I was talking to Sally Spener today, the spokeswoman for the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission, about a border sewage issue.

Our conversation was unrelated to the Bajagua Project LLC, the private company that proposed to expand and improve a San Ysidro sewage-treatment plant that’s the subject of a lawsuit between the IBWC and the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The IBWC built a sewage plant along the border that has never met Clean Water Act standards. Its lack of treatment brought a lawsuit from the water board — the regulatory agency responsible for ensuring water quality standards are met.

When I finished talking to Spener about my other story (which will run tomorrow,) I asked something about Bajagua.

Spener declined comment. She instead gave me the phone number for a Justice Department spokeswoman.

She said she couldn’t comment because “the matter is in litigation.”

The case has been in litigation for years, though, and Spener and others at the IBWC have commented on Bajagua’s status before.

A letter sent Tuesday from its commissioner, Carlos Marin, said the federal government has suspended all activities with Bajagua until a federal judge can decide whether to delay the timetable for the project’s completion. Bajagua’s sewage treatment expansion was supposed to be finished by September 2008, but the company recently asked the federal government for a five-month extension.

In the meantime, Bajagua proceeds at its own risk, Marin wrote in the letter.


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