Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista Officially Announced Today That They Will Be Joining the City of Imperial Beach in Litigation Against the IBWC & Veolia Water North America
Sep 28, 2017 07:19PM ● Published by Paul Spear
The Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista Officially Announced Today That They Will Be Joining the City of Imperial Beach in Notice of Intent to Sue the IBWC & Veolia Water North America To Stop Dumping of Sewage and Hazardous Waste Flowing Into Pacific Ocean!
Today Ginger Sacco covered the Press Conference for Dig Imperial Beach as I had other obligations that had to be met. Ginger is not a reporter but is a mother, Veteran, Navy Wife and has been involved spending hundreds if not thousands of hours trying to bring cities and people together to get this situation resolved. Besides being the founder of Citizens Against Sewage (CAS) and working with other organizations involved with trying to resolve this situation. There are a lot of personal feelings mixed into her article along with news from today’s Press Conference so it’s not a normal news article. However, I loved hearing reading it from her perspective, so I have decided that is how I am going to share this with you. So here is the article written by Ginger Sacco:
Chula Vista voted unanimously I was moved to tears!
BY Ginger Sacco
As a transplant resident (as I have been called since I am from the East Coast, Maine to be exact) of Chula Vista, had you asked me when I moved here in July 2013 if I believed I would be writing this article about the U.S. – Mexico Sewage Border Issues and the need for a solution. I would have thought you were trying to recruit me for a Ponzi scam. Once, I became involved and researched, I learned how serious of an issue this truly is, I finally found my purpose in the community which was foreign to me.
For decades, Imperial Beach has been plagued by sewage spills the vast majority of such spills have come from Mexico, an issue that has caused concern within the community in recent months throughout San Diego County. These incidents have led to closed beaches for both Imperial Beach and Coronado Beaches. Today just after 11am the “Regional Partners Seek Immediate Federal Action on U.S. – Mexico Border Sewage” Media Release was held at the Tijuana Estuary Observation Deck in Imperial. In attendance; Mayors of both Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, Port of San Diego, and Border Patrol Union Representative.
Mayor Dedina of Imperial Beach states in his opening remarks “We are here today so that the cities of Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, together with the port of San Diego are joining together to stop the hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage and hazardous waste that are flowing from Mexico thru the Tijuana River Valley and into the Pacific Ocean. We are delivering a Notice of Intent to sue IBWC and Veolia Water North America.”
I heard the words ‘It really is the right thing to do, our city council voted unanimously to join the City of Imperial Beach and the Port [of SD] to file the notice of intent to sue the IBWC and also Veolia and fix it now.” come from my Mayor Mary Salas of Chula Vista mouth. I then felt my eyes start to itch, they were watering up – I was moved to tears. I had spent countless hours in front of City Councils, Citizen Forums, Meetings with Elected Officials, Research and Social Media sharing how much the health risk of the continuous spills can impact all of us, for me it is a personal issue.
My son who had open heart surgery May 2016, has not spent any time at the beach due to the sewage spills and sand which is just as toxic. Something as simple as a cut on a seashell could cause my son to have a life-threatening infection as his heart condition is not stable. Patients with heart disease exercise best in water. I have shared my frustration with my peers because my son cannot enjoy one of the greatest gifts on Earth, the Ocean.
We also heard from Dan Malcom, the Port of San Diego shared “Port of San Diego is directly impacted by the sewage releases, therefore we had no choice but to step up to the plate and be a part of this. We are going to sign the Notice of Intent to sue letter with the federal government and I will say the Port of San Diego does not take Litigation lightly.”
Christopher Harris California Border Patrol Union Rep shared “We accept getting shot at, we don’t accept working in a sewer or a chemical dump.” Mr. Harris is committed to ensuring his men and women in uniform who patrol our borders day and night are protected from the environmental hazards however due to the scope of the job some hazards cannot be prevented. Since the massive spill of 2017 over 80 border patrol agents have been sick, injured or missed time from work.
I am hopeful with another city joining the letter of intent to sue, the litigation may potentially become California vs. IBWC. Numerous peers and I have reached out to Governor Brown’s Office requesting action they have stated they have no jurisdiction over IBWC. However, according to IBWC Minute 283 Item 16 “The Government of Mexico will assure that there are no discharges of treated of untreated domestic or industrial wastewaters into waters of the Tijuana River that cross the international boundary, and that in the event of a breakdown in collection or other detention facilities designed to prevent such discharges, the Government of Mexico will take special measures to immediately stop such discharges and make repairs. Should Mexico request it through the Commission, the United States Section will attempt to assist with equipment and other resources in the containment of such discharges and temporary repairs under the supervision of the Commission.”
Now, almost six months after the initial spill in 2017, we have not only seen traction from several grassroots activist groups we are proving to have action!
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Paul Spear, Publisher, and Editor of Dig Imperial Beach