Tijuana dumping more toxic sewage just days after congress promises aid

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It’s only been a few days since local elected representatives discussed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement and promised that funding for the pact would positively impact pollution in the Tijuana River Valley.

Local leaders were outraged Monday as Tijuana dumped more than 100 million gallons of toxic sewage into the Tijuana river over the weekend, which made its way to San Diego.

Last week, U.S. Reps. Mike Levin, D-Oceanside, Susan Davis, D-San Diego, Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, Scott Peters, D-San Diego, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer discussed the $300 million in the international agreement to fund the Border Water Infrastructure Project (BWIP) to address pollution in the Tijuana River.

Over four years, that money would fortify water treatment facilities in the valley, namely the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant. In December, the House and U.S. Senate also passed a $1.4 trillion federal spending deal that includes $25 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Border Water Infrastructure Program, $10 million more than Congress’ allocation to the program last year.

Transborder pollution from the Tijuana River has contaminated U.S. waters and coastlines for decades, forcing San Diego County environmental health officials to regularly close beach access near the border. During that time, local and state officials and environmental activists have called for federal assistance to protect the health of the environment and residents near the border.

However, San Diego’s elected officials are wondering if both sides of the border will ever truly come together to solve the issue.

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