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May 16th, 2024
Rep. Grijalva Praises Completion of Nogales IOI Rehabilitation

TUCSON, Ariz. – Today,  the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico (USIBWC) announced the completed rehabilitation of a half-century-old wastewater pipeline known as the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) in Nogales, Arizona. 

“For 20 years, I have worked with the community of Nogales, my colleagues in Congress, and the federal government to end the failure and neglect of this pipeline. Today’s news of the completion of the IOI pipeline rehabilitation is a historic and positive moment in this saga that will hopefully put an end to the persistent public health threat of sewage leaks. Moving forward, I will continue the work in Congress to ensure that the pipeline is fully funded to complete the transfer of ownership to the USIBWC.”


Rep. Grijalva has worked since 2004 to secure funding for the Nogales Wash / Chula Vista and International Outflow Interceptor projects through the appropriations process. Grijalva 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 to fix the IOI.

In 2016, Rep. Grijalva filed an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act to require the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission to provide resources for the Nogales Sanitation Project.

In June 2019, Rep. Grijalva introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Nogales Wastewater Fairness Act with then Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) which would ensure that the IBWC is responsible for the  much-needed infrastructure repairs and future maintenance of the IOI to prevent raw sewage from spilling into waterways.

In 2022, as Chair of the House Natural Resource Committee, Rep. Grijalva negotiated the Nogales Wastewater Improvement Act into the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act which passed the House on July 29, 2022.  Action was not taken in the Senate.

Additionally in 2022, Rep. Grijalva announced $8.6 million in federal funding for the Ephraim Canyon Flood Project which will construct and develop a detention basin in Nogales, Arizona between I-19 and the Mariposa Port of Entry (POE), in Santa Cruz County to protect vital infrastructure, including the IOI. 

In July 2022, Rep, Grijalva introduced the Nogales Wastewater Improvement Act with Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and then-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.

In December 2023, the Nogales Wastewater Improvement Act of 2023 was included in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report. It passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law by President Biden.

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