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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Mexican border city develops first wastewater-treatment plan ... aily3.html

    Mexican border city develops first wastewater-treatment plant
    San Antonio Business Journal - 11:11 AM CDT Monday
    The City of San Luis Rio Colorado completed its first wastewater treatment plant thanks, in part, to a multimillion-dollar financing package from the North American Development Bank.

    The city, located in the Mexican border state of Sonora, now has the ability to provide wastewater service to 85 percent of the population. The plant has the capacity of processing 400 liters of wastewater per second or 9 million gallons per day.

    As part of the financing, the city received a $7.22 million loan from the bank and a $5.9 million grant from the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund. The fund is administered by the bank with money from the Environmental Protection Agency.

    In addition to the wastewater project, the bank is providing $6.13 million in a combination of loans and grants to support two additional environmental projects in San Luis Rio Colorado.

    The city is receiving a $1.08 million loan and $500,000 grant to build a solid waste project and improve sanitation in the community. The city also received a $4.55 million loan to pave 369,000 square meters of roadway. This should improve air quality in San Luis Rio Colorado.

    The North American Development Bank, based in San Antonio, was created under the auspices of NAFTA for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion
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    Keeping the border clean; North American Development Bank addresses bi-national environmental concerns, including Rio Grande water quality
    By SCOTT SHAFFER , Laredo Morning Times

    The North American Development Bank, which recently had a board of directors meeting in San Antonio, is actively involved in improving the quality of life on both sides of the Rio Grande.Laredo Morning Times spoke with NAD Bank officials Juan Antonio Flores, public affairs associate director and Jorge C. Garces, managing director of the bank about the institution’s goals and achievements.

    Q. What has the bank accomplished during the past decade?
    A. We have been instrumental in bringing ‘first-time’ waste water treatment service to so many communities on the Mexican side, like Matamoros and Juarez, and to colonias that have benefited from having waste water treatment.

    But the benefit is to both sides because of the nature of the shared Rio Grande River watershed.

    About 11 million people on both sides of the border benefit directly or indirectly from the projects financed by the bank.

    The bank has been the anchor financier of numerous first-time wastewater treatment projects.

    There are currently 15 projects involving first-time wastewater hookups benefiting part or all of the residents of 27 comminutes.

    On the U.S. side of the border, and in Texas particularly, the big accomplishment we can point to is bringing first-time water and waste service to colonias.

    That is the specific purpose of the project in Laredo and Webb County that we are involved in right now.

    Q. What was the problem in the colonias?

    A. Because they didn’t have sewer systems or even septic systems, they used privy houses, so anytime you had a flood or rain there the whole thing would surface and contaminate the canals. It was a mess.

    Q. What is the history and current status of the project?

    A. The $21.5 million Laredo project was certified in September 2000. In February 2001, we announced the $6.2 million grant had been approved. We broke ground in the colonias on Dec. 7, 2004.

    Hook-ups for about 900 residents still remain to be done but we hope to have the project completed in about a year or so.

    Q. What is the mission of the NAD Bank?

    A. NADBank was established by the U.S. and Mexican governments in 1994 to finance infrastructure projects along the 2,100-mile border from Texas to California. The bank was created to address the environmental needs along the U.S.-Mexican border with the underlying objective of bringing a better quality of life to the people along the border.

    Both governments agreed with that and capitalized the bank with $450 million in equal parts to work only in water, waste water and solid waste projects.

    Later those sectors was expanded to include air quality, clean energy, transportation, recycling, soil redemption and so forth — everything that has to do with cleaning the environment along the border region so that the citizens can have and enjoy those basic services that the rest of the people take for granted.

    It certainly also has an impact on health issues because when you have clean water and wastewater systems you have fewer problems with your digestive and respiratory systems.

    Q. What are some other projects that the bank has been working on?
    A. We were in Matamoros last week for an inauguration of a section of a pumping station that will be the first wastewater treatment plant Matamoros will have, once it is completed.

    Q. What were the people in Matamoros doing before their sewer plant was built?

    A. They were discharging into the Rio Grande River or into lagoons that every time it rained it went into the Rio Grande. Waste went into the Rio Grande mostly from Mexico but also from some Texas communities.

    Q. What about future projects?

    A. We are beginning to work on air quality through street paving and are looking at future projects dealing with clean energy dealing with sun, aeolic and wind energy to replace plants that contaminate the air.

    Q. How long does it take to get a project financed through the bank?

    A. It is never short enough. We have been reducing the time with our rapid response team.

    We have certified simpler projects in 3 months. More complex projects could be 12 months. The process includes public comment and environmental studies, parts of the process that are beyond the bank’s control.

    Q. How are NADBank loans repaid?

    A. Customers pay user-fees for sanitary sewer service, for example. The user fees are paid to the service provider who is paying off the loan.

    The NADBank, because of how it is structured, allows customers to pay lower user fees, making the service more affordable.

    Q. Who proposes projects to the NADBank?

    A. Public and private utility operators or municipalities contact the bank to express interest in financing a specific project. Both public and private operators can be funded but grant assistance is not available for private sector projects.

    Q. When is the next board meeting of the bank?

    A. Sometime in the fall. We don’t know the exact date. The board has not decided but we are looking at perhaps some time in October. The next meeting will more likely be in Ciudad Juarez where our sister institution is located.

    Q. Do you anticipate any long-term negative impacts from the bank’s not meeting and the problems between the U.S. and Mexican treasury departments between 2003 and 2006?

    A. That’s done and behind us. We had a very successful board meeting June 21.

    It is water under the bridge. We are moving forward.

    Q. Who are on the NADbank board of directors?

    A. From the U.S. members are the Secretary of the Treasury who is currently the chairman of the board, Secretary of State, Administrator of the Environmental Agency, a representative of U.S. border states, and a member of the U.S. public who lives in the border region.

    Members from Mexico are the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARAT), a representative of Mexican border state, and a member of the Mexican public who lives in the border region.
    (Scott Shaffer can be reached at 728 2547 or by e-mail at
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