President Includes $310 Million Emergency Request Led by Rep. Peters to Fix International Wastewater Treatment Plant in Supplemental Funding Ask
October 25, 2023
Washington D.C. – Today, Representative Scott Peters (CA-50) applauded President Biden’s inclusion of $310 million to fix and expand the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant in his emergency supplemental funding request. The project is desperately needed to tackle dangerous cross-border wastewater pollution in the Tijuana River Valley. Last month, Rep. Peters led a request to congressional leaders for this same funding. The President’s request throws the administration’s support behind Rep. Peters’ work and makes it more likely that these funds are included in any final funding package approved by Congress.
“San Diegans have called on the federal government to put an end to this crisis for years. Today, thanks to their overwhelming advocacy and dedicated work from elected officials at every level of government, the President has responded to our pleas for help,” said Rep. Peters.
He continued, “Make no mistake, this is not a ‘mission accomplished’ moment. This funding will need to be approved by both chambers of Congress, which remains an uphill battle, and I am already working to ensure we have the votes to get it across the finish line. I know our Senators are also working to convince their colleagues and I urge them to please not ease up on their advocacy.”
Rep. Peters has worked diligently to secure this funding from the Biden administration by organizing dozens of meetings and calls with the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC), the State Department, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the White House, and congressional appropriators.
This month Rep. Peters led a bipartisan letter to the Department of State demanding a full account of how the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP) fell into such a severe state of disrepair. Last month, Rep. Peters proposed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill to boost U.S.- Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Grant Program (BWIP) funding. Additionally, he proposed two amendments to the Fiscal Year 2024 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill (SFOPS) to boost annual construction funding to the USIBWC to $100 million. In August, he led two letters to the Office of Management and Budget and to OMB and the State Department, calling for urgent additional funding to confront this crisis. In July, members of the San Diego congressional delegation requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assist with directing environmental justice funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to help stop the flow of pollutants and urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to tour the broken plant. Earlier in July, they sent a letter to President Biden and submitted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024, calling on the administration to declare this crisis a federal emergency. In June, Rep. Peters led a letter with other members of the San Diego Congressional delegation to the governor of Baja California urging accountability for the Mexican government’s commitments to build wastewater treatment infrastructure. In previous years, Peters along with colleagues, has secured funding, introduced legislation, called for investigations, and arranged a visit by EPA Administrator Regan in response to the wastewater contamination crisis.