(Sacramento, CA) – This week, the California State Assembly approved Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) AB 2248, California-Mexico Border River Restoration. This 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 Eduardo Garcia.
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 and remains one of the largest public health hazards in the County of Imperial.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia has already fought to secure the following New River investments from the State of California:
- $20 million California Border Rivers from 2021 CA State Budget (New River eligible for funds)
- $18 million New River Improvement Project from 2020 CA State Budget
- $10 million New River Improvement Project from Prop 68 (authored by Garcia)
Halfway through the legislative process, AB 2248 will next go before Senate committees. This year, 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.
Assemblymember Garcia is calling on community members to help advocate in support of AB 2248, along with the matching budget request. Garcia says, “It will take all hands on deck to deliver these critical New River water quality improvement funds.”