11 • 08 • 2021
Comprehensive Solution Selected to Stop Border Sewage
We want the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move forward with the most comprehensive solution to stop border sewage.
Surfrider is very happy with the EPA's selection of the most comprehensive solution, Alternative I-2, for environmental review to address transboundary water pollution. This Alternative has the potential to reduce pollution during the summer months by 95% and reduce transboundary flows into the Tijuana River by 76%. Learn more about Alternative I-2 through our blog post.
The next steps for this process include completing the environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), binational negotiations between senior U.S. agencies and their Mexican counterparts, and identifying additional funding to complete this project.
Surfrider will continue to advocate for the most comprehensive solution and address potential funding shortfalls. The comprehensive solution may cost more than $625 Million in total. The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) currently provides funding at $300 million. Our next steps include lobbying with local, state, and federal officials to secure funding for Alternative I-2.
The Clean Border Water Now Campaign has been working on a solution in response to decades-long border sewage issues for quite some time. We worked with dozens of stakeholders and participated in over 80 meetings to engineer the Tijuana River Valley (TRV) Solutions. The TRV Solutions incorporates a river diversion system to convey water for treatment on the U.S. side. The Alternative I-2 selected for environmental review also includes a river diversion system and plan for treatment on the U.S. side.
In addition to developing potential solutions, we advocated for federal funding to address border water sewage. In 2020, the government responded with $300 million for infrastructure to address transboundary flow at the border through the USMCA negotiations.
As the EPA explored potential projects for the USMCA funds, we made sure to participate in the public process and communicate with EPA that we support the most comprehensive solution.
It's taken years to arrive where we are, and we will continue to strive for progress until all our southern San Diego county beaches are sewage-free.
For more information about Alternative I-2 please see this factsheet.
To learn more about the San Diego Chapter's Clean Border Water Now Campaign click here.