Sep 07, 2018

San Diego Water Board Files Suit Over Untreated Wastewater

The water board has filed suit over alleged Clean Water Act violations causing wastewater to pollute the Pacific Ocean

California Water Board files suit over wastewater violations
California Water Board files suit over wastewater violations

The San Diego Water Board has filed suit against the U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) over Clean Water Act violations. The water board claims that IBWC has failed to monitor and stop untreated wastewater from flowing to the Pacific Ocean from the Tijuana River. Furthermore, the lawsuit argues that IBWC has discharged untreated wastewater from its treatment facilities into the Tijuana River. The suit points to Imperial Beach, Calif., where beaches have been closed for an average of 150  days a year due to contaminated runoff over the past two years, as reported by NBC San Diego.

Filed following the California Attorney General’s Office 60-day notice of intent to sue, the suit currently is under review by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller. However, IBWC claims that they are not responsible for untreated wastewater that has flowed into the Pacific via the Tijuana River. Instead, they have argued that they have improved water quality through the operation of their San Diego treatment plant. IBWC said that they do not have, “an open-ended legal obligation to capture and treat all transboundary flows.”

Currently waste entering the Pacific ocean through the Tijuana River is not monitored. The water board has announced plans to ask IBWC to begin constant monitoring.