September 12, 2000
H.R. 3378 - Tijuana River Valley Estuary and Beach Sewage Cleanup Act
The Administration supports the intent of H.R. 3378, which attempts to
address the long-term sewage treatment needs of the U.S.-Mexico border
region. The Administration, however, opposes H.R. 3378, because its
approach raises serious foreign policy and legal concerns and will hinder
our ongoing efforts to address the region's wastewater treatment needs.
(Bilbray (R) CA and Filner (D) CA)
The approach taken by H.R. 3378 will hamper the Administration's efforts to
implement its existing U.S. legal obligations with Mexico, which Mexico has
repeatedly urged the United States to fulfill. Instead of authorizing the
funding needed to fulfill these obligations, the bill attempts to legislate
the terms of a new agreement. In addition, the bill provides for a 30-year
contract that may be unenforceable in Mexico.
The Administration is prepared to work with Congress to produce an
environmentally appropriate and cost-effective alternative that would be
consistent with our current legal obligations and acceptable to the Mexican
Government. The Administration supports adequate funding to fulfill our
existing commitments and the development of a comprehensive regional plan
to address long-term sewage treatment needs.