Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has secured nearly $20 million to fund measures that help California prevent millions of gallons of Tijuana’s raw sewage from flowing into San Diego, according to a Wednesday report.
The preventive measures were laid out in three Senate funding bills which appropriate $19.5 million for the EPA to address the sewage flows, direct the secretary of state to create a plan that addresses their impact, and directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to submit a report on its efforts to protect its agents from the flows, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
San Diego County has been dealing with raw sewage flows from Tijuana for decades. Last year, a pipe across the border in Mexico broke, causing millions of gallons of sewage to flow into the Tijuana River and, eventually, the Pacific Ocean, impacting California coastal areas.
“It’s absolutely outrageous and unacceptable,” Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina told reporters last December. “The biggest issues that we’re concerned about is this happens again and again and then the Mexican government doesn’t notify anybody. They sort of cover it up and they notify us at the last minute and then our kids are at risk of swimming in sewage.”
Imperial Beach, located just across the border from Mexico, sued the federal government last year, claiming its failure to stop the flows was a violation of the Clean Water Act.
“More concrete action must be taken to stop this decades-long problem,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Raw sewage overflows and other pollution from Mexico along the Tijuana River that jeopardize human health are unacceptable.”
Fox News' Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.