Bank Acts to Support U.S. Exports While Maintaining Leading Environmental Standards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2004
Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, DC --The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today approved a new version of its Environmental Procedures and Guidelines. The purpose of the revision was to make Ex-Im Bank's guidelines consistent with the Common Approaches for evaluating environmental impacts of projects supported by export credit agencies (ECAs) that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted in December 2003.
The revised Procedures and Guidelines provide that Ex-Im Bank will: continue to evaluate projects against international environmental guidelines as well as host country guidelines; conduct environmental impact assessments (EIAs) on a broader range of transactions; and make such EIAs publicly available for a minimum 30-day period. The guidelines were developed with input from nongovernmental organizations, exporters, and other government agencies.
The Bank also approved a new version of its Nuclear Procedures and guidelines to make them consistent with the Common Approaches.
Ex-Im Bank is proud to maintain its high environmental standards by insuring that the environmental impact of projects is carefully reviewed, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill said. At the same time, we are working to provide a level playing field for U.S. exporters in the international marketplace.
Ex-Im Bank's action enables it to continue to meet the environmental requirements of its Charter as well as its commitments under the December 2003 OECD Recommendation on Common Approaches on Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits. As part of its efforts to enhance the environmental stewardship set forth by the Common Approaches, Ex-Im Bank will continue to work with other U.S. government agencies to promote uniformity and transparency for the successful implementation of the Common Approaches among ECAs.
In 1995, Ex-Im Bank became the first ECA to adopt environmental guidelines for projects that it finances. The guidelines have been revised and extended several times. They require that the Bank make quantitative and qualitative assessments of projects in terms of their potential impact on air quality, water use and quality, waste management, natural hazards, ecology, involuntary resettlement, indigenous peoples, places of cultural significance, and noise.
Ex-Im Bank, the official U.S. export credit agency, is in its 70th year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports. For more information, visit www.exim.gov. The guidelines are available at: //www.exim.gov/policies/ex-im-bank-and-the-environment.