GRANT BEEFS UP COUNTY’S PROGRAM TO FIGHT ILLEGAL-DUMPING

GRANT BEEFS UP COUNTY’S PROGRAM TO FIGHT ILLEGAL-DUMPING

The Doña Ana County Planning Department’s GIS Division is in line to receive about $75,000 in Border 2012 grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to continue efforts against illegal solid-waste dumping.

Using Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) software, codes enforcement officers are able to pinpoint the geographic location of illegal dumping locations along the border.

Since a pilot program began in Doña Ana County in 2002, codes officers have used the system to identify and catalogue the location of more than 500 illegal dumpsites, resulting in prosecutions of illegal dumpers. The Border 2012 grant will provide additional technology for the program to continue and to grow.

According to GIS Director Sally Baxter, the Border 2012 grant increases cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to determine the best course of action for environmental issues in the border region. Doña Ana County works closely with the State of New Mexico Environmental Department as well as the Instituto Municipal de Investigacion y Planeacion (IMIP) of the Republic of Mexico.

Upon approval by the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners, the grant will provide $74,562 for ongoing environmental projects spearheaded by Doña Ana County. Grant approval is anticipated at the Oct. 25 regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call Doña Ana County Public Information Assistant J.D. Nelson at (505) 647-7290.