Padilla Statement on Inclusion of $310 Million to Address Tijuana River Sewage Crisis in Biden Administration’s Emergency Supplemental Request

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) issued the following statement on the Biden Administration’s emergency supplemental request, which includes the full $310 million in funding he requested to repair infrastructure needed to treat toxic waste spilling across the border from Mexico.

“For far too long, toxic waste and raw sewage have flowed across the border, and Tropical Storm Hilary overwhelmed the system even further, pushing hundreds-of-millions of gallons of untreated stormwater and wastewater into Southern California. Contaminated water has impaired our military readiness and threatened the health of Navy SEALs, Customs and Border Protection agents, U.S. Coast Guardsmen, and millions of Southern Californians.

“I am glad to see the Administration heed my request and acknowledge the need for significant additional funding to tackle this crisis. This is a promising step forward, and I will keep fighting for resources to finally resolve the Tijuana River pollution crisis.”

Senator Padilla has prioritized addressing the Tijuana River pollution crisis since he first came to the Senate. In June, he traveled to the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission Wastewater Treatment Plant near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego. Following Tropical Storm Hilary, Senator Padilla and the late Senator Dianne Feinstein called on Senate leadership to include $310 million in the emergency supplemental bill to repair infrastructure needed to treat the wastewater flowing across the border with Mexico through the Tijuana River, which has closed local beaches for more than 600 days in a row. The Senators also successfully secured language in the FY 2023 appropriations package to eliminate red tape and allow the EPA to deliver $300 million previously secured in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to the International Boundary and Water Commission for water infrastructure projects.


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