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The International Boundary and Water Commission announced today a list of three companies that will be bidding on the design, construction and operation of Bajagua Project’s sewage-treatment plant.

They are:

  • Earth Tech Mexico
  • Inima
  • Veolia

Though the decision on the multi-national firms was made by Bajagua officials, it was announced by the IBWC, a State Department offshoot. Once a request for proposals is issued, Bajagua officials are expected to select a contractor within 30 to 40 days. When that contractor is chosen, Bajagua’s annual cost to taxpayers will be known.

At the same time it’s touting progress with Bajagua, the IBWC is also working to develop a backup plan. It has asked for $66 million in President Bush’s 2008 budget to boost treatment levels of an existing plant that sits in southern San Diego, along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That would only cover about 70 percent of the costs of boosting treatment at the existing plant, IBWC spokeswoman Sally Spener said.

So where does the other 30 percent come from? Good question.

Spener was noncommittal about whether Mexico would be asked to foot the bill, which is what’s expected.

“We have not yet determined nor have we sat down and talked with Mexico about what Mexico’s cost participation would be,” she said. “I think it would be premature to speculate on that. These are things we really need to sit down and talk to Mexico about.”

ROB DAVIS

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