SAN DIEGO — There is a new push near San Diego’s border to address the ongoing pollution. On Monday the Environmental Protection Agency announced a $630 million plan to treat sewage water that often flows from Tijuana into Imperial Beach and then up the coast. The key part of this is that it is a potential blueprint -- laying out what could be done to fix the issue.
The plan released on Monday is all a tentative plan from the EPA. They say they hope they can break ground by 2023. The project would include installing a pump system into the Tijuana River to suck out polluted water before it makes it to the United States coast. The upgrades would also include a new facility to treat the diverted water.
Currently, large volumes of wastewater are discharged into the Pacific Ocean as Tijuana treatment facilities have fallen into disrepair. Of the $630 million plan, the U.S. will end up paying nearly 90 percent of it.
The plan would not include addressing when heavy rain flushes water over the border. The EPA says this is strictly a dry weather system. They added that if they are able to begin the project, it would not be completed until beyond 2030.
"Communities along California's southern border have been plagued with toxic pollution from Mexico for too long, in part because no single agency was responsible for the issue," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. "These projects will help significantly improve the health and quality of life for our border communities."
Some of the projects included in Monday's infrastructure announcement include:
-- Expanding the existing South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant owned and operated by the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission;
-- Diverting and treating Tijuana River water at a new facility adjacent to the existing treatment plant; and
-- Repairing portions of the collection system in Mexico to prevent sewage leaks.
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