The Associated Press jumped into the Mexican sewage controversy this weekend, with this story from reporter Allison Hoffman.

The AP looks at the Bajagua Project, the private company that aims to build a sewage treatment plant in Tijuana that would increase the city’s treatment capacity by 34 million gallons daily.

No new revelations in this story, but it’s worth a read. It says:

When it rains along the border, millions of gallons of sewage and industrial waste from Mexican slums and factories flow down the Tijuana River into the United States and end up in the Pacific Ocean — a mess that closed the beach here to swimmers and surfers a total of 198 days last year.

The U.S. government once thought it had the solution: pay a developer an estimated $700 million to build and operate a treatment plant in Tijuana, Mexico. Under the agreement, if the plant could sell clean water to Mexican factories, U.S. taxpayers would get some of their money back by taking a share of the proceeds.

But seven years later, ground has yet to be broken. And the agreement between the U.S. and Bajagua LLC is looking more fragile than ever amid growing criticism that the no-bid contract would fatten the developer’s pockets and fail to contain the sewage.

This month, the Bush administration proposed a treatment plant on U.S. soil — which would effectively kill the Mexico venture.

ROB DAVIS

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