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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Right Purpose, Wrong Tools: NAFTA's Environmental Institutions and Texas Border Infrastructure

The environmental infrastructure in Texas border counties does not adequately serve the border's growing populations and industries. Although border communities can access a number of existing state and federal sources of funding, these sources meet only a fraction of the financial need for water and wastewater projects. Two institutions created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADBank), were created to address environmental infrastructure needs along the U.S.-Mexico border. BECC and NADBank might be valuable resources for Texas border communities, considering the communities' immense needs and their relative inability to afford necessary infrastructure improvements. This report analyzes the nature of the water and wastewater needs on the Texas-Mexico border, explores border communities' current ability to finance water and wastewater infrastructure, and discusses whether BECC and NADBank will become valuable resources for Texas border projects.

--Author's foreword.