Governor Budgets Millions for TJ River Valley

Earlier this year, Governor Newsom announced his 2020-21 budget which included a significant investment in the Tijuana River Valley. Regional stakeholders, including the Chamber, issued letters of support for the budget request of $35 million for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a series of pollution capture devices and infrastructure projects on the U.S. side of the Tijuana River Valley. The proposed funding would complement the $15 million already appropriated to the State Coastal Conservancy, as well as other federal and state resource investments in both the U.S. and Mexico.

The considered projects below were identified in the County of San Diego’s SB 507 Needs and Opportunities Assessment:

• Smuggler’s Gulch: sediment basins, automated trash screens, in-stream water quality detention  basin, and retrofit low-flow diversion

• Goat Canyon: retrofit low-flow diversion, increased sedimentation and trash management

• Yogurt Canyon: feasibility study of low-flow diversion installation; creation of a pilot channel

The budget commits the state to the construction, completion, and two years of operation and maintenance. This will allow engagement  with local and federal partners and stakeholders to discuss long-term options.

The budget request for the Tijuana River Valley was discussed on March 4 and 5 in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 on Resources and Transportation, and Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.

If the budget allocation is approved by the legislature, these projects will contribute to our binational community’s health and reduce transboundary pollution impacting our region.

The Chamber is also working closely with the Mexican government to advocate for funding to implement infrastructure projects on the Mexican side of the Tijuana River. These projects include optimizing existing facilities with improvements and expansion of diversion systems, as identified in the North American Development Bank’s Tijuana River Diversion Study.