US/Mexico Border Inspection and Education Program


The Hazardous Materials Division (HMD) of the Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) is the only Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) in California that has a contract with the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for the surveillance and inspection of commercial vehicles along the United States-Mexico International Border.  In addition to the inspection of transporters of  hazardous materials and hazardous waste, the HMD works closely with state and federal agencies in the United Sates and Mexico in the investigation of environmental crimes along the International Border and provides workshops to the private and public sector in Mexico.


 Border Inspections

The contract with DTSC started in 1992. At that time, a pilot program was created DTSC and DEHQ to address concerns about hazardous waste generated in the United States being transported to Mexico for illegal disposal. The goal of the pilot program was to conduct surprise inspections of transporters at different locations throughout the San Diego County. During the six months that the pilot program was conducted, inspections were done at the port of entry of San Ysidro as well as the Border Patrol check points in San Onofre, Rainbow and North County. 


The pilot program started  the current Border Program, which has been very successful and has fostered the coordination of numerous governmental agencies on both sides of the border over the last years. Currently, both Northbound and Southbound inspections of hazardous materials/waste transporters are made at the U.S. Customs' ports of entry in Otay Mesa.