Tijuana River Valley Legislation Signed by Newsom

Senator Hueso’s SB 690 complements $15 million budget allocation for cleanup efforts
September 30, 2019

Sacramento, CA – Sept. 30, 2019 – California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law new legislation seeking to reduce exposure to dangerous pathogens, limit beach closures, and address water quality issues in the Tijuana River Valley. Senate Bill No. 690, authored by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), would encourage the State Coastal Conservancy, when granting 2019-2020 state budget funds for the purposes of addressing transboundary flows and pollution in the Tijuana River Valley, to prioritize those projects identified through studies funded by SB 507 (Hueso, 2017).

SB 507 was a bill authored by Sen. Hueso in 2017 that sought to find tangible solutions to pollution at the Tijuana River Valley by authorizing the use of funds for a “Needs and Opportunities Assessment” through the County of San Diego. That assessment is nearly complete and a preliminary report and project list is available with input from federal, state, and local stakeholders.

In conjunction with these efforts, earlier this year Sen. Hueso submitted a formal request for a $15 million allocation in the state budget to fund projects to tackle toxic transboundary flows in the Tijuana River Valley. In June 2019 this request was granted, and the funds were included in AB 74, the state budget bill. SB 690 will encourage the state to utilize these funds efficiently by prioritizing projects that have included broad stakeholder input and that will address water quality, flood control, trash and sediment.

“The enactment of SB 690 coupled with the $15 million budget allocation will allow us to hit the ground running as soon as the final study is completed,” said Sen. Hueso. “This is a big statement by the State of California that it is committed to protecting public health and our precious coastlines.”

SB 690 is supported by the County of San Diego and the San Diego Chamber of Commerce.