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Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF/PDAP)

The Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), for project implementation, and the Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP), for project development, are grant programs funded by the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by NADB.

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Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF)

This program offers grant financing exclusively for the implementation of high-priority municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects located within 100 kilometers of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The objective of the program is to make water infrastructure projects affordable by combining grant funds with loans and other forms of financing. It is designed to reduce project debt to a manageable level in cases where utility customers would face undue financial hardship and projects could not otherwise be implemented.

BEIF funds may be used to support projects that serve a single community or regional approaches that serve multiple communities and/or outlying areas.

Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP)

Projects selected to receive a BEIF grant are also eligible to receive technical assistance through PDAP to support development activities aimed at facilitating their successful implementation and reinforcing their long-term sustainability and proper operation. 

PDAP grants are available for planning studies, environmental assessments, final design, financial analyses and community participation efforts, among other activities

Information provided by the project sponsor will be evaluated to determine development needs and to prioritize projects for available PDAP funding. 

Need additional financing?

NADB loans can be combined with BEIF grants to complete project financing and may be provided in a number of ways, including in the form of a municipal bond. 

Learn More 

Grant Terms & Conditions

Project Cost & Complementary Funding

The cost of any project shall not exceed US$30 million. Project sponsors are generally expected to finance part of the project with a debt component and must be able to confirm the commitment of other funding sources to complement the BEIF grant prior to certification.

Timeline

The sponsor must complete all development activities, including obtaining environmental clearances and finalizing design, as well as obtain project certification and sign the grant agreement with NADB, within two and a half years of receiving notification of project selection. Moreover, the project must be able to complete construction within three years following the signing of the BEIF grant agreement.

Sustainability

In order to protect the infrastructure associated with BEIF funding, project sponsors must have made or be willing to make adequate provisions for pretreatment of industrial/commercial sewage prior to construction financing. EPA also requires that appropriate cost-effectiveness and sustainable building principles be incorporated into all phases of project development: planning, design and construction.

Procurement

Project sponsors are responsible for the procurement of all goods, works and services related to the project. However, procurement of goods and services with BEIF funds must be carried out in compliance with NADB Procurement Policies and Procedures.

Eligibility

Only water and wastewater infrastructure projects located within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the U.S.-Mexico border will be considered for funding.

General Project Criteria

Eligibility is based on a set of general project criteria:

  • Projects must address an existing human health and/or ecological issue. Priority will be given to those projects likely to have the most impact.
  • Projects must have a U.S.-side benefit. Priority will be given to projects with benefits on both sides of the border.
  • Community infrastructure only will be selected.
  • For drinking water projects, drinking water quality projects only will be selected, not raw water supply. Therefore, only drinking water treatment plants and water distribution systems will be covered.
  • Projects where the discharge is directly or indirectly to U.S. side waters, must target achievement of U.S. norms for ambient water quality in U.S. side waters, although infrastructure development may be phased over time. Any flow reductions that result from implementation of non-discharging alternatives must not threaten U.S. or shared ecosystems.
  • Project funding intended for U.S. colonias will not be available unless the state, county or respective municipal government has established an enforceable local ordinance, or other zoning rule, which prevents the development or construction of any additional colonia areas or further development within an existing colonia without the necessary infrastructure.
  • Adequate planning, operation and maintenance, and pretreatment provisions are a prerequisite to detailed design and construction financing.
  • Only projects that meet or agree to meet project certification criteria will be selected.
  • Priority will be given to projects with maximum funding from other sources and where BEIF funding is necessary to complete financing of the project.

Legal Authority

The project sponsor must have the legal authority to develop the project, provide the proposed services and/or contract the proposed financing. A project must also observe or be capable of observing the environmental and other laws and regulations of the place where it is to be located or executed, including obtaining the necessary operating permits, licenses, and other regulatory requirements related to land acquisition and rights-of-way.

Certification

Projects must be certified by the NADB Board of Directors to receive a BEIF grant. More detailed information about the technical, environmental and financial criteria for project certification is provided at the following link.

Project Evaluation & Selection

Project selection depends on the availability of funding. Because water and wastewater infrastructure needs in the border region exceed available grant funds, EPA uses a prioritization process to identify and select projects that address the most critical public health and environmental needs. This process allows the program to target limited funding to projects with the highest benefit in terms of public health and environmental risk, cost-effectiveness, institutional capacity and sustainability.  

Prioritization Methodology

Each regional EPA office has developed a project prioritization methodology. Projects located in the border states of New Mexico, Texas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas fall under the jurisdiction of EPA Region 6. Projects located in the border states of Arizona, California, Baja California and Sonora fall under the jurisdiction of EPA Region 9. 

Applications are received throughout the year and are evaluated periodically for placement within the ranked project application list. As additional BEIF funding becomes available, new projects will be selected and incorporated into the development pipeline.

