A Mexican stink bomb?
On February 23rd, 2017, roughly 143 million gallons of Mexican sewage spilled into the Pacific Ocean, and up the California coastline, and accusations by US officials claim that the spill was intentional. However, Mexico claims it was caused by rain.
The pollution closed beaches and kept surfers and swimmers out of the ocean, drawing outrage from residents of the cross-border region.
U.S. officials, including Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, believe the spill was deliberate to cut corners during repair work on a sewer pipeline in Mexico but not politically motivated.
“It was intentional,” Dedina said by phone from the California city near the Mexican border. “The big picture is we need to work to support Mexico’s effort to improve the sewage infrastructure system in Tijuana so this doesn’t happen again.”
A spokeswoman at the Tijuana State Public Service Commission said the spill was an accident that resulted from heavy rains collapsing a sewage interceptor in the city, adding that they notified the International Boundary and Water Commission, a joint U.S.-Mexico agency.
The Commission, which is leading the investigation, was told on Feb. 23, but U.S. officials believe the spill started at least two weeks earlier and dumped roughly 143 million gallons of sewage into the Pacific Ocean, said Lori Kuczmanski, a spokeswoman for the U.S. section of the commission.
The pollution could further escalate tensions between the US and Mexico which have in recent weeks surmounted politically; the question is, did Mexico just drop a covert stink bomb on the US?