Rep. Juan Vargas Introduces the “California New River Restoration Act of 2019”
Washington, D.C. (January 9, 2019) — Today, Congressman Juan Vargas introduced H.R.358 the California New River Restoration Act of 2019. This bill will create a California New River Restoration program to build upon conservation and restoration efforts in the New River in both California and Mexico.
“New River projects have shown great progress, however there is still work to be done,” said Rep. Vargas. “My bill will advance that progress by providing the necessary federal support to conservation efforts that aid in restoring the New River.”
The New River is a binational waterway historically recognized for its high concentration of pollution. It flows north into the United States through Calexico, passes through the Imperial Valley and drains into the Salton Sea. There are opportunities for improving the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the existing voluntary conservation efforts, such as increasing private-sector investments and facilitating the coordination of Federal and non-Federal resources. The California New River Restoration program creates the venues for further progress in those respective areas.
“The benefits of the restoration efforts extend beyond the communities and wildlife of the New River,” said Rep. Vargas. “This is an opportunity for local, state, and federal partners come together and strengthen all of Imperial Valley.”
H.R.358 authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator to support projects recommended by the California-Mexico Border Relations Council. Additionally, the California New River Restoration Act of 2019 ensures that the EPA will consult with all the New River stakeholders on both sides of the border during the creation and implementation of the programs.
Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his third term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee.