Federal officials have reviewed and approved plans by Doña Ana County to design and build a wastewater collection and treatment system near the Santa Teresa border area of Doña Ana County.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in a letter dated July 1, 1999, authorized the county to “secure engineering services for the design and construction” of the proposed $8.3 million system, which will be designed to service up to 500,000 gallons per day, comprising residential, commercial and industrial accounts in the fastest-growing sector of Doña Ana County.
The federal government is providing $4.6 million of the project costs, while the county will provide a local match valued at $3.7 million.
“This project will greatly facilitate economic development in the Santa Teresa area,” said Jerry Leyendecker, director of utilities for Doña Ana County. “We will be set up to serve two industrial parks, the Border Patrol checkpoint at the Santa Teresa crossing, as well as future development along Artcraft Road and in areas such as La Union and the Koogle Road Development.”
The latest EPA go-ahead follows its “finding of no significant impact” statement issued in May. In that action, the agency found the project to be consistent with federal water-quality management guidelines and safe for the environment.
Leyendecker said an engineering firm will be chosen within the next few weeks to begin design of the facility. He said there are several engineering firms in the region with extensive experience in water and wastewater system development. He estimated the design phase of the project would be completed within several weeks of being awarded, with a construction period of one year or less to follow.
“This is a realistic and ambitious time table for this important project,” Leyendecker said. “We’ll push to complete the project as soon as possible in order to maximize our leverage toward bringing significant economic development and jobs to the Santa Teresa area.”