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News Releases

News Releases from Region 09

Increased efficiency at Nogales border crossing improves air quality, public health

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (

NOGALES, AZ – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with the North American Development Bank (NADB), announced the results of an analysis which showed an 85 percent reduction in carbon dioxide and particulate matter emissions at the Port of Nogales-Mariposa crossing because of the Unified Cargo Processing (UCP) and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) programs. 

The Border 2020-funded analysis, led by the North America Research Partnership (NARP) and in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Mexican Tax Administrative Service (SAT), calculated emissions reductions at the Port of Nogales-Mariposa crossing

“Reducing wait times at Ports of Entry has dramatic impacts on air quality,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “The binational collaboration to expedite border crossings has important economic and public health benefits by decreasing emissions.”

The UCP program allows Mexican Customs officers to work side-by-side with U.S. Customs officers to jointly inspect and process cargo shipments destined for the United States. Officials from CBP and SAT receive information about shipments in advance that is reviewed to ensure there are no merchandise admissibility issues. Joint processing eliminates duplicative cargo inspections, reduces wait times, lowers the economic costs associated with trans-border shipments, enhances national security and dramatically improves air quality.

“CBP is committed to strong international partnerships and bolstering the economy of both nations,” said Guadalupe Ramirez Jr., Director of Field Operations, Tucson. “When UCP was implemented, the intent was to effect a positive flow of commerce between Arizona and Mexico. Our goal has been realized and many companies have benefited. We are happy to learn that the air quality has also improved dramatically due to the program’s effectiveness.”

The analysis showed a substantial reduction in queue lengths and crossing times with an approximately 85% reduction in emissions (carbon dioxide and particulate matter) at the Port of Nogales-Mariposa crossing.

The UCP program currently processes an average of 375 shipments per day. Commodities processed through the program include medical supplies, electronics, large and small household appliances, computers and car parts.  UCP, piloted in Arizona, has expanded to many ports and currently operates at 10 locations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Program continues to move forward with impressive results. Collaboration continues to be effective in improving the environment along our border, and in engaging diverse state and local governments and communities,” said Chad McIntosh, Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs at EPA.

For questions on the study, please contact Joaquin Marruffo, of NADB.

For the executive summary and full report, please visit: Exit

For more information on the Border 2020 Program, please visit:

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region