Water: U.S. Mexico Border Program
US/Mexico Border FAQs
Environmental Protection Agency
Type of Help
The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program provides grant assistance to communities along the US.-Mexico border to develop and construct infrastructure to provide safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, and to achieve water quality standards. EPA's grant funding program supports the Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP), administered by Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), and Border Environmental Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), administered by North American Development Bank (NADB).
Eligible projects include: sewer systems, pump stations, and treatment plants, on-site wastewater treatment systems, drinking water transmission lines, storage tanks, pump stations and water treatment plants. Recognizing the disparity between the water infrastructure needs of the Border region and the limited grant funds potentially available, EPA and the BECC, in coordination with appropriate agency stakeholders including the NADB, have created a process to prioritize projects for funding. The objective of the prioritization process is to ascertain which drinking water and wastewater projects will address the most severe public health and environmental conditions identified in communities along the border. Therefore, the methodology for prioritization assigns first priority to projects that address the most urgent public health needs.
Are projects in Mexico able to be funded?
Yes. The U.S. EPA and program partner Commission Nacional de Agua CONAGUA (Mexican National Water Commission) coordinate bi-national water infrastructure activities. However, all infrastructure projects funded in Mexico with U.S. funds must have a U.S.-side benefit. Many rivers along the border either originate in Mexico and flow northward into the U.S. (Tijuana River, New River, Santa Cruz River, San Pedro River) or form the border between the U.S. and Mexico (Rio Grande). The program was originally proposed because U.S. lawmakers understood that, as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Mexican border region would grow very rapidly. Without U.S. investment in Mexican wastewater collection and treatment, these shared rivers would become extremely polluted. They also understood that, as a result of transboundary migration, lack of clean drinking water could result in health problems for people living on both sides of the border. The water infrastructure i.e. BEIF investments have paid off. Over XX% of people living on the Mexican side of the border have drinking water and XX% have access to wastewater services. (It should also be noted that Mexico must provide a 50% or greater match for any project being funded by BEIF in Mexico.)
How Much is Funded?
To date, over $950 million has been appropriated for this program, and 78 projects have been certified for construction by the NADB. Drinking water and wastewater projects seeking US-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure program funding in FY09/10 are currently being evaluated and ranked by the EPA and BECC. The program received more than 200 applications for FY09/10 funding, representing an environmental infrastructure investment need of more than US$1 billion.
Who is Eligible?
Eligible projects must be located within 62 miles of the U.S. / Mexico Border. To be considered eligible for funding, projects, both in the US and in Mexico, must propose to address existing conditions that if improved will have a positive impact to the health and environment in the US. Projects in Mexico must also have the support of appropriate federal and state agencies including CONAGUA and the respective state water utility. In addition, if a project sponsor is not in compliance with an existing BEIF grant agreement or PDAP technical assistance agreement, the project sponsor will be considered ineligible for future BEIF/PDAP funding until these issues have been resolved.
How to Apply
When funding becomes available, EPA Regions 6 and 9 issue a solicitation which identifies the timeframe for submitting an application, documents that need to accompany the application, ranking criteria and information on the funding process. For detailed information on the application process click here [BROKEN]
EPA Headquarters Contact
EPA Regional Contacts
Certification requirements are explained in the BECC's Certification Criteria available for review on the BECC Web site, www.cocef.org. Information related to the requirements for financing approval can be reviewed on the NADB Web site, http://www.nadb.org.
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