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Proposed legislation addresses Tijuana water pollution

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. -- State lawmakers spoke out in support of new legislation Friday that would fight back against sewage seeping into San Diego area beaches from Tijuana.

The proposed legislation would call on the federal government to build and maintain a waste water diversion structure and provide $15 million for the effort.

“Frankly, I am fed up,” said Senator Ben Hueso (D), who authored SB 690. “My message to Mexico is please stop inflicting this damage and this pollution on our community.”

Funding for the project is currently included in the Senate budget proposal but still needs approval from the state legislature and the governor. Polluted water flowing from Tijuana up the coast has repeatedly been the cause of beach closures in the San Diego area and has also been tied to health concerns.

“It is an issue that not only affects Border Patrol,” Imperial Beach City Councilmember Paloma Aguirre said. “It affects our Navy SEALS who are training in our waters. It affects our children.”

Aguirre said she experienced health issues herself after a cleanup in 2017 landed her in urgent care hours later. She’s now hoping that speaking out in support of SB 690 will encourage others to do the same.

“I am here pleading to our community, to people at home, no matter where you live in the county: Please contact your legislator. Please contact your representative," Aguirre said.

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