Sinema Seeks to Solve Decades-Long Challenge with Nogales Wastewater Pipeline Legislation

Feb 7, 2023

The Nogales Wastewater Improvement Act represents a historic agreement transferring ownership, operations, and maintenance responsibilities of the Nogales International Outfall Interceptor to the U.S.

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema re-introduced the Nogales Wastewater Improvement Act — legislation that transfers the ownership, operations, and maintenance of the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) to the U.S.-section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, securing a historic agreement between the City of Nogales and the federal government.
“This agreement has been decades in the making. Our legislation delivers a permanent solution to the Nogales International Outfall Interceptor dilemma and provides long-awaited relief to Nogales families’ health and safety,” said Sinema.
For years, the City of Nogales has continually tried to seek federal funds and additional ownership responsibility from the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) for necessary infrastructure improvements on an international sewage pipe that flows from Mexico through Nogales, Arizona to the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Facility in Rio Rico, Arizona. 
Families in Nogales have faced challenges with untreated wastewater coming from Mexico and overflowing into streets during storm events. Sinema’s legislation will streamline the ability for the government to respond to crises on the US-side of the border and authorizes full funding for operations and maintenance into the future.