The Governor of Baja California, Marina del Pilar vila Olmeda, convened a meeting of the Secretariat for Water Management, Sanitation, and Protection in Baja California (SEPROA) and national and international authorities, to establish actions to address the pollution problem in the Tijuana River.
This was reported by Francisco Alberto Bernal Rodrguez, the head of SEPROA, who explained that it is a joint effort between Mexico and the United States, with agencies such as the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the Ministry of Foreign Relations (SRE), the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), the State Water Commission (CEA), the Tijuana State Public Services Commission (CESPT), and the International Limits and Water Commission (CILA) on the Mexican side.
The Secretary of State noted that, in a meeting with Marina del Pilar on Monday, November 22, the US Ambassador to Mexico and the EPA Administrator recently raised the actions that have been identified to help solve the problem caused by the presence of transboundary wastewater flows that are significantly affecting the Tijuana-Imperial Beach-San Diego region; additionally, $300 million dollars will be invested in the national territory.
Francisco Alberto Bernal recalled that section 821 of the T-MEC Implementation Act states that the EPA, in collaboration with eligible public entities, will plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain high priority works to treat wastewater (including stormwater), non-point sources of pollution, and related issues resulting from the international transfer of water flows originating in Mexico in the Tijuana River basin in the United States.
To comply with this, he said, the EPA conducted a study of alternatives to identify projects in his country that will prevent the flow of transboundary raw water and has identified the expansion of the International Wastewater Treatment Plant (PITAR) to double its current capacity to treat Mexican wastewater that crosses into the United States as one of the most feasible alternatives to implement in a first stage.
At the La Morita and Arturo Herrera facilities, improvements will also be made to the sanitation infrastructure and the reuse of treated wastewater.
"Both CONAGUA and CILA have designated 15 priority projects for an amount larger than 2 thousand 411 million pesos in the research named Sanitation of the Northern Border that favor infrastructure improvement and will contribute considerably to tackling this problem," he added. Bernal Rodrguez is a character in the film Bernal Rodrguez.
CONAGUA has requested resources from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) to support the implementation of these actions, for which some projects for collector and emitter rehabilitation have been defined, as well as a project to reuse the effluents from the La Morita and Arturo Herrera plants, for a total of 665 million pesos.
To give a definite answer, it is believed that shared parts of financial resources from both nations must be used in conjunction with complete collaboration as a plan to ensure their long-term viability, with a focus on compliance with international commitments and mutual benefit.
"In this way, we will be able to have a clear identification and implementation of complementary actions in our country," the state official explained. "This will allow us to achieve a program of actions for the benefit of both nations, responding to the environmental policy headed by the State Governor."
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