Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

International Programs

Capacity-Building Programs Under CAFTA-DR

mountain, clouds and buildings

The United States signed the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) in August 2004 with five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic. As a global partner in trade and the environment, Central America and the Dominican Republic represent a priority region for U.S. environmental cooperation. Recognizing the importance of protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development, the Governments negotiated an associated Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA), which is the basis for our environmental cooperation. EPA implements this ECA through an action plan developed in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, and the CAFTA-DR countries.

Presently, EPA is providing technical assistance under CAFTA-DR in the areas of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Wastewater Regulations, and Urban Air Quality Management.

Past EPA’s efforts in the CAFTA-DR countries have included technical capacity assistance in the following areas:

Heavy-duty diesel trucks have a major impact on air quality in Central America.

  • Harmonization of Environmental Regulations
  • Policies and Procedures (Wastewater)
  • Environmental Law Enforcement
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Hazardous Substances and Sound Management of Chemicals
  • Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management (SAICM)
  • Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry (PRTR)
  • Urban Air Quality Management
  • Land Use/Land Cover Mapping
  • Green Customs
Explore our CAFTA-DR work in the following sections:




Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA):

To strengthen environmental impact assessment preparation and EIA reviews for effective decision-making, EPA partners with the CAFTA-DR countries' Ministries of Environment and their EIA Directors in:

  • individual country consultations activities;
  • training on Principles of Environmental Assessment Review; and
  • strengthening and/or harmonizing review criteria for priority sectors.
Urban Air Quality Management:
An air quality monitoring audit in Guatemala City

An air quality monitoring audit in Guatemala City, April 2009.

To develop a comprehensive urban air quality management program, EPA works with the CAFTA-DR countries Ministries of Environment and the Central America Commission for Development and Environment (CCAD) to provide technical assistance in:

  • air quality monitoring;
  • air quality management training;
  • air quality forecasting; technical exchange;
  • public access to air quality information and
  • other tools to raise air quality awareness and facilitate public participation.
Wastewater Model Regulation:

EPA provides technical assistance to the CAFTA-DR countries in the development of a regional model wastewater regulation, as part of the Harmonization of Environmental Regulations, Policies and Procedures program.

All countries have begun implementation of at least two of 11 basic elements to implement a wastewater management program, and have been provided with tools to establish wastewater discharge parameters for key industrial sectors in the region.

In addition, EPA has trained wastewater labs in the region on ISO 17025 Water Quality Standards, leading to the selection of a regional and four national Reference Labs. EPA is also completing a manual on appropriate wastewater treatment for the region.


Agreements and Relevant Documents


Key Partners Exit EPA disclaimer

US Department of State US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Guatemala Ministry of Environment El Salvador Ministry of Environment
Honduras Ministry of Environment Nicaragua Ministry of Environment
Costa Rica Ministry of Environment Dominican Republic Ministry of Environment
Central America Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD)  


Learn More About the Western Hemisphere and the Caribbean

Additional Resources and Information:



Back to:Latin America and the Caribbean


For additional information on EPA's work with Latin America and the Caribbean, contact:

Cam Hill-Macon
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: hill-macon.cam@epa.gov
(202) 564-6408

Jump to main content.