IBWC Main Banner

Realty and Asset Management Division

April 1, 2019

Application Cover Sheet Construction Criteria

Realty and Asset Management Office Outgrant Program

The following information describes the outgrant application process for United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) outgrant program. It is intended to help applicants understand the outgrant process and does not constitute an exhaustive review of all steps that must be taken from concept development through construction. For ALL cross-border infrastructure, you must contact the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs for land based crossings or the Bureau of Energy Resources for liquid-petroleum based crossings.

USIBWC Outgrant

An outgrant is described as a grant of interest or right to one to use government real property by a lease, easement, license, or permit. It is an agreement whereby a private party may, depending on the type of real estate instrument issued, enjoy an interest in or use of real property. Any project on the US - Mexican border requires close coordination and planning with the government of Mexico as well with sponsors and federal, state, and local authorities in both countries.

Application Consultation

Consultations should be made with the USIBWC Realty Office as early as possible to avoid prolonging the reviewing process. Ensure that all information submitted is clear and concise. Contact the Realty and Asset Management Division for assistance relating to the outgrant process and to address any possible concerns at the earliest point possible.

Legal Authority

Public Law No. 370 – 74th Congress (49 Stat. 906) approved August 27, 1935 authorizes the Secretary of State to allow federal lands administered by the Secretary and operated through the International Boundary and Water Commission, to be used by citizens of the United States. The Secretary of State has delegated such authority to the United States Commissioner, to administer lands heretofore or hereafter acquired under any act, Executive Order or Treaty, in connection with projects, in whole or in part, which were constructed, administered or operated through the International Boundary and Water Commission. In processing outgrant applications, the agency reviews compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (P.L.91-190, as amended), the Endangered Species Act (P.L. 93-205, as amended), the National Historic Preservation Act (P.L. 89-665, as amended), the Clean Water Act (Federal Water Pollution Control Act)(P.L. 92-500, P.L. 93-243, and P.L. 95-217; 33 U.S.CSec1251, et seq.), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C.A. 7401 et seq.) and the USIBWC implementing procedures published in the Federal Register.

Environmental Review

Consistent with NEPA, in considering an application for an outgrant, the USIBWC takes into account environmental impacts of the proposed work/event and directly related construction. During the comprehensive review, the USIBWC may prepare, circulate for comment, and file a description of the potential environmental impacts of the project. before furthering any application process, applicants may contact either the USIBWC Environmental Management Division at (915) 832-4100 or the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss NEPA concerns. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the USIBWC Environmental Protection Specialist before proceeding.

For additional information about NEPA and other resources addressing environmental assessments, please visit the following websites for more information;

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ):

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC):

Department of Energy (DOE):

How to Apply and what to include in Applications

All outgrant applications are made to the United States Commissioner, Attention: Realty Officer, United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission, 4191 North Mesa Street, El Paso Texas, 79902 or to realty@ibwc.gov. Applicants should provide 1 (one) copy of the application and should be prepared to provide additional copies upon request. Applications that do not include the USIBWC application cover sheet will be returned and a review will not be conducted for on your request.

Outgrants are necessary for any work or event, including construction, dredging, recreational events, entertainment, or any other interest or request(s) resulting in the use of USIBWC federal real property by lease, easement, license, or permit. A complete application will include the following information:

1. Letter of Application (PDF if digital)

  • Identify your organization by letterhead to include full address
  • Identify what type of outgrant you are requesting (i.e. permit, lease, easement, etc.)
  • If construction, list the types of structures, improvement, or work that is being constructed.
  • Include a statement of reason for said request (i.e. commercial, public, or private venture).

2. General Maps and Drawings (PDF/KMZ Format if digital)

  • Letter-sized drawings in landscape format are the minimal acceptable size.
  • Meridian or North arrow shown.  (Maps)
  • Drawn to scale with scale stated and shown graphically.
  • Project areas will show Latitude and Longitude GPS Coordinates. (Maps).
  • Include start and end points for energy infrastructure (if applicable).

3. Vicinity Map (PDF/KMZ Format if digital)

  • Letter-sized maps in landscape format are the minimal acceptable size.
  • Show a town, highway, bridge, or major identifiable landmark nearby.
  • Show specific location of work, outlines of circled in red.
  • KMZ file depicting work area(s) - (if applicable)
  • Project areas will show latitude and longitude GPS coordinates (Vicinity Map)
  • Include start and end points for energy infrastructure (if applicable)

4. Location Map (PDF/KMZ Format if digital)

  • Letter sized maps in landscape format are the minimal acceptable size.
  • Show areas where facilities are to be constructed outlined in red.
  • Show property lines (meters and bounds, if possible) and/or location of property line markers, such as steel pipes driven into the ground with permanent identification data.

