NADB signs grant agreement for wastewater project in Somerton, Ariz.

The North American Development Bank (NADB) has signed a $3.97 million grant agreement with the City of Somerton, Arizona.

SOMERTON, Ariz., Sept. 15, 2003 -- The North American Development Bank (NADB) has signed a $3.97 million grant agreement with the City of Somerton, Arizona. The grant funds, made available through the Bank's Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), will help finance the replacement of the City's wastewater treatment facility.

"We are pleased to sign this $3.97 million BEIF grant with the City of Somerton," stated Jorge C. Garcés, NADB Deputy Managing Director. "The new plant will improve water quality in the Yuma Main Irrigation Drain and in the underlying groundwater aquifer."

The project entails the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility using Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) technology, to replace the existing lagoon system. This activated sludge treatment process was found to be the most cost-effective solution that will allow for the treatment of projected future flows.

The facility will be constructed at the existing treatment plant site and will consist of a pair of 20-foot-tall tanks, each representing a complete mix "reactor" in which all steps of the biological treatment process occur sequentially. The new plant will have the capacity to treat 800,000 gallons per day of wastewater. It will also provide the added advantage of process redundancy, as one tank can provide treatment while the other is off-line.

"This project has been a concern of area residents for many years and with much participation and teamwork, it has finally come to this point," stated Mayor Agustin Tumbaga.

"The steering committee members put together significant community support for the new wastewater plant that was instrumental to the City for obtaining the BEIF grant funds from the North American Development Bank."

Through its BEIF program, the NADB has approved more than US$470 million in EPA-funded grants to support the construction of environmental infrastructure in various communities, which will benefit residents on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Since its inception in 1995, the NADB has approved US$617.5 million in loans and grants for 67 infrastructure projects in the border region.

For more information on the NADB, visit

The North American Development Bank, created under the auspices of NAFTA, 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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