On September 2, 2020, the City of Imperial Beach participated in a leadership round-table to discuss the latest pollution control efforts by the U.S. and Mexican governments. The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided an update on recently completed projects in Mexico that have reduced the amount of wastewater reaching the border, and announced two additional near-term projects to control trans-boundary flows and pollution entering the Tijuana River Valley.
The EPA announced they will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) to divert up to 10 million gallons of additional water per day for treatment at the IBWC International Treatment Plant. The EPA will fund the design and construction of a temporary diversion on the U.S. side of the river. Additionally, the EPA is partnering with the City of San Diego to rapidly develop and deploy a permanent solution to better control sediment and trash in Smuggler’s Gulch. Funding for these near-term projects will be provided by the agency’s Border Water Infrastructure Program. These projects are recognized as short-term actions to address trans-boundary pollution, while the EPA and local stakeholders continue to work on long-term solutions for the Tijuana River Valley.