May 10, 2014

NADB-BECC Board of Directors celebrates 20th Anniversary at Mexico City meeting

Mexico City, Mexico. – The Board of Directors of the North American Development Bank (NADB) and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) held its first meeting of the year in Mexico City, where it celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Bank and BECC and affirmed the importance of the two institutions to the United States and Mexico, noting their very significant contributions to the border region and in helping the two countries meet their joint environmental goals, including the advancement of their climate change agenda.

The Board approved the certification and financing of three new projects, and marked the NADB/BECC 20th anniversary with a seminar that highlighted the accomplishments of both institutions in improving the U.S.-Mexico border environment and mitigating climate change. The Board meeting concluded with a reception hosted by the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SCHP), held in the Antiguo Palacio del Arzobispado where Undersecretary Fernando Aportela addressed the public and senior officials of the Board agencies, as well as special guest like Mexican Senator Raul Cervantes Andrade, and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne.

Mexico's Undersecretary for Development and Environmental Regulation from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Cuauhtémoc Ochoa, and the General Director for North America from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ana Luisa Fajer, also participated in the meetings.

Mr. Aportela, and U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development, Marisa Lago, noted NADB and BECC's importance in meeting shared bilateral goals.

"The United States and Mexico are committed to working together to address the impacts of climate change in both nations by investing in sustainable energy and transportation," said Lago. "NADB and BECC are critical to this effort."

For his part, Undersecretary Fernando Aportela, said that "NADB is recognized as the first 'green' bank in the world and stands as an example of bilateral cooperation.” He also noted that this is complemented by BECC's work. "An institution that certifies the technical feasibility, environmental impacts, and public health of the projects financed by the Bank."

Over the past 20 years, BECC has certified 227 projects and NADB has provided more than US$2.25 billion in loans and grants to finance 192 of those projects, which are benefitting almost 15 million residents in communities on both sides of the border. In addition, both institutions have provided US$66 million in technical assistance to support the development of projects in 165 communities.

The Board welcomed the reports by BECC and NADB on project oversight and implementation, as reflected in their strong focus on results measurements, as well as their success in partnering with development and commercial banks, as evidenced by the growing number of projects involving multiple parties.

The Board of Directors also approved the certification of three new wastewater projects and more than US$11 million in grants to support their construction.

Among the projects certified today is the first phase of the AGUA SUD Wastewater Collection and Treatment Project in Palmview, Texas. This US$44.3 million project includes the construction of four lift stations, a wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 2.55 million gallons a day (mgd), the installation of 1,752 sewer hookups and the decommissioning of septic tanks benefitting more than 8,100 residents in Palmview and adjoining areas of the eastern section of the Agua Special Utility District (AUGA SUD) service area. This project will receive an US$8 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which is administered by NADB.

The US$6.9 million project to expand the wastewater collection system in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, consists of extending the wastewater collection system to alleyways known as "B" streets, and includes installing more than 252,600 lineal feet of sewer lines and 4,369 residential sewer hookups in eight different sections of the city. This project will provide first-time sewer service to approximately 16,000 residents and will eliminate up to 1.07 mgd of untreated wastewater discharges. NADB is providing a US$3.45 million BEIF grant to complete the financing of this project.

The third project approved by the Board this morning is the Wastewater System Rehabilitation Project in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, which will receive up to US$250,000 grant through the NADB’s Community Assistance Program (CAP) to repair two sections of the Rio Bravo Marginal Collector, make general repairs in the area of Lift Station No. 4 and replace 154 manhole covers and frames located throughout the city.

Finally, US$1.5 million in additional loan funds were approved for the South-South Wastewater Treatment Plant in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, as well as US$65,000 in additional CAP grant funds for the storm drainage project in Santiago, Nuevo Leon, both of which were certified previously.