December 23, 2022

San Diego Delegation Secures Transfer of $300 Million to Combat Cross-Border Pollution

WASHINGTON, D.C (December 23, 2022) — Today, Congressmember Vargas and his San Diego Delegation colleagues applauded the passage of their provision to combat cross-border pollution in the Fiscal year 2023 government funding package. This provision authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to transfer $300 million to the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) for the purposes of planning, study, design, and construction, of wastewater treatment works in the Tijuana River Valley.

“In 2019, my San Diego Delegation colleagues and I secured $300 million to address the ongoing cross-border pollution in my district,” said Rep. Vargas. “I’m extremely pleased our provision that we fought to get across the finish line for three years was ultimately included in this government funding package. With its passage, we’ve cleared the path for the IBWC and EPA to move forward to address harmful pollutants in the Tijuana River Valley and create healthier, safer communities on both sides of the border. I’m dedicated to continuing working with my colleagues to reduce pollution and improve our constituents’ lives.”

“Bureaucratic red tape has prolonged the decades-long crisis in the Tijuana River Valley, preventing much-needed funding from getting to our communities,” said Congresswoman Sara Jacobs. “I’m glad Congressman Vargas and I could correct this technicality and ensure $300 million gets into the right hands to clean up this mess. This funding will make an incredible difference for San Diegans, our economy, and our health.”

"Today's passage of the government funding bill is another milestone on the path to making San Diego a cleaner and safer community," said Rep. Scott Peters. "The entire San Diego congressional delegation, led by Rep. Vargas, has been dogged in our work to ensure these critical funds we worked hard to secure can be fully utilized. I am extremely grateful to Speaker Pelosi and our Senators for helping us get it done. We celebrate this victory to clean up the Tijuana River Valley and coastline and we will keep fighting to fix it.”

 “Pollution from the Tijuana River Valley has plagued our region for generations, leading to degraded water quality that has too frequently closed our beaches and negatively impacted our servicemembers who train in the Pacific Ocean,” said Rep. Levin. “I’m proud that this government funding legislation will finally allow the EPA to transfer some of the $300 million in federal funding our delegation helped secure to the International Boundary and Water Commission to curb the flow of this pollution. This transfer authority will allow the funds to be used as intended so that we can improve our region’s water quality and end this long-standing environmental disaster. San Diego has waited long enough.”

The Fiscal Year 2023 government funding package now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.


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.