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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of the U.S.-Mexican border environmental infrastructure and the performance of responsible institutions and programs, focusing on the: (1) nature and extent of environmental infrastructure problems along the border; (2) programs and funding levels in place to address these problems; and (3) impediments to improving the environmental infrastructure.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
To enable the North American Development Bank to more effectively fulfill its mission, Congress might wish to consider directing the Secretary of the Treasury to work with Mexico's Treasury Department to amend the Bank charter to allow it to create lower-cost financing mechanisms that make funding more affordable to border communities for environmental infrastructure.
Closed - Implemented
On July 11, 2000, NADBank's Board of Directors approved resolution 2000-5 instructing Bank management to (1) identify and support additional financing options and (2) consult with decisionmakers (i.e., legislatures and key government entities). As a result, in November 2000, NADBank approved several initiatives, including a program to extend loans for infrastructure projects at lower interest rates.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State In order to more effectively address environmental infrastructure problems and the associated impediments on the United States-Mexico border, the Secretary of State and the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, should work jointly with Mexico's Secretariats of Foreign Relations and Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries to recommend to the Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission to develop a Border Infrastructure Strategic Plan that should include: (1) a needs assessment along the border; (2) strategies for addressing impediments to infrastructure development; and (3) a statement of measurable goals with milestones so that progress can be assessed.
Closed - Not Implemented
The U.S. State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as Mexico's environmental agency (SEMARNAT), have recommended to the Border Environment Cooperation Commission's Board of Directors that it develop a Border Infrastructure Strategic Plan. The BECC has taken some preliminary steps over the past four years that would be necessary to develop a strategic plan, however, actions to date have not been sufficient.
Environmental Protection Agency In order to more effectively address environmental infrastructure problems and the associated impediments on the United States-Mexico border, the Secretary of State and the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, should work jointly with Mexico's Secretariats of Foreign Relations and Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries to recommend to the Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission to develop a Border Infrastructure Strategic Plan that should include: (1) a needs assessment along the border; (2) strategies for addressing impediments to infrastructure development; and (3) a statement of measurable goals with milestones so that progress can be assessed.
Closed - Not Implemented
The U.S. State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as Mexico's environmental agency (SEMARNAT), have recommended to the Border Environment Cooperation Commission's Board of Directors that it develop a Border Infrastructure Strategic Plan. The BECC has taken some preliminary steps over the past four years that would be necessary to develop a strategic plan, however, actions to date have not been sufficient.

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