Commission seeks to intervene in Tijuana River litigation

California Attorney General files motion requesting that the court grant the State Lands Commission intervenor status

Sacramento, CA – The California State Lands Commission has requested to join in the State’s litigation to halt the flow of toxic waste and sewage from the Tijuana River to the Pacific Ocean. The court will consider the request on December 10, 2018.

The almost continuous flow of toxic waste and sewage into the Tijuana River and the Pacific Ocean is a significant threat to public health, two state parks, a national wildlife refuge and the health and vitality of the impacted communities. There have been 376 sewage spills to date. Earlier this year, several public agencies filed litigation against the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission, the federal agency responsible for addressing pollution traveling across the U.S.-Mexico border, for repeated Clean Water Act violations related to Tijuana River pollution.

The Commission seeks intervenor status to protect California’s pristine coastline, vibrant ecosystems, thriving ports and public access for all. The Commission is the exclusive administer of the State’s responsibilities over ungranted sovereign lands in the Tijuana River Watershed and the Pacific Ocean, holding them in trust for the People of the State of California. The Commission has a direct and immediate interest in the outcome of the State’s litigation. The past and current spills and discharges into the Tijuana River Watershed and the Pacific Ocean imperil the public’s ability to use and enjoy its sovereign lands.

Intervention would unite the Commission with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region, as plaintiffs in the State’s lawsuit against the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission for alleged Clean Water Act violations.