The mayor of Imperial Beach, Serge Dedina, and other city leaders are calling for a federal investigation after they say sewage spilled from Mexico into U.S. waters, sickening surfers.
Dedina said Wednesday he was one of the surfers that became ill after the sewage spill.
“We are protesting the fact that our federal government and state agencies in Tijuana have let us down,” said Dedina.
The event in question happened October 26 when pollution from Playas de Tijuana was present, evidenced by a strong odor, on the beachfront along the border.
“You could see it in the water and you could taste it,” said Zach Plopper, who became ill after surfing that day.
Dedina said authorities in Baja California have covered up the pollution and deny that a spill happened.
Dedina is calling for real-time information on sewage spills from Mexican federal authorities.
"We are asking for State Department investigation into this sewage spill that significantly impacted public health in Imperial Beach,” said Dedina. “Like the massive February spill, it appears that authorities in Baja California who run the sewage agency, CESPT, are more concerned with covering up pollution than protecting public health."
San Diego, Coronado and Chula Vista have joined Imperial Beach in a federal lawsuit regarding the February 2017 spill. A report indicated an estimated 28 to 256 million gallons of raw sewage gushed into the Tijuana River.
A claim was filed In August against the International Boundary and Water Commission because of the sewage spills from Mexico.