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Federal Officials Discuss Cross-Border Sewage Spills At Public Hearing

Photo by Christopher Maue

Rain-swollen Tijuana River was the conduit for a massive sewage spill that lasted two weeks, Feb. 27, 2017.

International Boundary and Wastewater Commission officials will present their investigation into sewage spills that fouled coastal waters off San Diego in January and February at a public meeting in Imperial Beach Thursday.

Mexican officials say more than 200 million gallons of sewage were unaccounted for during those rainy months. One single spill in February put millions of gallons of raw sewage into the Tijuana River.

RELATED: Cross-Border Sewage Spill Response Uncovers Ongoing Problems

IBWC spokeswoman Lori Kuczmanski says there Is still a lot of work to be done.

"We're just trying to work toward solutions and it's going to take some time, it's really going to take some time. So, we understand people are upset but we are working on binational projects and like I said it's just going to take time," Kuczmanski said.

U.S. officials said communication with Mexico has improved and that the country is buying new equipment to improve how they handle sewage on their side of the border.

RELATED: Imperial Beach Mayor Blasts Reaction To Major Sewage Spill

"The work group has developed a set of recommendations, some of which have already been implemented. So that is progress and we continue to work on binational projects with Mexico on this situation," she said.

But Kuczmanski concedes that there is more work to be done.

The public meeting is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at the Tijuana Estuary Meeting Room, 301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach.

Officials will present their investigation into this year's massive cross-border sewage spills at a hearing in Imperial Beach Thursday night.

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Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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