Joining Lawsuit Regarding Tijuana River Valley Sewage

DATE: December 13, 2018

TO: Honorable Mayor Kevin Faulconer
Honorable Council President Georgette Gomez
Honorable City Attorney Mara Elliott

FROM: Councilmember Vivian Moreno

SUBJECT: Joining Lawsuit Regarding Tijuana River Valley Sewage (Print Memo)

Since December 10th a large amount of sewage has been spilling into the Tijuana River Valley and Estuary and eventually the Pacific Ocean. This new sewage spill is in addition to many previous spills that have resulted in raw sewage flows coming from Mexico. As the Tijuana Estuary is the only coastal estuary in Southern California, it is critical that we do all we can to preserve and protect it from being polluted. Earlier this year, the state, the Port of San Diego, and the cities of Chula Vista and Imperial Beach initiated a lawsuit against the federal government to improve the infrastructure that would divert the flow of sewage to the International Wastewater Treatment Plant. The previous conditions, intensified by the new spill, have resulted in an environment that has threatened the health and safety of city residents living in neighborhoods near the Tijuana River. In addition to the actual presence of the sewage tainted pollution in the ocean, river and estuary that is so physically close to many residents, there is also an ever present strong odor of sewage that is affecting residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. Thus far the City of San Diego has not joined the current litigation, however, given the most recent spill, I believe it is time we take action to address this situation, which continues to worsen. As such, I am formally requesting that the city consider joining the lawsuit and that the City Attorney bring this option forward to the City Council in closed session for a full discussion. For your convenience, I have attached a copy of the aforementioned lawsuit.

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

CC: Kris Michell, Chief Operating Officer
Andrea Tevlin, Independent Budget Analyst

See attached lawsuit here.


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