Sinema Ensuring Full Funding of Nogales Wastewater Repairs

Jul 14, 2020

Following the Nogales wastewater settlement, Sinema is urging Congressional leaders to fully fund the International Boundary Water Commission so it can complete needed repairs

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema urged Congressional leaders to ensure the full funding of the International Boundary Water Commission so it can complete needed infrastructure repairs of the wastewater pipeline in Nogales. 
“Congress must ensure the IBWC receives adequate funding so it can move forward with wastewater infrastructure repairs and protect the health and safety of Nogales families,” said Sinema.

Recently, a settlement agreement between the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) was reached on payment for wastewater infrastructure improvements on an international sewage pipe that transports wastewater from Mexico to Nogales, Arizona. The City of Nogales has continually tried to seek federal funds and additional ownership responsibility from IBWC for necessary infrastructure improvements to the international sewage pipe. Families in Nogales have faced challenges with untreated wastewater coming from Mexico into Arizona rivers and overflowing into streets during storm events. Before the recent agreement, the U.S. and Mexico only focused on emergency repairs and cleanup but did not address the improvements needed for the international sewage pipeline. The unmaintained sewage pipeline has affected public health, the environment, and local economy in Nogales, Arizona. Sinema is urging Congress to ensure the IBWC has the necessary funding to fully complete all infrastructure repairs.
Read Sinema’s full letter HERE.
Earlier this Congress, Sinema helped introduce the Nogales Wastewater Fairness Act, which was introduced last Congress by Arizona Senator John McCain. Sinema’s Nogales Wastewater and Fairness Act directs the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission to charge Nogales a more equitable portion of costs for the pipe, commensurate with average daily sewage contribution. It also asserts that Nogales will not be obligated to contribute any funding for the purpose of repairing or upgrading the project in the future.