On Wednesday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with some Southern California local leaders get together to announce new short-term projects on the issue of sewage spills in the Tijuana River.

Leaders from San Diego’s coastal cities like the Imperial Beach and Coronado joined the announcement, along with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Border Patrol Officials.  

One ongoing project in Mexico “will increase the reliability of the collection and pumping system,” says Andrew Wheeler, EPA administrator. 

The system will “prevent further spills entering the US.”

According to Wheeler, “Mexico has already started improving the diversion system” which reduced “transboundary flows.” 

Because of the improvements, the beaches are now open to the public, says Imperial Beach Mayor, Serge Dedina.

Other projects include the replacement of an old leaking pike and replacing collectors in the system, 10 News reported. 

According to Wheeler, they are “working with Mexico” to ensure that the problem will be solved “on both sides.”

Faulconer during the event also vows to “finally” clean up the Tijuana River “once and for all.”

According to him, the short term projects announced on Wednesday will make a “real difference” on people’s “quality of life” and the “environment” in the region. 

The projects announced on Wednesday got its funding from 2020, says EPA. 

Moreover, there is also a $300 million funding from the US-Mexico-Canada deal to fund other long-term projects for the river, 10 News reported. 

It’s A Decades-Long Issue

The sewage problem in the Tijuana River, which is being shared by the US and Mexico has been a decades-long issue. 

Every year, tens of millions of gallon of contaminated water, chemicals, and sewage spills flows freely into the Tijuana River.

They flow from the Mexican side across the border and into Southern California. 

According to a CBS News report, the sewage spills pollute not only the seas but also Southern California’s land and air. 

In January this year, US President Donald Trump signed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which includes a provision authorizing millions of dollars for the Tijuana River sewage problem. 

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