$300 million in USMCA trade agreement, $25 million in federal spending bill
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced that $325 million has been secured to help address the problem of toxic sewage flowing across the border from Mexico into the United States.
The Senate this week will vote on a federal funding package that includes $25 million for the EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Program, along with other key language related to the Tijuana River. Another $300 million has been included in the legislation to implement the USMCA trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.
“San Diego and surrounding communities have long dealt with the critical problem of sewage and other pollution coming across the border from the Tijuana River,” Feinstein said. “This is a major issue that requires federal involvement. That’s why I’m so pleased that both the federal spending bills and the recently announced trade agreement will help address this problem.”
Feinstein continued: “This is an issue I’ve worked on for over a decade, and it’s an issue vital to the health of San Diegans. It’s absolutely unacceptable that raw sewage is entering our country from Mexico. This will remain a top priority for me until we’ve solved the problem.”
The federal spending bills and the trade agreement include several provisions to address Tijuana River sewage that were secured by Senator Feinstein and the San Diego congressional delegation:
- $300 million for the construction of wastewater facilities along the border.
- $25 million for the EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Improvement Program, a $10 million increase over last year.
- Authorization for the North American Development Bank to fund additional projects related to water pollution, wastewater treatment, water conservation, municipal solid waste, stormwater drainage and non-point pollution.
- A requirement that the Secretary of State creates an interagency plan to address the effects of toxic cross-border flows on communities in the United States. The plan will include which agencies are responsible and what steps will be taken to ensure it’s a priority for Mexico.
- A requirement that U.S. Customs and Border Protection submits a report on efforts to protect its agents from toxic cross-border flows.