Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement after securing language in three separate appropriations bills for fiscal year 2020 to address toxic cross-border sewage flows on the U.S-Mexico border:
“More concrete action must be taken to stop this decades-long problem. Raw sewage overflows and other pollution from Mexico along the Tijuana River that jeopardize human health are unacceptable. We must partner with Mexico to dedicate more funding and work with Mexican officials to improve wastewater infrastructure on their side of the border.
“That’s why I secured provisions in three Senate funding bills to address this problem, including a 30 percent increase in funding for the EPA’s cross-border infrastructure projects.
“These toxic flows carry viruses and bacteria that pose a threat to the health of Californians living along the southern border. I’m working with Senator Harris and Representatives Vargas, Peters, Levin and Davis to make sure the final funding bills include these provisions and plenty of resources to address this environmental and health hazard.”
The language secured by Senator Feinstein in Senate funding bills would do the following:
- Directs the secretary of state to create an interagency plan to address the effects of toxic transboundary flows on U.S. communities specifically outlining which agencies are responsible and what steps will be taken to raise the issue with Mexican officials.
- Appropriates $19.5 million for the EPA to increase its efforts to address toxic cross-border flows through the Border Water Infrastructure Program.
- Directs U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to submit a report on efforts to protect agents from toxic cross-border flows.