The Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of California lawmakers: Reps. Juan Vargas, Scott Peters, Mike Levin, Sara Jacobs and Darrell Issa, representing San Diego County’s five congressional districts, as well as Rep. Raul Ruiz, whose district covers the Coachella Valley.
“Addressing cross-border pollution in our region requires strong communication between agencies from both sides of the border,” said Vargas.
If approved, it would designate the Environmental Protection Agency as the lead agency coordinating federal, state and local agencies’ efforts to build and maintain infrastructure projects aimed at reducing pollution along the border. The bill is companion legislation to another bill introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, which also seeks to improve water quality in the Tijuana and New rivers.
“The people of Southern California have been forced to suffer while different federal agencies keep passing the buck,” said U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “This bill will put an end to the confusion by putting the EPA in charge of coordinating efforts and fixing the problem, this long-standing issue that must be addressed now.”
If this legislation passes, the next step would be to start the cleanup projects environmental and advocacy groups such as WILDCOAST, Surfrider Foundation, and others have been anxious to see for some time.
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