House Representative

Lucio III, Eddie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/05/2014

"BAD" SUBSTANCE HEADED TO RIO GRANDE

Late last week, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Laredo Regional Office received word from the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) that indicated they were advised by CILA (their Mexican counterpart) about a type of “bad” material that was released from a Pemex facility in Mexico. At this time, officials are unaware of the composition, the source, and the quantity of the material that was released. What is clear, however, is that it went into the Rio Salado and is headed towards the Rio Grande near Zapata.

At the time of the notification, IBWC estimated an arrival to the Rio Grande at approximately four days. Initial testing of the waters by CILA was not conclusive. Further sampling is going to be conducted by IBWC at the confluence of the Rio Salado and Falcon Lake. They will be collecting water samples from upstream and downstream sources. TCEQ is coordinating with the IBWC to have the samples analyzed in an expedited manner.

The EPA will be implementing formal notification between the two countries and adding an entry in the National Response Center. Officials will continue monitoring the situation and providing updates upon gathering new information.


Contact:
Ruben O'Bell
(956) 266-3394