IBWC Cracking Down on Illegal Activity near Levees

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PENITAS – Officials from the International Boundary and Water Commission are visiting the Rio Grande Valley this week. The commission is cracking down on illegal dumping and trespassing on levees.

Max Schuster is a Valley farmer whose property borders a levee. He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he’s no stranger to the kinds of problems the commission is addressing.

“They'll drop off their trash out here and let us pick all of that up,” said Schuster.

Schuster also said off-road activities are popular near the levee.

"We see a lot of kids, ten, 12-year-olds on these four-wheelers, no helmets, driving on private property," he explained.

IBWC Public Affairs Officer Lori Kuczmanski said the agency is teaming up with Valley law enforcement to shore up levee security.

About two years ago, the commission began installing vehicular gates to dissuade violators from dumping and trespassing.

The gates have warnings in English and Spanish, and the message is clear.

"They're advising people that the levees are off-limits and this includes vehicular traffic, ATVs, motorcycles, no hunting, no fishing, no swimming the pilot channels,” said Kuczmanski.

Schuster said managing a farm gives him more than enough work. He’s hopeful he won’t have to pick up other people’s trash one day.

"We don't want to have to worry our days cleaning up everybody else's mess,” he said.

Kuczmanski added the IBWC plans to install more vehicular gates in Cameron and Willacy counties.


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