U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced US$15 million in funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 through the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP)—which funds technical assistance and infrastructure construction grants for high-priority municipal drinking water and wastewater projects—has been awarded to the North American Development Bank (NADB), which administers them on behalf of EPA Region 6 for projects in Texas and New Mexico.
Congressman Cuellar was joined by the District Director for Congressman Will Hurd; Ken McQueen, EPA Regional Administrator; and Calixto Mateos-Hanel, NADB Managing Director. U.S. Senator John Cornyn provided keynote remarks in a previously recorded video.
NADB provides grants through the Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP) and the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF) to support communities with development activities necessary for the implementation of vital water infrastructure projects that are selected by EPA through a public prioritization process. 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.
The funds awarded by EPA Region 6 to the BEIF program will be used to provide grant assistance for the implementation of eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects that are certified by NADB. Projects that meet the criteria will then be developed by NADB using PDAP funds.
“Investing in modern, efficient infrastructure along our border streamlines trade and benefits not only Texas, but the entire nation,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The North American Development Bank has a proven record of improving the quality of life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and I commend their investment in clean water for Texans.”
“The BWIP program has been crucial in ensuring safe drinking water and funding strong wastewater treatment systems that strengthen the public health for our border communities,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This federal investment will provide wastewater treatment and collection, creating both economic and health advantages for the region. As a senior Appropriator, I have helped procure $95 million for the BWIP program since 2016, including $25 million this year alone. While lawmakers tried to defund this lifesaving program, I provided robust funding and will continue to fight for funding that further modernizes our infrastructure and improves the quality of life on the southern border.”
“I would like to thank NADB Managing Director Mateos-Hanel and the rest of his team for their dedication to enhancing the quality of life for people living along the U.S.-Mexico border by financing infrastructure projects for cleaner water, air, and land. I also want to thank Senator Cornyn and Congressman Hurd for their dedication to improving the health and well-being of border communities,” Congressman Cuellar continued.
“In recent weeks, we have celebrated the completion of a project in Marathon and marked the groundbreaking of a project in Presidio all because of funding through the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund. Not only does the BEIF make vital infrastructure improvements, but it helps diminish serious public health risks across our communities,” said Hurd. “Today, I’m glad to join my colleagues in announcing an additional $15 million in funding for our region, which is sure to continue making a difference for the health and safety of South and West Texans.”
“Improving our nation’s water infrastructure for communities across the country is a top priority for the Trump Administration. Since 2017, EPA has spent $38 billion on new water infrastructure with more in the pipeline,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These funds complement the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement that created a comprehensive approach to addressing the public health and environmental needs in border communities.”
“Reliable water infrastructure is one of the most important components of public health and is especially true for communities in the U.S.-Mexico border region,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Bringing water services to small border communities will improve environmental and health outcomes for the broader region. I thank Congressman Cuellar and Congressman Hurd, Senator Cornyn, and NADB Managing Director Calixto Mateos-Hanel for their partnership in bringing needed infrastructure to this region.”
“We are grateful for the leadership of Senator Cornyn and Congressmen Cuellar and Hurd for addressing high-priority water and wastewater needs in the U.S.-Mexico border region,” stated NADB Managing Director Calixto Mateos-Hanel. “I would also like to recognize the great partnership built since 1997 between EPA and the Bank that has benefitted close to 10 million border residents.”
For video of the event, please use the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA6zlCL7Puo&feature=youtu.be