San Diego Mayor Plans To Talk About Cross-Border Sewage During Mexico Trip
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Photo by Erik Anderson
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer says he will discuss cross-border sewage flows with diplomats when he visits Mexico City in March. The mayor calls the issue a priority.
San Diego just voted to join the state’s lawsuit against the federal government. State officials want better pollution control systems along the U.S.-Mexico border so sewage doesn’t foul U.S. waters.
Faulconer says the lawsuit will pressure the U.S. federal officials, and he hopes his discussions will pressure Mexican officials.
“I think there’s reason for more optimism with the recent change of administration in Mexico with the new president. We have to solve this. We spent a lot of time on the diplomatic front and made some progress, but it's time to actually put the dollars behind it,” Faulconer said.
Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego filed the first lawsuit against the federal government last year. It calls for better pollution collection systems along the border and in the Tijuana River Valley in the United States.
The state filed a lawsuit in the summer, and Surfrider Foundation filed its own legal action.
San Diego’s mayor thinks the city won’t be the last municipality to join the legal effort to stop cross-border sewage flows.
“The county has the option to do so. My thoughts are that they probably will at some point. But, I think what you’re seeing is a lot of municipalities, very united, strong, together because this impacts our entire region,” Faulconer said.
Federal Judge Jeffrey Miller is hearing the three separate lawsuits. There is a chance they could be merged into one case, or they could be argued concurrently.
Imperial Beach officials said sewage has fouled ocean waters regularly since the first of the year.
“We literally have had only four days of our beach being open. It has been closed for a long period of time. It was actually closed all the way to Coronado. Right now the stretch of beach between the border and south of Imperial Beach is currently closed because of all these polluted waters that are flowing right now,” said Imperial Beach City Councilwoman Paloma Aguirre on Monday.
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