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EPA Helps Fund Wastewater Infrastructure Project

Release Date: 5/21/2003
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the North American Development Bank, recently awarded a $193,869 grant to help fund wastewater system improvements for the Desert Shores community in California.  

     The $1.6 million project, funded primarily through the NADB and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans, will improve sewer lines and simplify the pumping infrastructure.  The EPA, through its Border Environment Infrastructure Fund, is providing the transition assistance grant to help make the loan payments more affordable for the community.

     Currently, saltwater from the Salton Sea infiltrates cracked sewer lines affecting the quality of the treated wastewater that seeps into the groundwater below the treatment ponds.  

     The Salton Community Services District will  replace 8,100 feet of sewer lines and install a new 3,200-foot collector.  New lines will be installed at flatter slopes and shallower depths, the pumping structure will be upgraded and simplified, which will significantly reduce maintenance expenses for the district.

     "The EPA has a very strong commitment to improve the environment and infrastructure along the border," said Catherine Kuhlman, the EPA's acting water division director for the Pacific Southwest region.

     Desert Shores is located 50 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border on the western coast of the Salton Sea, in an unincorporated area of Imperial County, Calif.
     The EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund is administered through the NADB and assists construction of water and wastewater projects along the US-Mexico border.

     The North American Development Bank and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission were created under the authority of the North America Free Trade Agreement.  BECC is responsible for certifying that projects comply with sound technical, environmental, financial, and public participation principles.  The NADB provides loans and grants for projects that have been certified by BECC.