Cross-border sewage becomes political issue

NACO, Ariz. - Naco residents gathered outside the Naco Port of Entry on Friday to accuse Representative Martha McSally of failing to address a sewage crisis along the Southern Arizona border.  The Arizona Democratic Party organized the news conference.

About 682,000 gallons of raw were released on Sept. 9, the first day of the leak. But since then, a total close to 5-million gallons have been spilled.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, running for Congressional District 2, said, "This cross-border sewage spill is an international issue that the federal government and Congress need to address. The contaminated water spilling into Naco is a serious health concern and there's no time to lose."  

Rather than run for re-election to CD2, McSally is running for US Senate.

Cochise County rancher John Ladd says McSally has been trying to stop the cross-border sewage leaks that have caused trouble on his land year after year.

"Last summer I had 14 million gallons that killed ten cows.  Ended up costing me 27 thousand dollars last year."

Ladd is a McSally supporter.  

He understands as a Member of Congress McSally does not have direct control of the sewage situation that stems from a troubled sewage plant in Mexico but he says she has long pushed agencies that handle the sewage issue in the US and Mexico to solve the problem. 

McSally's office responded with a statement from CJ Karamargin, McSally's District Director: 

“Rep. McSally has been consistently engaged with property owners as well as county, state and federal officials on this critically important issue. This leak is the result of Mexico’s decaying infrastructure and requires U.S. agencies to partner with their Mexican counterparts to offer assistance to fix this problem. The environmental and health risks posed by this leak are very serious and it’s unfortunate that it is being exploited for partisan gain. Rep. McSally will continue leading on this issue until it is resolved.”

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