Millions of gallons of toxic chemicals and raw sewage are being dumped by Mexico into the Tijuana River, surrounding valleys and U.S. beaches at the U.S.-Mexico border. This has been going on for years but the problem is growing worse. Border Agents are being injured and are threatening to pull out of the area, known as a drug corridor.
Over the course of two weeks in February, 143 millions of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Tijuana River, sending a nasty torrent into the waters off San Diego, closing numerous beaches for health concerns, and permeating a foul odor, Surfline reported.
It took weeks for Coronado beaches to open.
The mayor thinks it was deliberate!
“This was like a tsunami of sewage spills,” Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, told the Los Angeles Times. “What’s worse is it looks to me like this was deliberate. It saves [the Mexican agencies] a lot of money in pumping costs, and ultimately, they can get away with it and do it all the time, just on a much smaller scale.”Tijuana officials say it was a broken pipe.
The International Boundary and Water Commission said the tsunami stopped when a major pipe near where the Alamar and Tijuana rivers had been fixed.
Dave Gibson, executive officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, told the LA Times: “Was the spill intentional? Well, yeah. It appears they were working on the pipeline. I don’t believe that it was a question of it failing.”
“At least a notification would be a good neighborly thing to do, to let us know what was coming down the river before it got here so we could alert the public,” he added.
The problem has grown worse.
The spills could be accidental, but one thing is clear, the Mexicans don’t care.
When there is a power outage affecting the sewage plant in Mexico, it is not uncommon for raw sewage to be discharged on to the U.S. side of the border, Dedina said.
Some 59 Border Patrol agents have recently reported getting sick in the last three months after exposure to pollutants while at work along the border. One agent suffered severe chemical burns on his feet after toxic chemicals burned through his boots, according to documentation provided by the U.S. Border Patrol Local 1613 Union.
That union is threatening legal action that could result in all 300 people stationed at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station to abandon their posts along the vast border between San Diego and Mexico.
“If a judge rules that our agents cannot work in that area, we are going to cede this back to no man’s land,” Harris warned, noting that this would leave a vast area of the border open to Mexican cartel smuggling fugitives putting local residents at risk.
Is this a motivation for Mexico not trying to stop the sewage?
The independent International Boundary and Water Commission is ineffective so far.
The Imperial Beach community is looking to sue the U.S. government. It’s pointless to sue Mexico.
Numerous agents have suffered from gas inhalation, chemical burns, lung damage and infections, said Terrance Shiggs, president of the National Board Patrol Council Local 1613.
Mexico said they would fix the problem of its broken sewage system but they’ve since decided to do nothing.