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Assessing Transboundary Environmental Impacts on the U.S.-Mexican and U.S.-Canadian Borders

Lilias C. Jones, Pamela Duncan, Stephen P. Mumme


The implementation of environmental impact studies (EIS) in border areas has received scant scholarly attention despite potential transboundary implications and initiatives to promote greater international cooperation in conducting environmental impact assessments. This study reviews and compares two recent U.S. environmental impact studies with transboundary implications, the All-American Canal lining case on the U.S.-Mexican border and the Columbia River Basin Systems Operating Review case on the U.S.-Canadian border. This comparison finds significant variation in EIS implementation between the two cases that may be accounted for on the basis of extant institutional-structural, procedural, and ecological factors in play in each border region. Drawing on the case study evidence, the study offers several recommendations for strengthening the transboundary environmental impact assessment process.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229