Rep. Cuellar Secures Over $500 Million in Signature USMCA Environmental Safeguards

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Texas Border Business

Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) secured key environmental provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), including $250 million for the North American Development Bank (NADB) over four years. This will double the capital reauthorization for the NADB, and be used to finance environmental infrastructure projects on the U.S.-Mexico border. A new authorization of $215 million to fund this capital increase will be included in this year’s appropriations bill, in addition to the $10 million previously funded, to provide immediate assistance to local communities along the border. Additionally, the Congressman also helped secured a new authorization of $300 million, in equal installments of $75 million over four years, to fund Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants under the Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP) to address sewage pollution in the USMCA.

“Programs like NADB have been critical to preserving, protecting and improving the environment and the quality of life for the U.S.-Mexico border region,”said Congressman Cuellar. “For this reason, I worked hard to secure additional funding for these programs so they can continue to expand their ability to improve the environment for border families. I am committed to creating cleaner and healthier communities at the U.S.-Mexico border. I want to thank Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal for their leadership in adding these environmental provisions in the USMCA.”

U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program

As a Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Cuellar has worked to improve environmental quality at our southern border through providing ample funding to the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP), managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This year, the Congressman helped secured $30 million for BWIP, doubling the amount provided the previous year. This comes after the Congressman has maintained the program for several years, as Republican lawmakers attempted to defund it.

The U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program provides funding for the region 100 kilometers (62 miles) north and 100 kilometers south of the U.S.-Mexico border. This will finance drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects along the US-Mexico border to reduce the flow of transnational pollution into the U.S.  This increase will be in addition to the $300 million included in the USMCA, which the Congressman helped to secure for the same purpose.

North American Development Bank

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The United States and Mexico face serious transborder environmental problems, including air and water pollution and disposal of hazardous wastes. The Rio Grande and Tijuana Rivers are especially environmentally hazardous.

NADB provides financial support for the development and implementation of infrastructure projects to help preserve, protect, and enhance the environment at the borders. Since its creation in 1994, NADB has financed $3.13 billion in 259 projects through loans and grants. The 259 projects represent $9.8 billion in total investment. Over the last 5 years, 42 water and wastewater projects and 16 clean and renewable energy projects have been completed.  Out of the 67 projects with an outstanding loan from NADB, 30 involved private sector financing. Of the 30 privately financed projects, 28 involved clean and renewable energy.

Congressman Cuellar is working with Senator John Cornyn in a bipartisan manner to secure this historic win for NADB.

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