Reps. Cuellar and Castro Pass Bill to Improve Utility Service Infrastructure for San Antonio and Military Community

 In Texas, Texas Water Districts, water sector

Secured language for drilling sample at JBSA-Lackland AFB

Washington, July 26, 2018 | Rep. Cuellar: Leslie Martinez & Rep. Castro: Jamie Geller (Leslie Martinez: 956-725-0639 & Jamie Geller: 202-225-3236)

Today, Reps. Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Joaquín Castro (TX-20) helped passed provisions in the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act to improve utility service infrastructure for Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) and the City of San Antonio. This language brings together JBSA and the City of San Antonio to forge a path forward to replace a deteriorating wastewater pipeline that services the growing Southwest region of San Antonio.  This pipeline runs through Lackland Air Force Base and has caused significant ruptures over the years, leading to lengthy service interruptions which negatively impact the growing community as well as military operations at Joint Base San Antonio. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives and will be sent to the Senate floor for a vote.

The conference report requires the Air Force to conduct environmental studies along the portion of the new pipeline route that lies on federal property. These studies are essential to identifying potential contaminants and avoidable obstructions along the construction path. It’s important these studies are completed as soon as possible to help avoid further project delays and restore reliable service to the military base and surrounding community, as well as save utility customers over $100 million by avoiding extensive route adjustments.

Congressman Cuellar stated, “I would like to thank my fellow colleagues, Reps. Joaquín Castro (TX-20), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) and Marc Veasey (TX-33), for helping me bring this language to the forefront and seek an environmentally responsible solution to this issue. I look forward to seeing the continued partnership between San Antonio Water Services (SAWS), the City of San Antonio, and Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA). Replacing this pipeline critical to improving the health, safety, growth, and wellbeing for the City of San Antonio.”

Congressman Castro said, “Continuing with soil samples for this pipeline project is important for our environment, public health, and San Antonio Water Services (SAWS) ratepayers. If we don’t, we will see continued sewer spills, uncertainty for the surrounding community concerning soil contamination, and rate increases for SAWS customers. This amendment allows the Air Force and SAWS to move forward with this project while at the same time helping grow our community responsibly.”

“Congressman Cuellar continues to step up for our community to find ways to solve difficult issues for San Antonio,” said Robert R. Puente, San Antonio Water Services President/CEO. “SAWS commitment to Military City, USA, and to our customers will be strengthened through Rep. Cuellar’s leadership.”

PLEASE NOTE: A public event will be held at a later date with SAWS in San Antonio to provide the public with information on the wastewater pipeline project and what this amendment means to the community.