San Diego delegation asks Biden to address transboundary sewage flows

San Diego (Border report) — The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Imperial Beach Mayor Paloma Aguirre and a coalition of 16 business organizations drafted a Letter to President Joe Biden He was asked to address ongoing transboundary pollution in the Tijuana River Valley.

The authors described the letter as a “joint venture aimed at urgent action”. The draft describes the severity of the pollution crisis in the Tijuana River Valley and calls on the administration to take immediate action to mitigate its effects.

It was also addressed to Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

For decades, almost every day, millions of gallons of raw sewage have flowed from Mexico toward the U.S. border, polluting the Tijuana River Valley and the Pacific Ocean.

“The direct and cumulative economic impact of this ongoing crisis — including reduced tourism and losses to small businesses — is substantial and cannot be ignored,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber is proud to lead this letter to help address the harmful effects of transboundary pollution on public health, the environment and the overall well-being of communities on both sides of the border.”

Next month, the chamber said it will lead a delegation of more than 150 leaders from across the binational region on a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C.

It plans to meet with federal officials and policymakers to share how pollution affects the health and well-being of communities on both sides of the border.

The delegation is also expected to advocate for federal support and intervention to address the pollution crisis in the Tijuana River Valley.

“I am grateful to the San Diego County Chambers for their support in our fight against transboundary pollution affecting southern San Diego County. Imperial Beach has been devastated by sewage polluting our air and coastal waters,” Aguirre said. “Our beaches have been closed for over 820 days in a row, which is severely impacting our local economy, which relies on beachgoers and tourists. Despite the recent appropriation of $156 million signed into law by President Biden this week, more help is needed. We are calling on the Biden-Harris administration to declare a state of emergency so we can begin to mitigate this crisis.”

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