February 23, 2024
Flooding within the Tijuana River Valley on Wednesday. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A $5 million cleanup undertaking within the Tijuana River Valley will start in early 2024, with a completion date earlier than the tip of March, officers stated Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of dredging drainage channels and constructing a basin for sediment and trash management within the Smuggler’s Gulch and Pilot channels.

The Smuggler’s Gulch channel enters the US from Mexico and runs north till it crosses the Pilot Channel and flows into the Tijuana River and at last to the Pacific Ocean.

The funding comes from a $4.25 million grant from the state Water Assets Management Board for dredging and channel work and $750,000 from the county’s 2023-24 fiscal yr funds to take care of Smuggler’s Gulch.

Board Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer stated the county “is stepping as much as sort out the Tijuana sewage disaster — not simply in advocating for desperately wanted federal motion, but additionally in actually rolling up our sleeves and cleansing up the realm with the assets we now have.”

Whereas undertaking enhancements “received’t completely repair environmental disaster, it’s going to imply within the near-term that there will likely be much less flooding and trash flowing into our oceans and communities,” she added.

Board Chairwoman Nora Vargas referred to as the undertaking a “good first step,” demonstrating to space residents that the county will proceed with enhancements.

Supervisor Jim Desmond stated the state grant was necessary so the county isn’t “locked into your entire portion” of channel work.

Air pollution and sewage flowing throughout the U.S.-Mexico border has heightened public concern, which led to supervisors on Sept. 13 voting to proceed a state of emergency for the area.

County officers stated that since final December, “an alarming 35 billion gallons” have flowed north into U.S. territory from the sewage remedy plant in Punta Bandera, Mexico, impacting the San Diego shoreline in the course of the summer season.

Earlier this month, the county Air Air pollution Management District introduced that it was putting in sensors within the valley, after residents reported odor from sewage spills into the river.

Though it might usually be a part of the Wednesday board agenda — which options land-use and environmental gadgets — the Tijuana River Valley plan was positioned on the Tuesday docket as a result of it required 4 supervisors to approve funding, county officers stated, and Lawson-Remer was absent on Wednesday.