Arizona City Helping Mexican Neighbor With Sewage Spill

September 21, 2017

Part of Arizona’s congressional delegation is demanding that the U.S. federal government step in to intervene on a cross border sewage spill that’s been leaching from Mexico into southeastern Arizona.

The sewage leaks from Naco, Sonora, into Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally’s district in Cochise County. She and Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake wrote letters demanding two federal agencies in the U.S. address the spill, the Environmental Protection Agency and the International Boundary and Water Commission. Commission spokeswoman Lori Kuczmanski said it has no jurisdiction to address the problem.

In the meantime, the city of Bisbee is stepping in to help Naco, Sonora, a tiny border town with little infrastructure handle the raw sewage.

Bisbee public works director Andy Haratyk met with Naco town officials and offered to help repair their plant. "The one thing that I’m concerned about now is they’re afraid of a second spill because their trickle plant can’t process the sewage," he said.

He says the spill is not affecting Bisbee’s water table.