Tags: mexico | border | sewage | health

Report: Mexican Sewage Dumping Threatens Border Patrol Agents' Health

Image: Report: Mexican Sewage Dumping Threatens Border Patrol Agents' Health
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 09 Aug 2017 09:37 AM

Nearly 60 U.S. Border Patrol agents have said they have gotten sick because of exposure to toxic chemicals and sewage dumped at the U.S.-Mexican border, according to Fox News.

Mexico has dumped millions of gallons of toxic chemicals and raw sewage into the Tijuana River, which surrounds valleys and beaches along the border. However, the Fox News report said that the U.S. has taken little action to get Mexico to clean up the area.

One Border Patrol agent told Fox News he had to stop patrolling the area on an ATV. "I like doing what I do, but now it has come to a point that every night I have headaches and everyday I have headaches and nasal pain and I had to stop," said Joe Sevilla.

One agent got severe chemical burns on his feet when chemicals burned through his boots, according to the U.S. Border Patrol Local 1613 Union, in the Fox News report.

The union’s leaders blame U.S. agencies, Congress, and the International Boundary and Water Commission for not addressing the pollution. Local officials and the Border Patrol are taking aim at the IBWC, Fox News reported.

"It is going to get to the point where they cannot patrol down there. That is a national security issue," said Christopher Harris, the union’s secretary.

"If a judge rules that our agents cannot work in that area, we are going to cede this back to no man’s land," Harris said in the Fox News report. That would leave the area open to Mexican cartels to smuggle fugitives, Harris said.

Serge Dedina, mayor of Imperial Beach, a community affected by the pollution, said that between 30 and 40 million gallons of sewage are discharged onto the beach every day by a sewage treatment plant six miles south of border. He said in the Fox News report that the city is planning to sue over Clean Water Act violations.

The mayor added that American officials told him on August 4 that Mexico had abandoned a pledge to fix a broken sewer system in Tijuana that led to 250 million gallons of raw sewage being poured into the Tijuana River for 17 days.

"The U.S. government has to step up and help us stop this toxic waste and toxic sewage from coming across the border," Dedina said in the Fox News report.

"I don’t think Mexico is doing this on purpose, but do I think they care-- not a bit. The U.S. government has to start doing some things to make Mexico care about its actions," Harris said in the Fox News report.

"As crude and nasty as this sounds, this is not American sewage, this is Third World sewage… there’s whole areas now that are biologically and chemically impacted, just like if you had a biological or chemical attack. There are areas that are no-go zones," Harris said in May in The Washington Times.

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Nearly 60 U.S. Border Patrol agents have said they have gotten sick because of exposure to toxic chemicals and sewage dumped at the U.S.-Mexican border, according to Fox News.
mexico, border, sewage, health
483
2017-37-09
Wednesday, 09 Aug 2017 09:37 AM
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