The BECC and NADBank
Following the 1993 signature of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), two binational institutions were created to improve the environmental conditions of the U.S.-Mexico border region and enhance the well-being of residents in both nations.These institutions fulfill an essential role in supporting the development of environmental infrastructure in the border region.
- North American Development Bank (NADB): Launched in 1994, the NADB is a financial institution, capitalized and governed equally by the United States and Mexico, which finances environmental projects in the border region.
- Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC): Since 1995, the BECC has assisted border communities by designing and certifying infrastructure projects on the border, based on set criteria established by the United States and Mexico.
These two institutions work together with communities and project sponsors in both the United States and Mexico to develop and finance infrastructure necessary for a clean and healthy border environment. BECC-certified projects and NADB-financed projects are improving infrastructure and building a cleaner environment, with benefits to an estimated over 12 million residents of the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Expore Recent Projects improving the lives of residents today.
The BECC and NADB are jointly governed by the United States and Mexico , via a 10-member Board of Directors:
- From the federal government of the United States, the board members include the Administrator for EPA, and the Secretaries of State and Treasury.
- From the federal government of Mexico, the board members include the Secretaries for the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Treasury (Hacienda; SHCP), and External Relations (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores; SRE).
- The board also includes one state representative and one non-governmental organization from each country.
EPA has been an active participant as a member of the Board of Directors for both the BECC and NADB, helping to ensure that the projects approved by the Board are likely to achieve human health and/or environmental benefits, and that completed projects have achieved the anticipated results. In addition, EPA has made it a top priority that transparency and accountability continue to guide the work of the BECC and NADB.
Since its inception in 1995, BECC has certified a total of 167 projects, 81 in the U.S. and 86 in Mexico, with an estimated cost of $3.65 billion to construct. Over the same time frame the NADB has contracted approximately $1.08 billion to partially finance 132 of these projects in the U.S.–Mexico border region. For example:
With the help of leveraged resources coming out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the City of El Paso, TX, through the El Paso Water Utilities Board, will create local jobs and improve and expand storm water services over the next three years, in the Central, East, Mission Valley, Northeast, and the Northwest watersheds of El Paso.
- This project will address long-standing deficiencies and lack of capacity in the stormwater system, which routinely causes flooding in some areas of the city.
- Improvements to the system will include construction of storm drains, improvement of dams, expansion of reservoirs, and the lining of channels.
- In addition to reducing the community’s risk of flooding, systematic improvements will help recharge the Hueco Bolson Aquifer, one of the main sources of drinking water for the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez region, which has been rapidly depleted in recent years.
- This storm drainage project has received a $53 million loan approval from the NADB.
- This project is expected to benfit an estimated 742,062 El Paso residents.
In San Diego County, CA, a NADB loan will support the establishment of a municipal financing program for the installation of solar photovoltaic and thermal solar systems in residential properties.
The project consists of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) and thermal solar systems to benefit approximately 1.34 million residents in San Diego County. Solar energy is one of the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy resources available.
The program will provide “micro-bond” financing to individual property owners to implement photovoltaic solar, thermal solar, and energy efficiency systems in their homes. These systems will generate approximately 4,300 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
With this $70.6 million program, every participating household will become more energy efficient, resulting in energy savings for the homeowners, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to some 6 tons of CO2 annually.
This effort will help to advance President Obama’s agenda related to creating new jobs in the clean energy economy, by driving the development of new, green jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced.
Other examples of NADB funded projects include:
- the construction of 43,705 ft. of gravity sewer lines to support construction of the Wastewater Collection System for the B & C Colonia in Yuma County;
- improvements to wastewater collection and treatment services for the city of Clint, located in El Paso County, TX;
- expansion and upgrade of the South Wastewater Treatment Plant in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuaha, doubling the plant’s treatment capacity from 22.8 to 45.6 million gallons a day (mgd); and
- rehabilitation of asphalt roadways with cement concrete, using the white-topping paving technique, in Tijuana, Baja California.
For additional information about EPA's programs with Mexico, contact: