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Diplomacy in Action

USIBWC December 9th Public Meeting

November 29, 2010


International Boundary and Water Commission
United States Section

For immediate release
November 29, 2010


Rio Grande levee construction and dam safety will be discussed at the December 9 public meeting of the Lower Rio Grande Citizens Forum (LRGCF). The LRGCF was established by the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) to facilitate the exchange of information between the USIBWC and members of the public about Commission activities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The meeting will be held Thursday, December 9, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at the USIBWC office at 325 Golf Course Road in Mercedes, Texas.

USIBWC Construction Control Inspector Luther Sargent will give an update on levee rehabilitation projects in the Lower Rio Grande Flood Control Project being undertaken with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The projects will enhance flood protection in the Valley in accordance with standards established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The presentation will include updates on several levee construction contracts along the Rio Grande and off-river floodways affecting communities in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties. Some of the Recovery Act levee improvements were completed prior to this year’s hurricane season, providing tangible benefits to the community during the summer’s flooding. Although construction of the remaining improvements was suspended during the flood, work resumed this fall and is progressing steadily. The purpose of the Recovery Act is to create and save jobs, promote economic recovery, and invest in infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.

In other business, Sheryl Franklin, Chief of the Operations and Maintenance Division at USIBWC Headquarters, will discuss the Dam Safety Action Classification System that has been used to rate the Commission’s Rio Grande dams. The system helps dam managers prioritize dam safety work. Under this system, a dam with greater economic importance or with a larger downstream population is given priority over a dam of similar condition but less potential impact.

A complete meeting agenda follows. Members of the public who would like more information about the meeting may contact the USIBWC’s Lower Rio Grande Project Office at 956-565-3150 or the Public Affairs Office at For additional information about the Recovery Act, go to

For more information:

Sally Spener

Thursday, December 9, 2010
4:00 - 6:00 P.M.
USIBWC Conference Room
325 Golf Course Road
Mercedes, TX 78570


  • Welcome and Introductions – Rodolfo Montero, USIBWC Area Operations Manager and Lower Rio Grande Citizens Forum Co-Chair
  • Dam Safety Action Classification System and Status of IBWC Dams – Sheryl Franklin, Operations and Maintenance Division Chief, USIBWC
  • USIBWC Levee Construction Progress Report – Luther Sargent, Construction Control Inspector, USIBWC
  • Public Comment
  • Board Discussion
  • Suggested Future Agenda Items

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