According to a study by the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission, 35 billion gallons of toxic wastewater flowed across the border through the Tijuana River this year, up from more than 100 billion gallons since 2018. Local beaches were forced to close, as were local businesses and businesses. The tourism industry has been hit hard.
Earlier this month, my office participated in an information hearing on transboundary pollution convened by the Senate Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation at Chula Vista City Hall.
Concrete solutions have been proposed, but they will be costly and require action on both sides of the border. The list of solutions includes steps on both sides of the line.
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- Doubles treatment capacity at South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Build a new advanced primary wastewater treatment plant to treat Tijuana River water
- Valley water flows directly to the treatment facility
- Install a river trash fence to handle waste tires and other debris
- Repair your sewage collection system to prevent leaks
- Use directly treated wastewater for beneficial purposes instead of continuing to dump it into the ocean
- Construction of new processing facility in Tijuana
Unfortunately, the current Tijuana factory is in desperate need of repairs. Raising funds for these repairs will take time, and funding for a new factory is uncertain. Tijuana’s continued population growth will only increase pressure on existing infrastructure.
Since 2019, the state Legislature has provided more than $30 million to reduce wastewater pollution entering the United States. The state Legislature has also provided more than $30 million to reduce wastewater pollution entering the United States. It also supports the federal budget request of $310 million.
Additionally, I join San Diego legislators, all 18 county leaders, and over 40 community-based organizations calling for state and federal emergency declarations.
This problem can be solved, but it will require major and costly upgrades on both sides of the border.
Marie Waldron, a Republican from Valley Center, represents the 75th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Poway, Santee, parts of the cities of San Diego, and much of eastern and northern rural San Diego County.