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BECC GM presents Green Infrastructure Program at Joint Working Committee

Posted on May 13, 2016

BECC GM presents Green Infrastructure Program at Joint Working Committee

U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee meets in Monterrey where BECC General Manager presents the Green Infrastructure Program.

The United States and Mexico borders are more dynamic than ever. This was highlighted at the recent meeting of the U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee (JWC), which was attended by officials responsible for existing programs. 

The JWC is a binational group of experts whose primary focus is to cooperate on land transportation planning and the facilitation of efficient and safe cross-border movements in the border region shared by both countries. The group is comprised of transportation professionals from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of Transportation, the Mexican Secretariat of Communication and Transportation (SCT), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE), the four U.S. border state Departments of Transportation (DOT), and the six Mexican border States. The General Services Administration (GSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security also participate in JWC meetings. 

During two days of meetings at the Nuevo Leon State offices in Monterrey, on April 6 and 7, experts detailed the current and future plans through which they seek to develop transportation projects addressing strategic business connections, environmental conservation, fuel savings, cross-border freight transportation, and other related issues. 

The meeting was opened by State Governor Jaime Rodriguez-Calderon and the State Secretary of Public Works, Jesus Humberto Torres-Padilla. The event was also attended by David Kim and Tricia Harr from FHWA, Roman Fernandez, on behalf of Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations, Carlos Olmedo from the City of El Paso, and BECC General Manager Maria Elena Giner, among other border leaders. 

The meeting was led by Marco Frias, Deputy Director General of Road Development of the Mexican Secretariat of Communication and Transportation, who noted that this meeting has become a platform to provide and gather the most updated information about ongoing projects, as well as investments that are coming to the border area.

BECC General Manager Maria Elena Giner presented the Green Infrastructure Initiative being promoted along the border region by this organization and the North American Development Bank (NADB). She said this program seeks to contribute to improve the environment and quality of life of border residents by promoting a better use of natural resources, with "improved road median and sidewalk design practices that allow municipalities to make the best use of available space, capture storm water on-site, encourage the use of planting native vegetation, and restoration of regional ecosystems," said Giner.

She also said BECC is promoting an initiative for municipalities in updating its municipal code for urban infrastructure, which will require developers and construction companies to follow rules related to rainwater harvesting and natural irrigation through channels created around medians, parks, boulevards, and curbs throughout the city.

She discussed the role of the BECC and NADB and the significant impact they have had throughout the border with projects related to water and wastewater infrastructure, solid waste management, street paving, and renewable energy, primarily. She made special emphasis on other sectors where the BECC expects to have a major impact, such as municipal development, public transportation, clean and efficient energy, production of goods and services for environmental protection, international crossings, and others that minimize negative impacts on the environment, said the BECC General Manager.

Additionally, Mario Orso, Manager of the Otay Mesa East-Mesa de Otay II project, spoke about the status of freight transportation at the Tijuana border and the plans to expand this bridge to expedite commercial crossings and therefore increase trade while reducing the environmental impact of fuel-burning vehicles.

Similarly, Sergio Pallares, Head of International Studies at the California Department of Transportation, said that since 2006, the agency has been monitoring economic impacts on border bridges. In 2016, he said, they intend to identify an instrument that allows them to educate people who are not familiar with these crossings, so that the time spent on bridges is minimized and the prolonged use of fuel-burning cars and freight vehicles is avoided in the area.




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