New wastewater treatment plant begins operations in Matamoros, Tamaulipas

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Sept. 29, 2009 -- Today the City of Matamoros inaugurated its first wastewater treatment plant, thus concluding the implementation of the first phase of a US$76.6 million Comprehensive Water and Wastewater Project...

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Sept. 29, 2009 -- Today the City of Matamoros inaugurated its first wastewater treatment plant, thus concluding the implementation of the first phase of a US$76.6 million Comprehensive Water and Wastewater Project benefiting the city's 418,000 residents. With an average treatment capacity of 8.79 million gallons a day (mgd), the plant will greatly reduce unsanitary discharges into the Rio Grande and Gulf of Mexico.

The Governor of the State of Tamaulipas, Eugenio Hernández Flores, and the Director of the Mexican National Water Commission (CONAGUA), José Luis Luege Tamargo, presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with Erick Silva Santos, Mayor of Matamoros; Jorge C. Garcés, Managing Director of the North American Development Bank (NADB); and Miguel Flores, Director of the Water Quality Division for Region 6 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Phase I project received a total of US$43 million from NADB: a US$10 million loan and a US$33 million grant through the EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF). The remaining costs were covered by funding from CONAGUA and the state and municipal governments.

Certified in 2003 by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), the first phase of the project also included the construction of six lift stations and several water tanks, sewer lines and collectors, as well as rehabilitation of the water treatment plant and Rio Grande headworks.

"Thanks to tremendous bilateral support and cooperation between of the governments of Mexico and the U.S. in addressing environmental issues along our common border, Matamoros is receiving unprecedented levels of funding for wastewater treatment infrastructure," stated Jorge C. Garcés. "The grant funding provided by EPA and CONAGUA has been instrumental in reducing the backlog of much needed wastewater infrastructure that is preventing sewage discharges into water supply sources shared by communities along both sides of the border."

In addition to this project, NADB is also providing a US$2 million grant for the construction of a sanitary landfill to serve both Matamoros and Valle Hermoso, as well as US$926,000 in technical assistance for nine studies, including the development of the final designs for expansion of the sanitary sewer system and for the rehabilitation of Water Treatment Plant No. 2.

In Tamaulipas, the Bank has provided almost US$218 million in loans and grants to support the implementation of 11 environmental projects, which altogether represent a total investment of US$405 million. Overall, NADB is helping fund 129 environmental infrastructure projects throughout the U.S.-Mexico border region with a total of US$982.9 million in loans and grants.

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. For more information about NADB, visit our website at: www.nadb.org.

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