Sewage spills, sea level rise impacting Imperial Beach plan - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sewage spills, sea level rise impacting Imperial Beach plan

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IMPERIAL BEACH (NEWS 8) – Imperial Beach continues to deal with the aftermath of another sewage spill originating from Mexico.

The latest spill comes as the city is waiting to move forward with a lawsuit against the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). 

Imperial Beach leaders issued a general plan that would tackle climate change, sea level rise and water quality.

“We have to do our best to protect our city and figure out how to adapt to rising seas and this issue of increasing flows into the Tijuana River,” said Imperial Beach City Mayor, Serge Dedina.

Just last weekend, millions of gallons of sewage spilled into the Tijuana River Valley – closing South Bay beaches. A spokesperson for IBWC explains it is not raw sewage but Pump Station CILA was overcapacity due to an electrical issue reported by Mexico. On the IBWC website it states Mexico is exppected to recieve a new motor control center is expected to be installed within a week to assist in maintaining a consistent plant operation.

After a 90 days’ notice hearing, the IBWC has until the end of the month to respond to Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City, San Diego County and Port of San Diego’s intent to sue if it does not build infrastructure to stop Mexican sewage spills.

“It’s been really frustrating and we are not going to give up. One of the things that they know is – you don’t mess with IB. We will take them more than likely to federal court,” said Dedina.

One year ago, 250 million gallons of sewage spewed from Mexico into the Tijuana River Valley and the Pacific Ocean.

“We think it’s one of the worst cases of water pollution in United States’ history and so we will be hold them liable in court,” said the mayor.

Unlike Tijuana and Baja California, Mayor Dedina said they want to build a better community to prevent sea level rise, water pollution and climate change.

“Big picture – we need to look at the impact of sea level rise in our city and climate change that is really what we will be doing is making our city more resilient.”

The City of Imperial Beach would approve a general plan by the end of the year.

Update: The IBWC, the agency that oversees water treaties between the United States and Mexico referred News 8 to the DOJ about  IB's intent to sue.

The City of Coronado did not join the lawsuit, but agreed to assist with legal costs and lobby lawmakers.

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