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BECC/NADB Board of Directors hosts public meeting in Matamoros, Tamaulipas

Posted on May 22, 2013

BECC/NADB Board of Directors hosts public meeting in Matamoros, Tamaulipas

The Board visited communities in the Texas Lower Valley; the tour highlighted the Los Vientos wind power project, the San Benito Water Treatment plant and some colonias in the Brownsville area. Six new infrastructure projects for the border region were certified at the Board Meeting. The new projects will receive US $44.59 million in funding.

Board of Directors Chair Juan Bosco Marti-Ascencio and Co-Chair Karen Mathiasen.On May 8 and 9, the Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and North American Development Bank (NADB) met in the Texas Lower Valley and Matamoros, Tamaulipas to conduct activities critical to their mission. In the Lower Valley, the Board toured the Cameron and Willacy Counties, near the cities of Harlingen-Brownsville-Matamoros.

NADB Managing Director Geronimo Gutierrez ad Board of Directors Chair Juan Bosco Marti-Ascencio at Los Vientos | wind farm.First, Board Members visited the Los Vientos I wind power facility located in both counties about 10 miles north of Harlingen. There, they observed the great progress made by this project certified on October 10, 2011, which received a US $110 million NADB loan to produce over 200 megawatts with 87 turbines. They also visited the community of San Benito, where they were introduced to a project that was certified more than 10 years ago and has become a reality with the operation of a water treatment plant, an elevated storage tank and a wastewater treatment facility.

Finally, on May 8, Board Members visited some "colonias," which are underprivileged communities that lack even the most basic services. They visited the communities of Paredes and Del Mar Heights, located south of Los Fresnos in Cameron County. The needs were evident in the areas of drinking water supply, lack of wastewater treatment, unpaved roads, and localized ponding, as these neighborhoods lie in flood-prone areas (which makes it difficult to use of septic tanks, especially in Del Mar Heights).

This visit organized by BECC's Deputy General Manager, Jose Mario Sanchez-Soledad, who said the Board Members were very interested in the projects and became aware of their importance and the fact that there are still challenges to overcome in the area of border environmental infrastructure.

The next day the Board of Directors met in Matamoros. During the morning the Board met privately and in the afternoon, following a press conference, held a public meeting to approve the certification and financing of six new infrastructure projects which together will receive US $44.57 million in loans and grants to benefit more than 1.54 million residents in various communities along the U.S.-Mexico border region.

The Board of Directors approved the following projects for certification and financing:

  • The first biogas project to be financed by the NADB, which will capture and use methane gas from the municipal landfill in Saltillo, Coahuila to generate electricity.
  • Basic urban infrastructure project for Hermosillo, Sonora, involving improvements to the water and wastewater systems, including the installation of 4,500 residential sewer hookups and the construction of two wastewater treatment plants, street paving, and rehabilitation of existing roads.
  • Two wastewater system improvement projects in Holtville, a small community in the southern part of Imperial Valley, California, which will benefit more than 6,000 residents. These projects will receive grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which is administered by the NADB.
  • NADB's Community Assistance Program (CAP) will provide grant assistance to underserved communities by replacing approximately 2,150 water meters in Sunland Park, New Mexico, and providing stormwater collection in Santiago, Nuevo Léon.

Board Co-Chair Karen Mathiasen with BECC General Manager Maria Elena Giner, Juan Antonio Flores and Lisa Roberts of NADB.Karen Mathiasen, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of International Debt and Development Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury and Board Co-Chair, highlighted the new certifications and emphasized that the diversity of projects has the potential to generate “significant and sustained human health and environmental improvements along the border region."

On behalf of the Governor of Tamaulipas, the Assistant Secretary of the Environment, Heberto Cavazos, underscored the importance of the work developed by these institutions in the state of Tamaulipas.

Matamoros Mayor Victor Alfonso Sanchez-Garza, BECC General Manager Maria Elena Giner and Assistant Secretary of the Environment Heberto Cavazos.Matamoros Mayor Victor Alfonso Sanchez-Garza, who hosted the meeting, said in an interview that "critical support has been given to Matamoros by the BECC and the NADB for large environmental projects" such as wastewater collection and treatment. He said that "the value of the investments made in the projects at hand is equivalent to the value of the projects that the local utility (Junta de Agua y Drenaje de Matamoros) would be able to undertake using their own resources in a 25-year period."

The next board meeting is scheduled for November 2013.




Other BECC News

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May 07, 2018 - The Board visited communities in the Texas Lower Valley; the tour highlighted the Los Vientos wind power project, the San Benito Water Treatment plant and some colonias in the Brownsville area. Six new infrastructure projects for the border region were certified at the Board Meeting. The new projects will receive US $44.59 million in funding.

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March 16, 2018 - The Board visited communities in the Texas Lower Valley; the tour highlighted the Los Vientos wind power project, the San Benito Water Treatment plant and some colonias in the Brownsville area. Six new infrastructure projects for the border region were certified at the Board Meeting. The new projects will receive US $44.59 million in funding.

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December 14, 2017 - The Board visited communities in the Texas Lower Valley; the tour highlighted the Los Vientos wind power project, the San Benito Water Treatment plant and some colonias in the Brownsville area. Six new infrastructure projects for the border region were certified at the Board Meeting. The new projects will receive US $44.59 million in funding.

Financing approved for Nogales Water and Wastewater System Expansion and Improvement Project

December 14, 2017 - The Board visited communities in the Texas Lower Valley; the tour highlighted the Los Vientos wind power project, the San Benito Water Treatment plant and some colonias in the Brownsville area. Six new infrastructure projects for the border region were certified at the Board Meeting. The new projects will receive US $44.59 million in funding.