(Sacramento, CA) – Today, the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials passed Assemblymember Alvarez's AB1597 with bi-partisan support. AB-1597 would make $50,000,000 available from the General Fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute, to the North American Development Bank for loans, grants, and direct expenditures to address water quality problems arising in the California-Mexico cross-border rivers.
"The State cannot continue to ignore the environmental disaster in our border region as it continues to worsen," said Assemblymember Alvarez. "We need to include the border region when discussing environmental policy and funding in California. Imperial Beach everyday has been closed for the past 500 days due to contamination which has handcuffed my District and the South Bay. Additionally, the most recent study from Scripps Institution of Oceanography show the impacts go far beyond water quality, and AB 1597 will bring additional investment to mitigate this disaster.
NADBank is a bi-national organization established in 1994 following the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since its inception, NADBank has leveraged over $9.5 billion to support 295 infrastructure projects focused on long-term environmental sustainability along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Assembly Bill 1597 will now move to the Assembly Judiciary Committee to be heard on April 25th.
The 80th Assembly District includes the communities of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, Lincoln Acres, Bonita, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro, along with the cities of Chula Vista, National City and Imperial Beach.