Issues of sewage contamination continue to plague Imperial Beach.
On Wednesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wrote a letter addressed to Mick Mulvaney at the Office of Management and Budget requesting a $20 million budget for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure program for the President’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget.
Feinstein’s message is supported by National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 and Wildcoast, a local environmental group in San Diego.
“This past cycle, the House of Representatives cut that spending from appropriation bill, so senator Feinstein is really championing this effort and ensuring that this program is not eliminated,” Wildcoast Coastal and Marine Director Paloma Aguirre said. “We have an aging infrastructure system in Tijuana and because the city of Tijuana sits 300 feet above sea level, anything that would collapse or any breaks in that system would cause a massive sewage spill like what we saw in February of 2017.”
In a statement, the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 said that “83 agents from the Imperial Beach station have reported being contaminated or injured by the chemical and sewage flow from Mexico.”
Feinstein's letter goes on to say that funding the program will not just improve the quality of life for U.S. communities along the border but also improve the safety of U.S. Border Patrol officers.
“We’re seeking to protect these Border Patrol agents that have either been contaminated or injured for having to work in close proximity to all the sewage,” said Aguirre.
The infrastructure program funds grants which help finance projects that help reduce the polluted runoff to the U.S.