San Diego School Districts Push for Emergency Declarations Over Toxic Sewage

Public school districts near the Tijuana border are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden to declare states of emergency over the intractable sewage crisis.

Over 100 million gallons of raw sewage have been pouring into the Pacific Ocean from the Tijuana River every day. It doesn’t just affect the water; recent studies show contaminants are transferred to the air by sea spray, potentially affecting the health of those on land nearby.

San Diego County supervisors declared a local state of emergency last year. The county, along with cities like Imperial Beach, hoped state and federal officials would follow. That hasn’t happened yet.

Mary Doyle, a former board member with the South Bay Union School District, hopes local school districts can finally get the government to act. Doyle has been lobbying school boards to issue proclamations demanding state and federal declarations of emergency. The South Bay Union School District and Sweetwater Union High School District have already done so. The Chula Vista School District could be next.

“We are suffering down here and if we can get school boards on board and get school kids to start writing letters, because it’s their future, their legacy. Let’s start somewhere,” Doyle told News Nation. “The more they hear this, the more it makes the news as it has been, maybe they’ll do something, this is a creeping national disaster, and it’s creeping north of San Diego, it’s unbelievable it’s gotten this awful and they need to know that.”