The San Diego City Council has announced plans Wednesday to sue the federal government over millions of gallons of raw sewage that poured into the Tijuana River.
City Councilmember David Alvarez said that the City of San Diego will join forces with the cities of Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, along with the Port of San Diego, in taking the first step to prevent sewage spills in the future.
The city will file a Notice of Intent to sue the federal government and the International Boundary and Water Commission, he announced.
Back in February, the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBCW) released a report that indicated anywhere between an estimated 28 to 256 million gallons of raw sewage gushed into the Tijuana River. The report clarified that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of gallons.
“I would like to thank my City Council colleagues for joining me in supporting the efforts to protect and enhance the Tijuana River Valley and the communities in South San Diego," Alvarez said, in a statement.
In August, the City of Imperial Beach filed a claim against the International Boundary and Water Commission because of the sewage spills from Mexico. Coronado residents and local environmental groups also supported the lawsuit.
"I appreciate the diligent work of our City Attorney to ensure that this problem receives the attention we deserve from the federal government," added Alvarez.
The outpouring in the South Bay area is considered one of the worst raw sewage spills in more than a decade, according to the IBWC report. They found 256 million gallons of sewage are unaccounted for from January and February of this year.
In the months following the toxic spill, concerns remain high about even more contaminants and sewage pumping into the Tijuana River Valley.