TUCSON, Ariz. – Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) issued the following statement to commend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Nogales Trunkline and International Outfall Interceptor Rehabilitation Project.
“I am glad to finally see progress on addressing this ongoing public health crisis. Every year during monsoon season, the health of residents along the Arizona southern border are put needlessly at risk of water contamination. With the beginning of Phase One, repairs to the long-awaited aging infrastructure project will finally commence and ensure the most deteriorated parts of the pipeline are prioritized. Phase One is just the beginning of this process and I will continue to work to ensure full federal funding is appropriately allocated to bring this necessary project to full completion. The residents of Nogales and the surrounding communities deserve no less.”
Prior to the ban on earmarks, Rep. Grijalva worked each year since 2004 to secure funding for the Nogales Wash / Chula Vista and International Outflow Interceptor projects through the appropriations process. He requested $10 million for the project in fiscal year 2009 and $19.7 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. His Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act, first introduced in 2011, included an additional authorization of appropriations.
Additionally, Rep. Grijalva filed an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 to require the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission to provide resources for the Nogales Sanitation Project.
In 2017, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey urging him to commence the Disaster Declaration process and seek immediate federal assistance to address imminent threats of water sewage exposure to thousands of Arizona residents.
In 2019, Rep. Grijalva introduced the bipartisan Nogales Wastewater Fairness Act, which would ensure that the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) is responsible for the much-needed infrastructure repairs and future maintenance of the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) to prevent raw sewage from spilling into waterways.
In 2020, he passed an amendment to direct $4 million within the IBWC to clarify the responsibility for maintenance and operation of the IOI.
Last year, the House passed H.R. 4373, the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and related agencies appropriations bill that included Rep. Grijalva’s amendment to clarify responsibility for the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI). The amendment will direct $4 million within the International Border and Water Commission (IBWC) to clarify the responsibility and maintenance of the IOI in addition to, and separate from, the funds designated for long-needed repairs.