TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY ESTUARY AND BEACH SEWAGE CLEANUP ACT OF 2000 AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - October 06, 2004)
(BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT)
Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4794, the bipartisan bill to amend the Tijuana River Valley Estuary and Beach Sewage Cleanup Act of 2000. The House and Senate passed this bill four years ago in an effort to resolve an enormous health problem in my district. Fifty million gallons of raw sewage flow through the Tijuana River from Mexico into San Diego beaches everyday. Most Americans cannot imagine the environmental and health impacts caused by this problem.
Eleven years ago, the San Diego city council declared a state of emergency in the Tijuana River Valley because of sewage from Mexico flowing over the border and spoiling our beaches and waterways. Every two weeks since then, the city council has continued to declare a state of emergency.
I worked with my colleagues to establish a bipartisan plan for a public-private partnership to solve this problem, but the crisis continues. And four years after the signing of the bill nothing has been done. The International Boundary and Water Commission has failed to take the steps necessary to build the wastewater treatment plant that Congress authorized and that families in San Diego deserve.
The IBWC has a new Commissioner who, I believe, recognizes the responsibility that the IBWC has been given from Congress: To end the flow of raw sewage into southern California. That is why I have joined my Congressional colleagues from San Diego in offering this bill to continue the authorization for this project, so we can make sure that this environmental nightmare comes to an end.