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State Congress urges Puerto municipalities to take action on sewage discharges

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State Congress urges Puerto municipalities to take action on sewage discharges
Congressman Freddy Gil spearheaded a move by Congress to address Puerto Escondido's sewage problems.

After months of protests and online petitions, Puerto Escondido’s sewage problems have reached lawmakers at the state Congress, who decided this week to urge the municipalities of Santa María Colotepec and San Pedro Mixtepec to address the discharge of wastewater into the sea.

On the urging of former San Pedro Mixtepec Mayor Freddy Gil Pineda Gopar, who is now a state congressman, his fellow deputies urged the local governments to implement a sanitation plan for the beaches of Puerto Angelito and Bahía Principal, and to complete the wastewater treatment plant project, of which only the first stage has been built.

This action, the legislators said, must be undertaken with the National Water Commission, the federal Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and the State Water Commission.

Although the first stage of the North Zone Treatment Plant has been built, funding for the second stage of the project has yet to be allocated, be it by state or federal government agencies or the municipal administrations.

So the installation of pumping stations and sewer lines are still needed to have a fully operational treatment system.

The absence of such a system has led many establishments and residents to discharge their wastewater into the ocean.

The situation became even more dire when the Zapata holding tank, located in the Brisas de Zicatela area, began to discharge sewage earlier this year. That was followed by the July 28 announcement by the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) that the waters of Bahía Principal and Puerto Angelito were unsafe for recreational use.

In his statement, Pineda called for the rescue of Puerto’s beaches, “for the enjoyment of the locals and especially tourists, who have stopped visiting that destination after the warning of contamination of the beaches of Puerto Angelito and Bahía Principal by COFEPRIS.”

“A respectful but energetic call is made to the municipal, state and federal authorities to carry out the necessary actions to rescue our beaches,” he said.

With reports by El Imparcial, Noticias en Oaxaca

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