Eva Knott 10:44 a.m., May 18
French operator of spill-plagued border sewage plant gives $5,000 to GOP Lincoln Club
Veolia Water North American Operating Services, Inc., a Chicago-based based subsidiary of the French corporate giant Veolia Environment, has given $5,000 to the San Diego's GOP Lincoln Club, according to a filing posted online Tuesday by the California Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento.
The multi-national firm has long been a target of critics opposed to its world-wide water and sewer privatization activities.
In San Diego, Veolia runs the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Ysidro.
The plant was built by the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, a joint effort of the United States and Mexican governments, which contracts out the sewage processing operation to the French.
In April of this year, reporter Rob Davis, then of the Voice of San Diego, broke the news that a major sewage spill had occurred at the plant.
Operator error was later blamed for the 2-million-gallon raw sewage leak, according to a subsequent Associated Press report. The plant has been the subject of repeated federal court actions regarding its history of spills.
"Founded in 1853, Compagnie Générale des Eaux changed its name to Veolia Water in 2005," according to the website of the Paris-based Veolia Water. "It is one of Veolia Environment’s four divisions, along with Veolia Environmental Services, Veolia Energy-Dalkia and Veolia Transport."
Veolia's current five-year contract to operate the San Ysidro plant runs through 2015, notes a company news release.
"Valued at approximately $35.5 million, the contract includes managing, operating and maintaining the existing wastewater treatment plant located in San Ysidro, as well as the startup and then long-term operation of a secondary treatment expansion unit.
“The San Ysidro facility is a 25 million-gallons-per day (MGD) advanced primary wastewater treatment plant, including five surface runoff canyon collection systems and two pump stations."