Faulconer urges City Council to join lawsuit to stop Tijuana River contamination

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SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer Monday urged the San Diego City Council to vote in favor of joining the California State Attorney General’s lawsuit against the U.S. government over contaminated runoff from the Tijuana River Valley.

At a news conference, Faulconer and San Diego City Councilwoman
Vivian Moreno said they are worried about both the water contamination and possible air pollution that comes with it.

“Tomorrow, the councilmember and myself will be asking the full City Council to join this lawsuit. We spent a lot of time on the diplomatic front over the last couple of years. We have some proposed solutions. But now it’s time to have some actual dollars to fix this,” Faulconer said.

The lawsuit was originally filed by the cities of Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, the Port of San Diego and the state Attorney General, alleging that the International Boundary and Water Commission is violating the Clean Water Act by not doing more to prevent Tijuana sewage from flowing into San Diego area waters.

The federal government maintains that the IBWC isn’t legally responsible for the sewage flowing into U.S. waters from Mexico. But the plaintiffs claim that since the IBWC oversees a flood control channel that redirects the Tijuana River on its way to the Pacific Ocean, as well as water- capture basins in five canyons along the border, the agency is responsible for the sewage that gets through those systems.

The City Council will vote on the proposal to join the lawsuit at a closed session meeting Tuesday.

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