Thursday, July 26, 2012

Finally, some good news for the Rio Grande

The local politicians didn't dare mention the recent report by the Texas Clean Rivers Program that found bacterial levels "off the charts" along certain, nearby areas of the Rio Grande .  Now, there finally seems to be some movement towards making the Rio Grande a cleaner, safer river.  Thanks to the Rio Grande International Study Center and it's Executive Director Tricia Cortez for taking the lead in publicizing the alarming results of the recent study.

From The Laredo Morning Times

The City of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, will receive more than $40 million in wastewater and other infrastructure improvements that will provide some households with water services for the first time as well as reduce the amount of waste dumped in the Rio Grande.

A $35.5 million project will provide improvements to the city’s wastewater systems as well as construction of storm water lines.

The improvements will provide more than 1,000 households in Nuevo Laredo with water services and more than 5,100 households with wastewater services.

A loan from the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission and North American Development Bank will give $13.3 million in funding for the project, which will also pay for new road paving.

Another $5 million emergency project will disconnect Nuevo Laredo wastewater treatment lines from storm drains that discharge into the Rio Grande River.

A $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will help pay for those services.

The Texas Clean Rivers Program, a partnership between the state environmental agency and local water authorities, released preliminary results in May of a 2011 study of Rio Grande bacteria levels.

The study found that in the stretch of river beginning downtown and running to International Bridge II that fecal coliform and E. coli levels are 10 times the federal standards for swimming, fishing and boating.

“Eliminating wastewater discharges into our shared waterways, such as the Rio Grande, is a priority for the bank,” said Geronimo Gutierrez, managing director of the North American Development Bank.

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