BECC and NADBank at 25 Years: Achievements, Challenges, and Evolution


The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and North American Development Bank (NADBank) were established in 1994 to address the gap in investment in water, wastewater, and solid waste infrastructure in the U.S.-Mexico border region, estimated at that time to be around $7 to $8 billion. Over the past 25 years, BECC has certified 273 projects with a total cost of around $9.6 billion while NADBank has provided or committed to provide around $3.5 billion in loans and grants for project implementation. However, less than thirty percent of the project costs andfinancial assistance are associated with water, wastewater, and solid waste projects. Most of the financial assistance has been associated with non-core sector projects, such as renewable energy or water conservation. As a result, the infrastructure gap that existed when BECC and NADBank were established twenty- five years ago remains. Overall, BECC and NADBank have faced a myriad of challenges in fulfilling their mission, but the principal challenges have been the lack of affordability of NADBank’s market interest rate financingfor most communities coupled with limited grant funding. These shortcomings will continue to hamper their efforts to address the infrastructure gap. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that substantial new grant funding will be provided only for the border region because the infrastructure gap in this region is no longer as salient as when BECC and NADBank were created. As such, the time has come to reassess NADBank’s focus on financing environmental infrastructure in the border region only. Rather than continue with the status quo, it is recommended that the NADBank be transformed into a regional infrastructure bank focused on developing and financing public infrastructure. Both the United States and Mexico have significant financing needs for public infrastructure and a reformed NADBank can play a key role closing the infrastructure gap in both countries.


Stanford University Stanford, California
  • Linda J Allen, BECC and NADBank at 25 Years: Achievements, Challenges, and Evolution, 39 Stan. Envtl. L. J. 199 (2020).
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