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Press Releases

Reps. Issa, Vargas Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Clean Up Tijuana River Valley

Press Release
Sep 18, 2017

At a press conference today in San Diego, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Congressman Juan Vargas (D-Chula Vista) together unveiled new bipartisan legislation they introduced to rehabilitate the Tijuana River Valley following ongoing wastewater spills in the area and to implement important measures to prevent such spills from happening again in the future. 

Their legislation, the Tijuana River Valley Comprehensive Protection and Rehabilitation Act of 2017, would provide grant funding and develop a coordinated plan to update the area's infrastructure to prevent the flooding of sewage, trash, and sediment into the Tijuana River Valley.

Congressman Darrell Issa: “The impact of these continuing spills will be felt for generations to come unless we take action to stop it now. Allowing the sewage and wastewater to flow up into San Diego County not only hurts small business and our tourism-reliant economy but also poses serious health consequences for local communities and the border patrol agents who have been harmed in their ability to secure our border by the ongoing contamination. Solving this problem will come only with strong bipartisan and international cooperation. I’m proud of the work Juan and I have put into this bill to ensure that it gets cleaned up and that we take preventative measures to ensure it never happens again.”

Congressman Juan Vargas: “Sewage from Tijuana has been flowing into the Tijuana River Valley, into beaches in San Diego County, and our communities for too long. This legislation will help rehabilitate the Tijuana River Valley and rebuild the infrastructure needed to prevent future spills.”

A one-pager on the legislation is available here.

The bill text is available here.

The Tijuana River Valley Comprehensive Protection and Rehabilitation Act develops a coordinated program—including federal, state, local and international agencies—to provide technical assistance for the conservation, stewardship, and enhancement of the physical infrastructure in Mexico and the United States to clean up and prevent the ongoing flooding and wastewater spills that have occurred in the area.

Through the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Secretary of the Army will produce a feasibility and technical assistance plan to update the wastewater infrastructure in the area to halt contamination. Once a plan is finalized, the Secretary will be able to provide grants for infrastructure projects needed on both sides of the border to stop this problem from continuing to pour waste into the river valley.

It would also create a Transboundary Waterway Alert System to monitor, warn, and protect residents from undue and avoidable harm in the case that any further flooding or spillage occurs. This alert system will ensure that updated and timely information on all water testing results and spills is easily and readily available to the public and government officials online, so that appropriate actions can be taken as quickly as possible.

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