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$100M New River funding legislation to address water quality problems at California-Mexico border rivers

Assemblymember Garcia is calling on community members to help advocate in support of the New River funding legislation - News 11's Vanessa Gongora reports

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - The California State Assembly recently approved Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia's California-Mexico Border River Restoration, AB 2248.

According to Garcia, the legislation would allocate $100 million to address water quality problems at California-Mexico border rivers, with $50 million each for the New River, in Calexico and the Tijuana River, in San Diego.

“Our $100 million funding request for New River and Tijuana River improvement projects are a matter of public health and environmental justice urgency for our shared border communities. For too long, residents living alongside our borders have faced disproportionate consequences of cross-border pollution, and we have been fighting for the resources needed to rectify these disparities,” stated Assemblymember Garcia.

He says the New River, which runs from Mexicali, Baja California, and Calexico, California into the Salton Sea, is one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. It also remains one of the largest public health hazards in Imperial County.

The legislative process is halfway there. The bill will next go before Senate committees for approval.

The bill states it would require expenditures of the funding to be consistent with the work of the California Environmental Protection Agency Border Affairs Program to build collaboration with the federal government, the Republic of Mexico, the State of Baja California, and the Cities of Tijuana and Mexicali.

The bill would also require the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Environmental Protection Agency to consult and collaborate with the Legislature on cross-border collaboration and the expenditure of the funding.

Assemblymember Garcia is also leading a corresponding $100 million budget request for border rivers with the same equal split for improvement projects at the Tijuana River and New River.

Garcia is asking the community members for their support of this bill, along with the matching budget request.

“It will take all hands on deck to deliver these critical New River water quality improvement funds," Assemblymember Garcia says.

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Vanessa Gongora

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