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New plan announced to collect data on Tijuana sewage to bolster more funding

San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and Imperial Beach Mayor Paloma Aguirre announce plans to collect more data on health effects of Tijuana River sewage crisis
Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 24, 2024

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — The yellow warning signs about sewage flowing from Tijuana, Mexico and into the Pacific Ocean have peppered the shorelines of Imperial Beach for more than two years.

Mayor Paloma Aguirre is sick of it.

Aguirre, who said she has been coughing for over a month due to the pollution, joined San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer on Monday to announce the latest plan to combat the health crisis.

The two want to gather public data that can be used to obtain additional state and federal funding to fix a sewage problem that has existed for roughly 100 years.

“We need our state and federal governments to declare a state of emergency," Aguirre said. "Our community deserves clean air and clean water, and we will not rest until this is resolved.”

Earlier this year, ABC 10News reported how Congress secured $156 million to fix the run-down international wastewater treatment plant on the U.S. side of the border.

Aguirre and Lawson-Remer hope this data collection and a public dashboard will result in more funding.

“We also are going to be pursuing additional funding and support to discuss the public and economic impacts of the sewage crisis," Lawson-Remer said.

Doctor Marvel Harrison attended Monday's press conference to support the efforts and hopes the data will lead to more help.

“The level of stress when you smell the stench, when you get sick and you worry about your children, and the level of stress and the depression is real. It’s difficult to measure, but it’s there," Marvel said.