Border Environment Cooperation Commission

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Border Environment Cooperation Commission

Also called BECC. An international organization intended to promote economic development along the U.S.-Mexico border. It seeks to develop infrastructure on both sides of the border to improve water, waste management, wastewater and air quality, as well as to promote clean energy. It works in cooperation with the North American Development Bank to achieve these goals. BECC was established in 1994 as a side agreement with NAFTA.
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The 16-storey residential tower being built in the Al Barsha area will be ready by November 2013, with BECC already completing the ground floor.
Vazquez said, however, that BECC would ensure that the project undergoes strict environmental scrutiny before any approval is granted.
A number of programs have been established to address this shortage, for example NADbank's Institutional Development and Cooperation Program, which attempts to develop utility management skills for communities hoping for BECC certification.
In recognition of that fact, BECC claims to prioritize those projects that demonstrate high levels of community participation in both the planning and implementation stages.
For this reason, BECC would have few detractors if it did nothing more than make major strides toward equitably providing such infrastructure in the borderlands.
Funding for the BECC will come from the NADBank, government grants, loans, guarantees and other financial institutions and private sources supplying investment capital for environmental infrastructure in the border region.
Mexico border, where the symbiotic BECC and NADBank
The BECC also established procedures to enhance public participation.
The BECC and the NADBank complement an existing binational framework of environmental cooperation dating back to the late-1970s: 1) the International Boundary and Water Commission, which developed recommendations for addressing sanitation issues in the border region and now plans, constructs, and operates several wastewater treatment plants and projects on both sides of the border and 2) the La Paz Agreement, signed in 1983 by the presidents of the United States and Mexico, which established binational work groups to address various problems with air, soil, and water quality as well as hazardous waste in the border region.
More specifically, the purpose of BECC is to "help preserve, protect and enhance the environment of the border region in order to advance the well-being of the people of the United States and Mexico" (37).
The BECC oversees the North American Development Bank, which is supposed to provide financing for environmental infrastructure projects along the border and in other areas environmentally imperiled by the economic integration of the United States and Mexico.
According to BECC certification documents, the environmental benefits related to the two projects include the displacement of more than 860,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), nearly 1,500 metric tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 710 metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) per year.