5. Plans and Specifications (PDF Format if digital)

  • Drawings of sufficient detail to determine exactly what is proposed, how it is to be constructed or carried out, and by whom
  • In an operation involving earthwork, such as an excavation, drilling, or boring, a cross section and profile of the postponed work must be furnished. See example in Criteria for Construction Activities with Limits of USIBWC Floodways.

6. Land Ownership Other than Federal (PDF Format if digital)

  • If the proposed (event) is on land owned by an entity other than USIBWC, the applicant must include a statement from the owners giving permission for such construction on their property and access thereto (Provide statement in PDF Format)

7. Resource Agency Statements-(PDF Format if digital)

  • All applicants must provide proof of correspondence to the following resource agencies (excluding entertainment/recreational requests); the applicant is responsible for contacting and securing written statements to include no objection correspondence to proposed works. Statements must first be obtained by the requester before the USIBWC can process your application:

    • Appropriate Historic Preservation officer(s) in order to found out if you need a cultural resources survey of the area. (TX-AZ-CA)
    • United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to determine the impact of the project on threatened and endangered species, both animal and plant life.
    • United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), to determine the effects of the proposed project on the waters of the U.S. (Wetlands, streams, and rivers) in the area.
    • Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) (If Applicable).

8. Resource Agency Statement for Water line & Pumps - (PDF Format if digital)

  • A permit from appropriate State Water Commissions, to divert waters from rivers or reservoirs, is necessary before a permit for pumps and water lines can be issued.

Reviewing Applications

  • Realty Review
    A Realty Specialist will perform an initial review to determine if the application includes all supporting documentation and, more importantly, if the requested area is controlled by USIBWC. The reviewer(s) may contact the applicant and request additional information be sent. See the table below for initial review timeframes.
  • Comprehensive Review
    Once the Realty Specialist determines your application is complete, your application will be forwarded to a USIBWC reviewing board to determine whether your application meets federal, state, and local requirements.

After the comprehensive review period, a Realty Specialist will contact the applicant and advise which of the following conditions applies to your application:

  • Condition 1: Your application has been denied following our comprehensive review. A Realty Specialist will contact the applicant with further details
  • Condition 2: Your application is missing information and/or needs to be modified, the reviewing board is requesting further explanation or requires reviewing comments to be addressed. The applicant may be required to prepare an amended application reflecting any modifications made in the course of review and/or addressing reviewers concerns. The agency would then re-circulate the amended application for final review
  • Condition 3: You have completed the application properly and the application meets or exceeds all project/event criteria. The applicant will receive notification of approval and final outgrant documentation for signature will follow

The USIBWC reviewing board is committed to reviewing application in a timely manner, however, because the USIBWC mission is so fluid and spans some 1,900 miles between California and Texas, reviewing times may vary resulting in extended reviews.

General Conditions

For the information of the application, the general condition established by this commission, relative to the outgrant program, are given below. Special condition may be added if it is determined that the interests of the United States so require:

  • The work shall be subject to the inspection and approval of the Principal Engineer(s) of the area in which the proposed work is to be done to determine if the work is being performed in conformance with the plans, as approved. The Principal Engineer may temporarily suspend the work at any time if, in their judgment, the interests of the Commission so require.
  • The United States will not be held liable for any damage or injury to the structure or work herein authorized which may be caused by, or result from, the future operations of Government-operated and maintained properties under the jurisdiction of the Commission, and no claim or right to compensation shall accrue from any such damage.
  • The Grantor is required to operate and maintain the facilities for which the outgrant is requested, and such operation and maintenance shall be performed in such manner as not to interfere with the construction or operation of project works. The outgrant granted is personal and shall not be assigned without the written permission of the Commissioner of the United States Section or their duly authorized representative.
  • The outgrant will continue so long as, in the opinion of the Commissioner, it is considered to be expedient and not detrimental to the public interests and shall be revocable by said Commissioner upon 90 days written notice to the Grantor. Upon such revocation, or if the project is abandoned, the structure or other works shall be removed by Grantor without delay and at their sole expense

More Information

For more information about Mexican coordination and permits, please contact the Comision Internacional De Limites Y Aguas at the address below or by phone at (656)639-79-50, (656) 613-73-11

Comisión Internacional de Límites y Aguas (CILA)

For more information about Presidential Permits for oil and liquids pipelines, please contact the Office of International Energy and Commodities Policy at the address below or by phone at (202) 647-3423.

Office of International Energy and Commodities Policy
Mail Stop EB/ESC/IEC
Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

For more information about Presidential permits for facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border, please contact the Office of Mexican Affairs at the address below, or by phone at (202) 647-8529

Coordinator for U.S.-Mexico Border Affairs
WHA/MEX, Room 4258
Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520