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Communication Strategy of Transboundary Air Pollution Findings in a U.S.-Mexico Border Xxi Program Project

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Abstract: From 1996 to 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) conducted an air quality study known as the Lower Rio Grande Valley Transboundary Air Pollution Project (TAPP). The study was a U.S.-Mexico Border XXI Program project and was developed in response to local community requests on a need for more air quality measurements and concerns about the health impact of local air pollutants; this included concerns about emissions from border-dependent industries in Mexico, known as maquiladoras. The TAPP was a follow-on study to environmental monitoring done by EPA in this area in 1993 and incorporated scientific and community participation in development, review of results, and public presentation of findings. In spite of this, critical remarks were leveled by community activists against the study's preliminary "good news" findings regarding local air quality and the influence of transboundary air pollution. To resolve these criticisms and to refine the findings to address these concerns , analyses included comparisons of daily and near real time measurements to TNRCC Effects Screening Levels and data from other studies along with wind sector analyses. Reassessment of the data suggested that although regional source emissions occurred and outliers of elevated pollutant levels were found, movement of air pollution across the border did not appear to cause noticeable deterioration of air quality. In spite of limitations stated to the community, the TAPP was presented as establishing a benchmark to assess current and future transboundary air quality in the Valley. The study has application in Border XXI Program or other air quality studies where transboundary transport is a concern since it involved inter-agency coordination, public involvement, and communication of scientifically-sound results for local environmental protection efforts.

The information in this document has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under Contract No. 68-D5-0049 to ManTech Environmental, Inc. It has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
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Citation:Mukerjee, S. Communication Strategy of Transboundary Air Pollution Findings in a U.S.-Mexico Border Xxi Program Project. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 29(1):34-56, (2002).
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Source Apportionment & Characterization Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 01/02/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Internal Grant: Development of Source Apportionment/Exposure Estimation Methods With Wind Direction (a Directional Analysis Assessment)
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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