TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) - The raw sewage flowing over the US-Mexico border into the Tijuana River Valley has gotten worse according to the Mayor of Imperial Beach.
“It’s been about the worst year of my life. Honestly, I’ve been consumed by this issue,” said Mayor Serge Dedina. “The situation has gotten a lot worse actually. There’s been more spills of toxic waste, more dumping of sewage south of the border on the beach.”
Dedina said there is also a breakdown of communication with a Tijuana official.
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“The head of the sewage agency in Tijuana has now been blaming the US for the problem saying that the sewage is really coming from Point Loma, that the current really goes from North to South and so frankly Tijuana’s not responsible for that,” recalled Dedina. “I let the Mexican authorities know that’s absolutely outrageous.”
2017 saw a record amount of raw sewage and chemicals in the Tijuana River flowing from the Mexican city into the Tijuana River Estuary, Imperial Beach, and the Pacific Ocean. Millions of gallons of raw sewage and toxic chemicals washed into the US over several months. Mexican officials admitted to the discharge into the Tijuana River.
The Tijuana River Valley was damaged. IB residents reported an unbearable smell after heavy rains. US Border Patrol agents exposed to the water also reported illnesses and skin irritations.
“They need to clean up their own streets and beaches and folks in TJ know that,” said Mayor Dedina whose beaches were closed a record number of days in 2017.
Dedina said Imperial Beach and neighboring cities would continue plans to sue the US Federal Government until the sewage on the US side is cleaned.
“Unfortunately, the Trump administration assigned zero dollars to fix this problem so that’s why we’re going to file a lawsuit,” he explained. “We’re going to frankly sue everyone we can.”