Border Partners assists air quality assessment of Palomas, Mexico border region

installation of air quality monitors

Edgar Mendoza installs an air quality monitor in Palomas.

Our U.S.-Mexico border region of Chihuahua-New Mexico is now bejeweled with six new air quality monitors.  Border Partners is currently participating in a study of border air quality conducted by New Mexico State University, funded through a research grant administrated by NMSU Professor David DuBois.

The devices are located on electric poles 10 feet above the ground and will remain in Palomas for the duration of the study. The monitors’ automatic timer collects dust and other air pollutants at 24 hour intervals. Those filters are then collected and replaced every other day, a total of 16 times. Border Partners will service the monitors: collecting and replacing the filters, then delivering them to the researchers.

Palomas residents Marisol Guillen (a Border Partners promoter) and Edgar Mendoza assisted with the installation of the air quality monitors and will continue to help with the project’s data collection. Air quality is also being monitored on the U.S. side of the borderline in Columbus, NM.

The information that this study yields will help researchers assess the air quality of the border. Because border crossing traffic is funneled into our area, more air particulates could be concentrated here, too. Several of the Palomas monitors are located in the stockyards area to assess the impact of livestock manure on air quality.

collecting scientific data on air quality

Marisol Guillen dons gloves to collect scientific data on air quality.

The quality of the air we breathe directly affects our health. Participating in this project will help us better understand our border’s environment and the special needs we may have as a result of our area’s international role.

BECC Grant to Border Partners will conserve water, grow crops in Palomas

water conservation

Grant conserves desert water. Photo: Microsoft Images.

Border Partners received a grant for  $10,000 from the Border Environment Cooperation Commission last week. This is exciting news to our fledgling organization, as it is the largest single grant award we’ve received to date.

The funding will allow us to build graywater reuse systems and rainwater harvesting systems in Palomas. We’ll be able to install systems at 15 residential homes and also at the public library this year.

Along with this project, the BECC grant will fund the construction of a model bathroom that will demonstrate water-saving technologies appropriate for the desert environment.  The model will include a system to reuse the residential graywater–drainage from the sink–on a garden. It will also utilize solar hot-water heaters.

from the BECC website:

U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program (Border 2012) is a collaboration between the United States and Mexico to improve the environment and protect the health of the nearly 12 million people living along the border. The bi-national program focuses on cleaning the air, providing safe drinking water, reducing the risk of exposure to hazardous waste, and ensuring emergency preparedness along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border 2012 is a results-oriented program that takes a “bottom-up” approach to addressing the environmental and public health needs of the border region.  Issues and projects are identified and implemented at the local level.

Border Partners is proud to be working with this bi-national program. By conserving water and promoting sustainability, we’re helping to create a new model for future viability on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border 2012 map

Border 2012 area map. Courtesy: EPA website.