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San Diego Democratic Congressional Delegation Applauds EPA’s Comprehensive Solution to Curb Tijuana River Valley Cross-Border Pollution

Nov 8, 2021
Press Release

SAN DIEGO, CA (November 8, 2021) – Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51), Representative Mike Levin (CA-49), Representative Scott Peters (CA-52), and Representative Sara Jacobs (CA-53) released the following statements after the EPA announced its selection of United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Projects.

“I applaud the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) comprehensive solution released today. Communities have long been impacted by the transboundary flows crossing through the Tijuana River Valley and into the Pacific Ocean, creating an environmental health crisis, closing beaches, and affecting residents and wildlife in San Diego’s border region. Under the Biden Administration, the EPA released a comprehensive project that has the potential for addressing this pollution at its root, by diverting flows away from the Pacific Ocean and into expanded treatment facilities in San Diego. I stand ready to support future budget requests to make this project a reality,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51).

“Pollution along the Tijuana River Valley has plagued our region for years, harming our environment, public health, and our local economy. It’s long past time we stop the flow of this pollution from Mexico for good,” said Rep. Levin (CA-49). “I commend the EPA for advancing an aggressive and comprehensive solution to this crisis. Now it’s paramount that we move forward as quickly as possible to break ground on this project. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the EPA has the resources it needs to finish the job.”

“This decades-long problem goes beyond a lack of infrastructure; it is an environmental and public health catastrophe that puts the lives of residents on both sides of our border at risk, from the waters of Baja to my district in Coronado.” said Rep. Peters (CA-52). “The concerted efforts to address this problem will soon usher in a new era of progress for our region. I thank Administrator Regan for accepting my invitation to see this crisis for himself, and the EPA for its firm commitment to bold solutions.”

"Clean water is fundamental to the health of our community and that is true on both sides of the border. It is encouraging to see the EPA present a comprehensive plan to address the decades-long issue of pollution in the Tijuana River Valley and I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to raise this issue with federal officials. Now it is important for the agency to move forward with projects that will protect our communities and for us in Congress to continue perform oversight and provide any necessary legislative actions,” said Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA-53).

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 fifth term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.