Funding follows Sinema’s work leading the historic bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law and her efforts to resolve the ongoing Nogales sewage issue
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema applauded the North American Development Bank’s $2.8 million investment in the Nogales International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) and $500,000 investment in the Town of Patagonia’s wastewater treatment plant. Sinema has long worked to resolve issues surrounding Nogales’s International Outfall Interceptor project, and she recently led passage into law of the historic bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which invests $8.3 billion in building and strengthening water infrastructure throughout the American West, $23.4 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure nationally, and $17 billion for the US Army Corps of Engineers.
“Today’s investment follows our work securing historic investments for Arizona water infrastructure through our bipartisan infrastructure jobs law. These resources represent a critical step forward to resolve sewage issues in Nogales and Patagonia and will help improve Arizona water quality, manage sewage flow, and keep communities healthy and safe,” said Sinema.
“The grant funds for these two critical projects in the communities of Nogales and Patagonia are vital to carrying out necessary improvements to their wastewater infrastructure that will help prevent future wastewater discharges into two important water sources in southern Arizona,” stated Calixto Mateos Hanel, NADBank Managing Director. “We are also pleased that the Board of Directors approved new project types for the Bank to finance and believe these projects will better position us to fight climate change along the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Today, the North American Development Bank (NADBank) announced a $2.8 million grant funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Border Environment Infrastructure Fund and administered by NADBank for improvements to the Nogales International Outfall Interceptor (IOI).The Nogales International Outfall Interceptor is an 8.5-mile pipeline that travels from the U.S. Mexico Border to the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant in Rio Rico, Arizona. The pipeline began operating in 1972, and has eroded and developed many cracks, causing raw sewage to flow into nearby washes and rivers, the streets of Nogales, and the DeConcini Port of Entry. Leaks from the pipe also increase the contamination risk for nearby groundwater sources, leaving local communities experiencing untreated wastewater coming from Mexico into Arizona rivers and overflowing into streets during storms, backing up the pipe, and leaving Arizonans in Nogales bearing the cost. The funding announced today will help reduce the risk of pipeline failures and will prevent the potential discharge of approximately 15.2 million gallons per day of wastewater to the Nogales Wash.
NADBank also announced a $500,000 grant through the Bank’s Community Assistance Program for improvements to the Town of Patagonia’s wastewater treatment plant. The improvements will eliminate the risks for inconsistent treatment or plant failure by replacing some plant equipment that has fallen into disrepair and repairing structural issues that compromise the treatment process, preventing the potential discharge of approximately 45,000 gallons per day of wastewater to Sonoita Creek, a tributary of Patagonia Lake.
Sinema recently sponsored and led passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which invests $8.3 billion in building and strengthening water infrastructure throughout the American West, including for aging infrastructure, water storage and conveyance, water recycling and reuse, desalination, drought contingency plans, and dam safety.
Sinema also recently hosted a roundtable discussion with the U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission and local leaders to discuss the Nogales International Outfall Interceptor project. Following the late Senator John McCain’s leadership, Sinema helped introduce the Nogales Wastewater Fairness Act last Congress to ensure the City of Nogales only pays for its portion of operation and maintenance, instead of continuing to cover all costs. After the introduction of Sinema’s legislation, the Nogales Wastewater Settlement was reached. Sinema later helped secure $49 million to help fund the International Boundary Water Commission to ensure the needed repairs could be made to help protect the health and safety of Nogales families.