Public meeting to be held on proposed wastewater improvement project

Local News
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The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) will hold a public participation meeting on the proposed wastewater collection system improvement project for FM 511-802 Colonia in Brownsville, Texas.  The meeting will be held on August 13, 2015 at 6:45 pm at the Senator Eddie A. Lucio, Jr. Middle School, 300 N. Vermillion Road.

The proposed project includes connections from the home to the recently constructed wastewater collection system infrastructure, and the decommissioning of existing on-site wastewater disposal systems. The estimated cost of the project is $29.74 million and will benefit more than 1,700 residents. The purpose of this project is to provide access to and use of first-time wastewater services in unserved areas and eliminate exposure to untreated or inadequately treated wastewater discharges by connecting the homes to new wastewater collection infrastructure.

Residents of the area currently use on-site septic tank/drain filled systems with a few homes being served by other types of on-site systems.  Most of the on-site wastewater disposal systems were installed prior to Cameron County’s adoption of model subdivision rules and septic tank design standards. The majority of these systems are generally not considered to be in compliance with regulatory requirements. In a considerable portion of the proposed project area, a health hazard likely exists, particularly during wet weather.  Since 2002, the Texas Department of Health issued a Nuisance Findings Determination for the project area.

In order for a project to be certified by BECC, it must go through a public process to gain community support and illustrate an understanding among residents of the project’s scope, its benefits and impacts. 

To date, BECC has certified 251 projects along the U.S. –Mexico border at an estimated cost of $8.7 billion.  In Texas, BECC has certified 56 projects at an estimated cost of $1.64 billion. Of these 56 projects, 29 are related to water and wastewater services,  18 to water conservation, four to municipal solid waste, and five to clean and efficient energy.

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