Assemblyman Garcia helps steer Salton Sea bill package out of committee

0

SACRAMENTO, CA —  Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) ushered a Salton Sea bill package out of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife, Tuesday, in an effort to keep State promises on funding sea mitigation.

These measures authored by Senator Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista) and Chairman Garcia plan to establish both a strategy and funding mechanism to mitigate air quality, public health, and threats to ecological habitats surrounding the Salton Sea, stated a press release from the office of Assembly member Garcia.

“California is stepping up its leadership. The clock is ticking, and our community can no longer wait. The Quantification Settlement Agreement, water transfer will sunset this year. The imminent public health and economic ramifications of exposed playa will devastate the entire state,” said Garcia in the release.

The Salton Sea Restoration Plan (SB 615), would codify the California Natural Resources Agency’s ten-year mitigation plan. The Salton Sea Obligations Act of 2018 (SB 701), would create a five-hundred-million-dollar bond to fund the aforementioned plan. After this committee passage, these measures go before the full Assembly for a vote, said the release.

“Addressing the challenges affecting the Salton Sea requires creative solutions and a collaborative effort, which is why I am thrilled that Senate Bill 615, restoration of the Salton Sea, and Senate Bill 701, the Salton Sea Obligations Act of 2018, both successfully passed the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee,” said Sen. Hueso in the press release. “The restoration of the Salton Sea has been a top priority for me and I look forward to working with my colleagues to secure the funding necessary to protect this natural habitat.”

“Senator Hueso and I have committed to passing a comprehensive plan to mitigate the Salton Sea. This Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee success brings us closer to achieving that goal,” said Garcia in the release. “The region surrounding the Salton Sea is ripe with renewable energy opportunities and potential economic drivers. We must remain innovative and leverage all available resources. For example, I am proud to have been able to incorporate $30 million sea mitigation funding into AB 18, (E. Garcia, 2017) a California Park Bond initiative currently moving through the legislature.”

“This year, we have the opportunity seize substantial and long overdue state investments into the Salton Sea. Our community’s human health and economic stability weigh in the balance; failure to act would prove far too costly,” continued Garcia.

2017 Salton Sea Bill Package

SB 615, Salton Sea Restoration Plan

 Would codify the California Natural Resources Agency’s 10-year Salton Sea Management Plan

 Plan shall address:

(a) Expected lake bed exposure during the 10-year period of the memorandum of         understanding

(b) Habitat or air quality projects that will be used to cover the exposed lakebed

(c) Funding needs and availability to implement the plan

SB 701, the Salton Sea Obligations Act of 2018

 $500 million bond to implement the California Natural Resources Agency’s 10 year Salton Sea Management Plan

AB 18, California Clean Water, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018

 $30 million funding allocation for Salton Sea mitigation.