U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) released a statement about recent legislation that he, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) are backing that would impact the financing of the International Outfall Interceptor.
The legislation would transfer "the unfair financial burden of maintenance and capital upgrades of the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI) sewage pipeline located underneath the Nogales Wash along the Arizona-Mexico border from the city of Nogales, Arizona, to the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC),” McCain said in the release.
The legislation, introduced in the Senate as the Nogales Wastewater Fairness Act, would transfer future capital costs to the IBWC while holding Nogales responsible only for its equitable proportion of operation and maintenance costs that would be based on the city’s average sewage flow, the statement said. McSally is sponsoring a similar bill in the House, the release said.
“Nogales residents should not have to pay for runoff and sewage not under their control," McCain said in the release.
Previously, financing for the IOI was divided between IBWC and Noglaes under a 1953 agreement that McCain said was unfair to Nogales.
“This bill resets the cost-share to reflect the proper obligations of the IBWC,” Flake said in the release.
The Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority is hopeful this legislation passes, the release said. “The Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority has for many years advocated for the urgent need to address the issue of the IOI and after trips to Washington, D.C., arranging numerous site visits and meetings with many stakeholders, we are extremely glad to see the Senator (McCain) take the lead to provide a solution,” Guillermo Valenica, chairman of the port authority, said in the release.