BECC-NADB Board approves water projects on US, Mexico border

March 29, 2007
The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) have approved infrastructure projects along the US/Mexico border.

San Antonio, Texas, March 29, 2007 -- The Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) today approved the certification of infrastructure projects for the communities of Lordsburg, New Mexico; Matamoros and Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, Mexico; and Pharr, Texas. The projects, aimed at improved water, wastewater and solid waste disposal services in the border communities will cost an estimated total of $54.55 million to construct, and will benefit 839,400 border residents in the four communities over the long term.

Board Chairman Gerardo Rodríguez Regordosa, Head of Public Credit at the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), stressed the importance of NADB and BECC for the U.S.-Mexico border region. "These institutions are extremely important for preserving the environment in the border region and with the projects that were approved today we are advancing their mission."

The Board certified a water treatment improvements project for the City of Lordsburg, New Mexico that will cost $2 million to construct and involves the construction of a new potable water treatment system aimed at reducing high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the city's groundwater source. The certification of this project makes it eligible to receive $700,000 in grant monies from the Bank's Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The project certified for the cities of Matamoros and Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, is an $8.55 million regional solid waste project aimed at complying with Mexican federal standards for waste disposal and diminishing illegal dumpsites in the region. The project will provide adequate solid waste disposal facilities through the construction of a regional sanitary landfill and three transfer stations, as well as the acquisition of machinery and equipment for the operation of the landfill and transfer stations. The project will also include the closure of open-air dumpsites in Matamoros and Valle Hermoso. Along with certification, the Board approved a $2 million grant from the Bank's Solid Waste Environmental Program (SWEP).

"The attention and support for adequate solid waste disposal in border communities continues to be a priority for SEMARNAT, which is why we believe that the support provided by the Bank and BECC is crucial in this area. We also thank EPA for their support in this area and the other institutions that serve on the Board for their interest in continuing to support these projects that directly impact the human health and the environment," stated Emilio Cedrún Vásquez, Deputy General Director for Border Aaffairs at the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

The project for the City of Pharr, Texas, is a $44 million wastewater collection system improvements project aimed at meeting rapid population growth and rehabilitating aged infrastructure. The project will receive $19 million from the Bank's BEIF program, funded by EPA. The project includes construction of three new lift stations, decommissioning of 9 existing lift stations, and the installation of new collection system components.

"EPA and SEMARNAT are committed to ensuring that progress and funding to address water infrastructure on the border is sustained. Improving public health and environmental conditions in the border area remain a priority for both institutions" stated Lisa Almodovar, U.S.-Mexico Program Team Leader for EPA.

BECC has certified 118 infrastructure projects in its 11 years of operation. These projects represent a total investment of almost US$2.75 billion and will benefit more than 11 million people.

Of the 118 projects certified by BECC, NADB is participating in 101 projects with a total of US$866 million in financing: US$596.4 million in grants and US$269.6 million in loans.

In addition to these project certification and financing approvals, the Board of Directors also named Hector Camacho Calderón as Deputy Managing Director of the NADB. Mr. Camacho, a native of Mexico City, comes to the Bank with a distinguished background in finance and economics, having served in various capacities at Mexico's export development bank, Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior, and Mexico's ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs.

The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) is an international organization established by the governments of the United States and Mexico that works to preserve, protect and enhance human health and the environment of the U.S.- Mexico border region, by strengthening cooperation among interested parties and supporting sustainable projects through a transparent binational process in close coordination with the North American Development Bank, federal, state and local agencies, the private sector and civil society.

The North American Development Bank is a financial institution established and capitalized in equal parts by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their common border. As a pioneer institution in its field, the Bank is working to develop integrated, sustainable and fiscally responsible projects with broad community support in a framework of close cooperation and coordination between Mexico and the United States.

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