SAN ANTONIO The North American Development Bank (NADB), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will provide $22.5 million in grant assistance for environmental infrastructure projects in Raymondville, Texas, and Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. This assistance is made available through the Bank's EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF).
Tijuana, Baja California: The city will receive an $18 million BEIF construction grant for its $43 million project aimed at rehabilitating and improving its current wastewater collection system. Over a period of four years, 50 projects will be undertaken to rehabilitate 130,000 meters (426,500 ft) of wastewater collection lines.
The NADB will also provide a loan for this project, with the remaining costs covered by the Tijuana state water utility, Comision Estatal de Servicios Públicos de Tijuana (CESPT).
This new project will greatly reduce the amount of untreated wastewater currently discharged into the Tijuana River and Pacific Ocean, improving wastewater treatment quality on both sides of the border, thereby providing a healthier environment for residents.
This is the second wastewater project in Tijuana to receive NADB funding. In 1998, the city received both a loan and a grant from the Bank for the construction of a new parallel line system, and the rehabilitation and expansion of the San Antonio de los Buenos wastewater treatment plant.
"Positive strides in environmental improvement are being made along the U.S./Mexico border," said Raul Rodriguez, NADB's managing director. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to this region and its residents who depend on financial assistance from our BEIF funds and other resources to have access to basic human services."
Raymondville, Texas: BEIF construction assistance totaling $4.20 million will be used to help defray the cost of the city's $7.45 million project to replace its water treatment plant. Currently the plant operates at 95 percent of its 2.5 million gallons per day (mgd) capacity, but demand during peak periods exceeds 2.8 mgd. This creates a serious risk for contamination of the com-munity's water supply.
To comply with orders from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) and to provide residents with an improved, safe and dependable supply of potable water, a new 4.5 mgd plant will be constructed. To aid Raymondville residents in adjusting gradually to the increase in user rates that will result from this project. the NADB will also provide $309,841 in BEIF transition assistance.
Other projects components include the construction of the following: a high service pump station, a .5 million gallon ground storage tank and a new 16" water transmission line to tie into the existing distribution system.
NADB's sister institution, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), certified both projects on October 16, 2001. Other projects receiving certification on that day were a used tire disposal project in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, and comprehensive solid waste management projects in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora. These three projects are expected to receive funding from the Bank's Solid Waste Environmental Program (SWEP) in the near future.