The Wise Report

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
March 31, 2007
The annual update of most of the Tier 1 PCL tables is now available on the TRRP PCLs web page at . Download the Excel files by right-clicking on the link, and save the file to your computer before opening it. For instructions on how to use the Tier 1 tables, refer to "Tier 1 PCL Tables" (RG-366/TRRP-23), and for information on their applicability, see "Toxicity Factors and Chemical/Physical Parameters" (RG-366/TRRP-19). Both documents are available on the TRRP Guidance and Forms web page:
An independent Presidential advisory board has delivered its latest annual report to the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on environmental conditions along the U.S.-Mexico border, calling for a variety of  approaches to carrying out homeland security work that won''t damage the environment.   
“Both a healthy environment and strong security are very important in the border region,” says Paul Ganster, Chair of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board.  “We believe that a win-win scenario is possible, and our report recommends ways to make that happen.”
The nearly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border contains vast rural stretches where large numbers of undocumented migrants and drug smugglers attempt to cross.  Much of this rural land is owned by the public and home to sensitive ecosystems and wildlife migration corridors.  Recognizing its fragility and value, the board’s report recommends several tactics to help protect the rural environment while security work is under way:            

  • Build stronger partnerships between security agencies and environmental agencies, especially public land management agencies; and
  • Employ a mix of technology and personnel to be successful in both types of work.  One example is to use vehicle barriers and sensor technology that also keep fragile habitat intact and allow for species migration.

Besides these more remote areas, the U.S.-Mexico border region also contains heavily-populated urban areas with multi-lane border crossings, such as those found around San Diego and El Paso. To provide safety and security at these busy border crossings, as well as environmental protection from risks of hazardous materials shipping through these entry points, the board’s report calls for the following:

  • Increase the number of hazardous materials inspectors at urban crossings, and establish specific locations and hours during which vehicles carrying hazardous materials are permitted to cross; and  
  • Remove barriers that prevent emergency responders from being more effective. One example is to resolve insurance issues that prevent them from crossing the border with their equipment to assist each other.

The Good Neighbor Environmental Board advises the President and Congress on protecting the environment along the U.S. border with Mexico.  The new report, its tenth, is titled “Environmental Protection and Border Security on the U.S.-Mexico Border.”
The Good Neighbor Environmental Board was created in 1992 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and is managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Its membership organizations include nine federal agencies; state, local and tribal governments; non-governmental organizations; businesses; and academic institutions.  Its voice is independent, and its annual reports are issued after reaching consensus among the membership.  To view the bilingual report online, go to the Board’s website at: .  To order a free copy of the report, contact the National Service Center for Environmental Publications at 1-800-490-9198, and request a copy of the report by its publication number: EPA 130-R-07-003.
For questions about the report’s contents, please contact Chair Paul Ganster at or 1-619-594-5423.  For questions about the Board, contact Designated Federal Officer Elaine Koerner at or 1-202-233-0069.
The United Nations has begun a new world-wide geologic mapping program called One Geology.  The target scale is 1:1 million. But the project will be pragmatic and accept a range of scales and the best available data.  The geological map data will be made available as a distributed web service, using the latest web feature mapping approach.  Geological Surveys will dynamically ''serve'' the data for their territories to a web portal.  The plan is to make it available through

Henry M. Wise
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Government Update