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Local Mayors Seek Assistance in Fighting Beach Pollution

July 6, 2017

By Mario A. Cortez

Serge Dedina

Local mayors have signed a letter with the intent of obtaining more funding for wastewater treatment in order to curb the impact of sewage from the Tijuana River into county beaches.

In a letter directed at the members of the House Appropriations Committee, which mentioned February’s 200-million-gallon discharge of sewage from Tijuana into San Diego waters, the mayors of 15 county cities requested urgent funding to support infrastructure to help with develping wastewater projects along the U.S.-Mexico border.

A series of recent spills into the Tijuana River from border canyons, following the massive discharge from Tijuana, has aggravated the pollution crisis, and has also put more pressure on governments on both sides of the border to fund infrastructure which would prevent pollution from harming local beaches.

“I am grateful to my fellow mayors in San Diego County for joining forces to help solve this problem that impacts county residents from all walks of life, including Navy and Border Patrol personnel who defend our national security,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina.

This letter, which was also sent to key leaders within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stated that the Border Water Infrastructure Project, which is currently under the EPA, supports binational cooperation to better deficient water infrastructure in the border region “because of the enhanced economic activity and rapid population growth associated with the North American Free Trade Agreement,” as described by the letter.

“Having regional and bipartisan support is critical to fixing these problem (sic) along the border,” Dedina continued. “I am confident that we can make progress in making sure that San Diegans have access to clean beaches throughout the county all year.

The letter was signed by mayors from the cities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, la Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista.

Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer’s signature was absent from the letter.

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