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Cleaning Up Cross-border Pollution is a Major Challenge for SD Region

How can we fix the sewage pollution problems that have plagued the San Diego-Tijuana border region for decades? What can be done to improve Tijuana's sewage runoff problems, and who should pay the bi

Cleaning Up Cross-border Pollution is a Major Challenge for SD Region

Audio posted this afternoon.

Tom Fudge: The United States of America has certain laws. Certain regulations pertain to the treatment of polluted water, erosion and trash disposal. But the neighborhood we San Diegans live in doesn't entirely fall under those laws. Just 15 miles to the south is Tijuana, Mexico. It's a big city, almost as big as San Diego and it is growing like crazy. It's growing in ways that don't pay much attention to the installation of basic services like provision of water, electricity, and the treatment of sewage and storm water.


Every time it rains, the pollutants that are produced by Tijuana's growing population are swept into the watershed and they roll downhill into southern San Diego County and the Pacific Ocean. Tijuana has been a source of perennial water problems and beach closures on the Mexican and U.S. sides of the border.

In recent years, a private company called Bajagua offered a solution of sorts. They wanted to build a treatment plant to expand Tijuana's ability to clean waste water. Recently, that idea got shelved for a variety of reasons, but does anyone know what else can be done?

Even if we can keep illegal immigrants out of the United States, pollution knows no national boundaries. During this hour of These Days, we're going to explore what is probably the most pressing problem of our border community: the treatment of sewage and storm water from Tijuana.