January 30, 2024
Washington D.C. – Today, Representative Scott Peters released the following statement after California Governor Gavin Newsom asked Congress to pass the $310 million Rep. Peters and President Biden have requested to solve the cross-border wastewater crisis:
“I thank Governor Newsom for once again standing with San Diego and joining our calls for the funds this problem demands. Governor Newsom has worked closely with the San Diego congressional delegation and me to advocate for a robust federal response to this environmental catastrophe. I will not stop in my fight to secure these funds as soon as possible and ensure San Diegans are no longer sickened by the scourge of wastewater pollution.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Peters took to the House floor to demand $310 million in supplemental funding to rehabilitate and upgrade the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP). In December of last year, Rep. Peters led a bipartisan letter to Congressional leaders to demand the same $310 million funding. In October of last year, Rep. Peters led a bipartisan letter to the Department of State demanding a full account of how the SBIWTP fell into such a severe state of disrepair. In September, he 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 of last year, 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. In July of last year, 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 of last year, 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.