Secretary Blumenfeld Issues Statement on Federal Funding to Combat Border Pollution

For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2019

Media Contact:
Alex Barnum
, (916) 324-9670

SACRAMENTO – California Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld issued a statement today following key congressional votes on legislation that includes $325 million in federal funding to help address toxic pollution flowing across the border from Mexico.

“We applaud Speaker Pelosi, our San Diego congressional delegation and Senator Feinstein for their critical support of this investment in wastewater treatment along the California border,” Secretary Blumenfeld said. “Sewage and other toxic pollution along the border are a serious threat to human health and our ecosystems. In the Tijuana River watershed, pollution causes frequent beach closures in San Diego and surrounding communities,” Secretary Blumenfeld said. “While we are committed to doing our part, this is a federal challenge that requires federal support.”

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to approve legislation implementing the new North American trade agreement (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement), which includes $300 million for construction of wastewater treatment facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill also includes authorization for the North American Development Bank to fund additional infrastructure projects related to water pollution, wastewater treatment, municipal solid waste, storm water drainage and non-point source pollution.

In addition, the U.S. Senate today passed a federal funding package that includes $25 million for U.S. EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Program, a $10 million increase over last year. The spending bills and trade agreement legislation include several provisions to address Tijuana River pollution that were secured by Speaker Pelosi, the San Diego congressional delegation and Senator Feinstein.