 Grant Determination

All BEIF funding proposals are prepared by NADB on a case-by-case basis and are subject to final approval by EPA.

Upon completion of the final design, NADB conducts a comprehensive financial analysis of the project, utility and community that takes into consideration eligible projects costs and the availability of other funding. As part of the analysis, NADB determines the sponsor’s maximum debt capacity, as well as the amount of BEIF grant necessary to make a project affordable. However, the BEIF grant may not exceed US$8 million.

For Mexican projects, NADB works closely with the Mexican national water agency, Comisión Nacional de Agua (CONAGUA) and ensures that every grant dollar of BEIF awarded to projects in Mexico is matched with funding from Mexican sources.

Certification and Financing Process

Once a project has been selected to receive a BEIF grant, it enters the certification and financing process. To facilitate this process and minimize possible delays in project financing and implementation, NADB provides the following basic steps for project sponsors.

1
Information Gathering

The project sponsor should keep NADB informed regarding the status of the project and provide any requested financial and technical information as soon as it becomes available. NADB will use the information provided by the project sponsor to prepare the corresponding certification and financing proposals.

2
Project Development

All project development activities, including finalizing design, obtaining any necessary environmental clearance and conducting public outreach efforts to disseminate information about the project to the local community must be completed in order to proceed with project certification. Moreover, the funding from all other sources must be committed prior to certification.

3
Project Certification

With the support of the project sponsor, NADB will prepare the financing proposal for submission to the corresponding EPA regional office for approval, as well as the project certification proposal for submission to its Board of Directors. The certification proposal will be submitted to a 30-day public comment period, prior to submission to the Board.

4
Grant Agreement

Upon approval, NADB and the project sponsor will sign a financing agreement defining the terms and conditions of the grant. The financing agreement must be signed within two and a half years of receiving notification of project selection.

5
Project Implementation

The project must be able to complete construction within three years following the signing of the grant agreement. The procurement of goods, works and services related to the project is the responsibility of the project sponsor; however, NADB will monitor procurement to ensure the process is fair and transparent, as well as project construction and compliance with grant covenants.

6
Project Completion and Closeout

Upon project completion and in compliance with the grant agreement, the project sponsor will provide required reports to NADB in a timely manner. NADB will perform a closeout process for the project 1 year after project startup with support from the project sponsor.

Project Application (210) 231-8000

BEIF/PDAP PRIORITIZATION PROCESS FOR DRINKING WATER AND WASTEWATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

The EPA Border Water Infrastructure Program supports both the Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP) and the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), administered by NADB.

The information provided in this project application will be evaluated for the purpose of prioritizing projects for available PDAP funding resources to support project planning and design. Once a project has completed planning and final design, it may be considered for BEIF construction funding based upon available resources. The determination of the BEIF amount for any project shall be based on the NADB affordability analysis, which reviews the project sponsor’s capacity, supported by revenue sources such as user rates, to financially contribute to the project through loan or equity.

The project shall complete project development activities including planning, environmental clearance, final design, including a proposed financial structure for the project, within two (2) years of receiving notification of project selection. The project must also be able to complete construction within a three-year period after signing a NADB sub-grant agreement for construction funding. In addition, the construction cost of any project shall not exceed US$30 million and the BEIF grant cannot exceed US$8 million.

A project application shall be completed for each independent project, defined as a mutually exclusive construction activity that can be funded, constructed, and fully function independent of another project. The project must be intended to serve an existing population and shall not be developed to provide service to future populations or to induce growth. Multiple project applications may be submitted by a project sponsor. Although not an exhaustive list, the following documents may be helpful to have access to in order to complete the application:

Applicant Information:

  • Formal incorporation/ authorization to provide service
  • Utility performance reports (i.e. number of accounts/users, water production/use)
  • Audited financial statements and current operations budget
  • Rate structure

Project Information:

  • Map
  • Property ownership documents
  • Preliminary engineering report
  • Environmental information
  • Final design
  • Project cost
  • Existing permits
  • Lab results for drinking water or wastewater discharge quality
  • Documentation related to deficiencies or problem to be resolved by proposed project (work orders, pictures, health reports).
  • Other funding applications/ responses

After the initial project application evaluation, ranking and selection process, the application cycle is expected to remain open with evaluations occurring on a periodic basis and the ranked project list will be updated. Project selection will depend on the availability of funding.

 

Project Application EPA Region 6

PROJECTS LOCATED IN NEW MEXICO, TEXAS, CHIHUAHUA, NUEVO LEON, COAHUILA or TAMAULIPAS

 

Project Application EPA Region 9

PROJECTS LOCATED IN ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, BAJA CALIFORNIA AND SONORA