Cause of Mexican sewage spill fouling US beaches under investigation

By REUTERS
March 4, 2017 04:44
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LOS ANGELES - A massive sewage spill from Mexico's Tijuana River that polluted miles of coastland in Southern California and northern Mexico has prompted an investigation, with US officials calling it deliberate and Mexican authorities saying it was an accident caused by heavy rain.

The pollution closed beaches and kept surfers and swimmers out of the ocean, drawing outrage from residents of the cross-border region.

Tensions are running high between Mexico and the United States after US President Donald Trump promised to build a border wall, deport millions of Mexicans in the United States illegally and tax Mexican imports.

US 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."

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