The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to join other jurisdictions around the San Diego area in filing an intent to sue the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission over repeated sewage spills that spread across the border.
The cities of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and San Diego have taken a similar step, along with the Port of San Diego, after a series of sewage spills in Tijuana fouled the water and air in the southern part of San Diego County.
The agency is responsible for water treaties covering Mexico and this country.
The action gives the commission two months to create a plan to reduce or end polluted waters coming across the border. The county, cities and port can go ahead with a lawsuit if they don’t find the plan acceptable.
“Enough is enough,” said Supervisor Greg Cox, who represents the area. “We’ve exhausted all our efforts to resolve this terrible situation and it’s time we force those responsible to once and for all fix this problem.”
The supervisors approved the filing in closed session.
“Talking about this can only take us so far,” Cox said. “At some point, we have to take action to protect the health, water quality and economy of South County and our region.”
A commission spokeswoman said agency officials are conferring with the U.S. Department of Justice on next steps.
Last month, Reps. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, and Darrell Issa, R-Vista, introduced federal legislation intended to prevent the flooding of sewage, trash and sediment into the area along the U.S.-Mexico border by providing grant funding and developing a coordinated plan to update the area’s infrastructure.
Earlier this year, a massive sewage spill in Mexico fouled beaches and the Tijuana River Valley on the U.S. side of the border and created a stench that lasted for several weeks.
–City News Service
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