Senator Hueso’s Bill To Secure $2.1 Million for Tijuana River Valley Unanimously Passes Senate Committee

Senate Bill addresses sewage spill disaster
June 13, 2017

San Diego, CA… Senator Ben Hueso and Principal Co-Author Assemblymember Todd Gloria today presented before the State Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, Senate Bill 507 which will reallocate $2.1 million for the restoration and recovery efforts associated with the Tijuana River Valley (TJRV).   The legislative proposal unanimously passed 9-0 and is now headed to Senate Appropriations.

On February 6, 2017, one of the largest sewage spills occurred in the Tijuana River Valley and lasted 17 days.  Over 28 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Tijuana River Valley from Mexico.  The beaches from Imperial Beach to Coronado closed due to the high levels of pollution.  

“For over 30 years, San Diego has declared a state of emergency in the Tijuana River Valley over ongoing hazardous sewage spills,” stated Senator Ben Hueso.   “This bill will help find long term solutions to finally put an end to this issue which has long plagued our communities.  It is my continued goal to protect my district from the disastrous effects these sewage spills have on our health, water quality and the economy. “

Senate Bill 507 will also update the priority action areas of the TJRV Recovery Strategy to determine the flow of wastewater and runoff and conduct a Tijuana River Main Channel Water Quality Protection Feasibility Study.  

“The failure of Tijuana’s infrastructure continues to have devastating impacts to our Tijuana River Valley,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria, Principal co-author of this bill. “SB 507 takes the first real steps toward a prudent solution to this ongoing environmental disaster. I look forward to working with Senator Hueso for the sake of our residents in the Tijuana River Valley, Imperial Beach, Coronado, and beyond.”

The Budget Act of 2014 appropriated money to the Department of Parks and Recreation  from the California Wildlife, Coastal and Park land Conservation Fund of 1988 for the purposes of providing funds to the County of San Diego to acquire natural lands in the Tijuana River Valley;  however, the funds were only made available through Friday, June  30, 2017.  Due to land constraints in the TJRV new land cannot be acquired with these funds.  It is critical to focus on the funding issue now to make improvements to the Tijuana River Valley.  

When successfully passed by the legislature, Senate Bill 507 will take effect immediately.