SAN ANTONIO, Texas – U.S. Rep. Will Hurd says the North American Development Bank, which invests in infrastructure projects along the southwest border, has exceeded expectations.
NADBank was set up in the early 1990s as part of the negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Hurd, a Republican from San Antonio, said that, initially, the bank had the aim of fostering environmental policy in the U.S.-Mexico border region and enhancing relations between the two countries.
“Decades later, NADBank has truly accomplished this and even exceeded expectations,” Hurd said.
NADBank provides grants through the Project Development Assistance Program (PDAP) and the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF) to support communities with development activities necessary for the implementation of vital water infrastructure projects that are selected by EPA through a public prioritization process.
This process allows the program to target limited funding to projects with the highest benefit in terms of public health and environmental risk, cost-effectiveness, institutional capacity and sustainability.
Hurd pointed out that NADBank has helped finance more than 250 projects and supported around $8.6 billion in infrastructure investments.
“These projects have cleaned up polluted air, addressed public health challenges, and promoted greater energy projection.”
Hurd’s remarks about NADBank were delivered by a district director during a webinar that was held to announce $15 million in funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 through the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program.
This program funds technical assistance and infrastructure construction grants for high-priority municipal drinking water and wastewater projects. The monies were awarded to NADBank, which administers projects on behalf of EPA Region 6 in Texas and New Mexico.
“Today we recognize the strong partnership NADBank has with the EPA and announce new funding through EPA’s Border Environment Infrastructure Fund,” Hurd said.
“Through the EIF, NADBank and EPA have partnered with local governments in Texas’ 23rd District on several multimillion dollar projects to improve the lives of south and west Texans.”
Hurd said the grants not only make much-needed infrastructure improvements, but also prevent serious public health risks.
“We see what NADBank has been able to accomplish in its partnership with the EPA. In recent weeks, we have celebrated the completion of a project in Marathon and marked the groundbreaking of a project in Presidio all because of funding through the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund. With this new allocation of $15 million for our region, I have no doubt that more projects to improve the lives of my constituents who live, work and raise their families in our communities will be accomplished in the future.”
The keynote speaker on the webinar was Congressman Henry Cuellar of Laredo. He was joined by Ken McQueen, EPA Regional Administrator, and Calixto Mateos-Hanel, NADBank’s Managing Director. U.S. Senator John Cornyn provided remarks through a previously recorded video.
Cuellar said the funds awarded by EPA Region 6 to the BEIF program will be used to provide grant assistance for the implementation of eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects that are certified by NADB. Projects that meet the criteria will then be developed by NADB using PDAP funds.
“The BWIP program has been crucial in ensuring safe drinking water and funding strong wastewater treatment systems that strengthen the public health for our border communities,” Cuellar said.
“This federal investment will provide wastewater treatment and collection, creating both economic and health advantages for the region. As a senior appropriator, I have helped procure $95 million for the BWIP program since 2016, including $25 million this year alone. While lawmakers tried to defund this lifesaving program, I provided robust funding and will continue to fight for funding that further modernizes our infrastructure and improves the quality of life on the southern border.”
In his pre-recorded video, Cornyn said: “I want to congratulate our friends in EPA Region 6 for securing this much needed grant to bring clean water to so many families in our border communities. For more than 20 years the North American Development Bank;’s investments in our border communities have improved air and water quality, updated infrastructure, and increased cross-border trade. NADBank is critical to our relationship with Mexico and it helps finance critical infrastructure projects within our border communities. I was glad to help support this funding, along with my friends, Congressman Henry Cuellar and Will Hurd. Thank you to the EPA border water infrastructure program and NADBank for their funding and continued support.”
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said improving the nation’s water infrastructure for communities across the country is a top priority for the Trump Administration.
“Since 2017, EPA has spent $38 billion on new water infrastructure with more in the pipeline,” Wheeler said. “These funds complement the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement that created a comprehensive approach to addressing the public health and environmental needs in border communities.”
EPA Regional Administrator McQueen said reliable water infrastructure is one of the most important components of public health. He said this is especially true for communities in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
“Bringing water services to small border communities will improve environmental and health outcomes for the broader region. I thank Congressman Cuellar and Congressman Hurd, Senator Cornyn, and NADB Managing Director Calixto Mateos-Hanel for their partnership in bringing needed infrastructure to this region,” McQueen said.
NADB Managing Director Mateos-Hanel said his bank is grateful for the leadership of Senator Cornyn and Congressmen Cuellar and Hurd for addressing high-priority water and wastewater needs in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
“I would also like to recognize the great partnership built since 1997 between EPA and the Bank that has benefitted close to 10 million border residents,” Mateos-Hanel said.
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