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Resolution Urging Federal Action on Tijuana River

Dec 11, 2019

CONTACT: Brianne Mundy Page, 619.348.1518, bpage@portofsandiego.org

BIPARTISAN COALITION RESOLUTION TAKES FIGHT TO END TRANSBOUNDARY SEWAGE CRISIS TO NEXT LEVEL

The Port of San Diego has adopted a joint resolution recommending actions for the federal government to take to eliminate transboundary flows in the Tijuana River Valley. The Port is the state-designated trustee of public resources in and around Imperial Beach, which includes the ocean waters just off the Imperial Beach Pier, an area that is frequently impacted by toxic, sewage polluted water.

The resolution solidifies the most urgent needs that regional leaders request from the federal level to address the underlying causes of the sewage, sediment and trash that have contaminated San Diego land and waterways for decades. It has also recently been adopted by the State Lands Commission, the County of San Diego, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, the cities of Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, and Surfrider San Diego, and is scheduled to be considered by the cities of Coronado, National City, and San Diego in the coming days.

Asks include: allocating funding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to carry out capital projects already identified; restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Tijuana River Valley; and authorizing and directing the U.S. EPA and the International Boundary and Water Commission to cooperate and expeditiously execute projects as appropriate.

“The Port of San Diego requires everyone on tidelands property to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws, that includes the Clean Water Act. The federal government is not exempt from its own law. It should be leading by example,” said Commissioner Dan Malcolm, Imperial Beach’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioner. “Together with our regional, state, and local partners, we look forward to hearing from the responsible federal agencies on when they will finally implement the projects we’ve identified to solve this crisis for the health and safety of our communities.”

Regional stakeholders have met frequently with the U.S. EPA since June when the agency released their “Tijuana River Valley Project Goals,” a list of capital projects identified to end the public health, environmental, and safety issues caused by the pollution in the Tijuana River Valley. They’ve also advocated in unison in Washington D.C. during the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual delegation visit to the capital.

WHAT STAKEHOLDERS ARE SAYING:

“This resolution reflects our shared commitment to invest in solutions to prevent trans-border pollution from sullying Southern California’s Public Trust lands. I am proud to stand with my fellow stakeholders in calling on the federal government to analyze and fund these critical infrastructure projects.” – Lieutenant Governor and State Lands Commission Chair Eleni Kounalakis

“The County, along with many other partners in the region, has been fighting for a solution to stop these flows from affecting our residents. The adoption of this resolution by the jurisdictions on the front lines of this fight sends a strong message to the federal government that we know what is needed and we will not stop pressing for them to fund a solution to this ongoing problem.” – San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox

“After decades of cross border pollution, the San Diego Water Board joins state and local agencies in a unified call for action to the federal government to achieve border environmental security by funding and building the border pollution control projects to capture and treat the largest volume of border wastes in the shortest time practicable.” – David Gibson, Executive Officer, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board

“The federal government is going to see vote after vote come out of the San Diego region in December with one clear message: It’s time for action. Our unified voice calling on Washington and Mexico City is gaining traction. This resolution shows the region is pushing in the same direction for federal action to stop this environmental crisis for good.” – San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer

“This joint resolution illustrates the unanimous support from local and state leaders to solve the ongoing cross-border pollution crisis. We are not looking to support any half fixes to this issue. We all agree and endorse a proposed list of specific pollution control projects that are necessary for the Tijuana River, and through this joint resolution we are now asking the U.S. EPA to move these projects forward.” – Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina

“This resolution represents a unanimous call to action by our regional coalition for how the federal government should address the decades-old environmental catastrophe that compromises the health and safety of the CBP Agents, U.S. Navy SEALs, our local coastal economies, and the everyday beachgoers on both sides of the border. The time to act is now.” – Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey

“This is an important step to urge our federal government to help solve this immediate threat to public health and safety, damage to fish and wildlife, and harm to California’s environment. This resolution shows that we are united and committed to address this serious health hazard.” – Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas

"National City is proud to support our South Bay neighbors as we work with our binational partners to solve important environmental issues that affect us all. Together, we can solve any problem." – National City Major Alejandra Sotelo-Solis

“This resolution represents a united voice with all of our partners in the region. The agreed-upon list of projects will begin to address an environmental disaster that has impacted South Bay residents for far too long. We have identified the solutions, now it is time for the federal government to take action and ensure this problem gets solved.” – San Diego City Councilmember Vivian Moreno

"One of the Surfrider San Diego Chapter's primary goals during the last 18 months has been to work with agencies and the community to reach consensus on a Tijuana River Valley solution. We believe that the only missing piece towards progress is the support of the federal government. We are thrilled to stand with so many great agencies on this effort." – Gabriela Torres, policy coordinator for Surfrider's San Diego Chapter

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The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

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ABOUT PORT OF SAN DIEGO ENVIRONMENT
Port of San Diego Environment champions the safekeeping and environmental care of our diverse ecosystems. Year after year, environmental goals are set and measured to evolve environmental initiatives – ensuring San Diego Bay remains a vibrant resource and contributes to a remarkable way of life for visitors and residents for generations to come.

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