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Imperial Beach Mayor Huddles With Mexican Officials Over Cross-Border Sewage Spills

Tijuana River is swollen with rainwater and tainted with sewage on Feb. 27, 2017

Photo by Christopher Maue

Above: Tijuana River is swollen with rainwater and tainted with sewage on Feb. 27, 2017

Imperial Beach’s mayor is meeting with Mexican officials Monday to discuss the ongoing cross-border sewage problem.

Millions of gallons of sewage continue to flow into U.S. waters every day as Mexican officials work to fix a broken sewer line in Tijuana.

Imperial Beach mayor Serge Dedina said the sewage has forced the closure of beaches in his community which is why he is working so hard to fix the problem.

Dedina is meeting with Mexico’s federal officials to see what can be done.

“Just having meetings isn’t enough. Having conferences isn’t enough. We need to really push everyone as hard as possible otherwise, we’re not going to make it to the goal line,” Dedina said.

The goal line is stopping cross-border sewage flows.

RELATED: Sewage Still Fouling South San Diego County Beaches

Dedina remains hopeful that he can win a promise from Mexico to fix Tijuana’s overwhelmed sewage system.

“Mexico has to make a commitment to fixing its own sewer system. It’s not the United State’s responsibility to fix its own infrastructure. We can help, and I think that’s part of the whole NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) agreement. But they have to make a commitment to do more than we’re doing,” Dedina said.

Imperial Beach, several other state and local agencies and clean water groups are suing the U.S. federal government because they say nothing is done to protect the public on this side of the border once these renegade flows happen.

Those cases could go to trial in the spring.

Cross-border sewage flows have prompted the Imperial Beach mayor to meet with Federal Mexican officials.


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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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