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SAN DIEGO — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency toured the Tijuana River Valley from the air and by boat Wednesday as officials continue to seek ways to stem the millions of gallons of raw sewage flowing across the border on to San Diego’s beaches.

“Announcing today funding for two short-term projects worth $25 million, to address border pollution,” said Andrew Wheeler, the EPA head. His agency is pushing for a new catch-collector that could remove as much as 10 million gallons of raw sewage each day as it flows across the border from the failed sewage system in Tijuana.

“We can fund these two projects I mentioned today that will provide, hopefully, almost immediate relief to the area,” Wheeler said.

But the steps are admittedly short-term, and a permanent fix is estimated to cost roughly $300 million. Nonetheless, mayors from Imperial Beach, Coronado and San Diego applauded the move as a major first step in getting the beaches healthy enough for surfers and swimmers to get back in the water on a regular basis.

Imperial Beach has been forced to close their beach for 160 running, but on Wednesday the beach was open.