Laredo seeks to expand trade routes for hazardous materials

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The city of Laredo is looking to start crossing hazardous materials through World Trade International Bridge, but there is a holdup. The Mexican government has not given the green light.

The city of Laredo bridge director, Yvette Limon, said, “at the moment we have not been authorized for the crossings through World Trade International Bridge because the diplomatic notes have not been exchanged between both countries, U.S. and Mexico.”

On August 17, the Port of Entry Advisory Committee met to discuss several topics and one of them included moving forward with the crossings. City officials said they will continue to work with the government of Tamaulipas to make the crossing of hazardous materials possible at World Trade International Bridge.

However, officials said this is a process that has to be done carefully since their main priority is to protect those communities around the bridges and the Rio Grande. “We have grown, and there’s a need for additional crossings and [to] give the industry an option. That’s where World Trade International Bridge was considered for the less hazardous commodities.”

Those materials considered highly hazardous -- like explosives, radioactive chemicals, poison, gas and other toxic compounds -- would only cross through the Colombia-Solidarity International Bridge. The city says that while it hasn’t had any recent incidents, it’s always best to be prepared. Steve Landin, the city assistant manager, said, “in the 30 years that I was in the fire department, and the last 12 as chief, we never had a hazmat spill at any of our bridges.”

The city will seek to have a formal meeting on this with the new governor of Tamaulipas, Americo Villarreal. He is set to take office on October 1, 2022.

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