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San Ysidro Plant Will be Expanded to Treat Sewage from Mexico

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Aired 4/19/09

A U.S. federal water agency has rejected a controversial plan to pay a U.S. company to build a private sewage treatment plant in Tijuana. Instead, they'll upgrade their existing treatment plant in San Ysidro. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

The International Boundary and Water Commission has been under fire for years for pumping millions of gallons of only partially treated sewage into the ocean off Imperial Beach.

The federal government ordered it to upgrade its facility to meet federal clean water standards. The commission has been considering how to do that for the last ten years.

One option was to work with Bajagua. That's the private San Marcos company that's spent millions of dollars trying to push through its plan for a plant in Tijuana.

International Water and Boundary Commisioner Carlos Marin says they've decided upgrading the existing plant is the simpler solution.

Marin: We already had the land available. We got funding to move forward. W can have full control of what's going on, not wait for a private company or another government to make sure that compliance is met.

Marin says the plant should be up and running by the end of 2010.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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