Agreement.