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US- Mexico Border Exercise, 2023

Site Contact:
Pratistha Adams


Site Location:
Eagle Pass, TX 78852

On April 19 and 20, 2023, R6’s US-MX Border 2025 Program, will host an event in Eagle Pass, TX involving a knowledge exchange and tabletop exercise. The last time EPA Region 6 hosted such as event was over 10 years ago in El Paso, Texas when EPA partnered with US NORTHCOMM on providing training and equipment to border responders. This April 2023 event is being supported by EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), Goal 4 Emergency Preparedness and Response Policy Workgroup leads.


There will be several local, state, and federal agencies from the United States and Mexico participating in the event (listed below). On the first day, the knowledge exchange will provide an opportunity for federal, state, and local binational agencies to highlight what protocols, authorities, and resources each can provide during a response to a HAZMAT incidence along the US-Mexico border. A tabletop exercise will be conducted on the second day of the event to test the local US and Mexican agencies’ abilities to respond to a binational incident affecting the communities of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Coahuila.  The tabletop scenario will provide local responders an opportunity to exercise the current Sister Cities Plan and identify shortcomings in the plan that need to be addressed. Trainings for local responders on the topics of air monitoring and train derailment response techniques will also be provided on the second day of the event. Union Pacific and BNSF Railway will provide a training to US and Mexican local responders on railcar incidents and use of specific rail equipment used during railcar incidents. EPA Region 6 staff will provide local binational responders training on air quality monitoring equipment use.


The event objectives are provided below:


  • To improve coordination and communication between US and Mexico local, state, and federal agencies in the event of a hazardous material release and/or oil spill along the border.
  • To implement the B2025 Sister City plan, identify any potential procedures/communications that may have changed since its initial draft, and identify any potential gaps within the plan.
  • Learn the capabilities, resources, and roles of participating agencies in the event of a unified hazardous material response.


Participating entities and the highest level of staff expected to participate from each entity is provided below:


  • U.S.
    • EPA –HQ Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) Branch Chief (invited, not confirmed)
    • Kickapoo Tribe – Police Dept. Officer
    • TCEQ – R16 Emergency Response Coordinator
    • TDEM – District Coordinator
    • Maverick County – County Judge and Sherriff
    • City of Eagle Pass – Mayor, Police Chief, Fire Chief, School District, Hospital Env. ER POC
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Port of Entry Director (invited, not confirmed)
    • Rail partners – Union Pacific and BNSF Railway
  • Mexico
    • Federal
      • PROFEPA –  Director of Environmental Emergencies (Mexico City)
      • Civil Protection – Director (Mexico City)
    • State of Coahuila – Civil Protection Deputy Director
    • City of Piedras Negras – Fire Chief, Civil Protection Director
    • Mexican Customs – Assistant Port Director
  • Other
    • Union Pacific Railroad – Director of Hazardous Materials
    • BNSF – Director of Hazardous Materials