The binational research group has been working diligently and making great strides on both the technical and outreach components of the Sonoran Remedial Project. To date, this project has received financial support from the U.S.-Mexico Binational Center for Environmental Sciences and Toxicology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Border 2012 Program, Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, and Southern Copper – Minera Mexico. Diverse technical and community activities have been accomplished such as: “Industry and Academia Meet for a Binational Collaborative Project” and “Out in the Field: Nacozari de Garcia Informational Meeting”.
In January 2008, Dr. Diana Meza-Figueroa, from the U.S.-Mexico Binational Center and the University of Sonora, was notified that Mexico’s Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT by its Spanish acronym) were interested in working with the binational group. Mr. Juan Manuel Aguilar Esteves and Mr. Francisco Desiga Salinas from SEMARNAT’s Area of Contaminated Sites under the General Direction of Hazardous Materials, Residuals, and Activities requested a meeting with the binational team to obtain technical updates and to discuss future work plans from Mexico’s federal government.
On February 22, 2008, Dr. Meza-Figueroa, Ms. Margarita de la O Villanueva (University of Sonora), Dr. Sergio Alan Moreno-Zazueta (University of Sonora), and Ms. Denise Moreno Ramirez (The University of Arizona) attended a meeting at the federal offices of SEMARNAT in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. In addition to Mr. Aguilar Esteves and Mr. Desiga Salinas, attendees included representatives from Mexico’s Environmental Enforcement Agency, SEMARNAT Sonora, Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, Sonora’s Governor’s Office, and Mexico’s Mining Chamber. Presentations consisted of studies and priorities identified by the binational team regarding the mine tailing site as well as an introduction to the role of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Center.
SEMARNAT placed Nacozari de Garcia as one of the six national environmental priority sites for the country. With this new classification, SEMARNAT is working toward contributing financial support towards research in the region. This is yet another example of how the U.S.-Mexico Binational Center is working toward binational environmental collaboration.