CERF Executive Director Marco Gonzalez spent nearly ten years working on a solution to problems associated with border sewage and its impacts on South San Diego County coastal communities. For much of that time, he advocated for a public-private partnership (called “Bajagua”) that would have ensured:
(a) US water quality standards would be met;
(b) significantly more sewage than the 25 mgd capacity of the International Wastewater Treatment Plant (“IWTP”) would be treated; and,
(c) a significant portion of the treated wastewater would be reclaimed.
The Bajagua project was not successful, and the federal government (with the support of some environmental groups) instead chose to move forward with an upgrade to the then-noncompliant IWTP. Here’s a story on that decision.
Well, call it the worst kind of vindication, but the Feds have failed us once again. Below is a copy of the most recent status update being offered to the Judge in the years-old litigation between the State of California and the U.S. International Boundary Water Commission.
The plant upgrade, argued by so many to be a better plan than Bajagua, is a HUGE BOONDOGGLE! Here at CERF, we’re committed to using the most aggressive tools available to fight for clean water, and that means litigation when its available. Next week, we plan to ask the Court to allow CERF to intervene in the ongoing case.
The Feds clearly aren’t doing enough, and the State of California seems content to give them extension after extension. We need accountability, financial penalties, and the ability for the public to be heard. That’s why we’re here. You should be as upset as we are about this.