Rep. Peters’ Statement on Federal Commitment to Expedite Work and Seek More Funds to Confront Cross-Border Wastewater Pollution
September 1, 2023
Washington D.C. – Today, Representative Scott Peters (CA-50) released the following statement after the federal government committed to work expeditiously to fix and upgrade the broken South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP) and put an end to the cross-border flows of dangerous pollutants.
“I thank Governor Newsom and Senate President Pro Tem Atkins for joining our clarion calls to Washington to treat this crisis with the urgency it demands. With today’s announcement, the federal government at its highest levels is finally beginning to pay attention. There remains substantial work ahead and a need for additional funding to complete this mission. I will continue my fight to secure these funds as soon as possible, and I will be zealously monitoring the progress of repairs.”
This week, Rep. Peters led two letters to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and to OMB and the State Department, respectively, calling for urgent additional funding to confront this crisis. Last month, members of the San Diego congressional delegation requested 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. Rep. Peters plans to leave no stone unturned and continue this work with additional demands for funding through the congressional appropriations process and emergency supplemental funding in the coming days.