California and U.S. Department of Interior Sign Salton Sea MOU

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Salton front

$80 million was allocated in the Governor’s FY 16-17 budget for Salton Sea restoration efforts.

SACRAMENTO – California’s Natural Resources Agency and the Department of the Interior signed a memorandum of understanding that will formalize their partnership on the Salton Sea. As part of President Obama’s climate and conservation plan, this MOU will improve coordination between the state and federal governments to meet a series of objectives.

One of the priority objectives of the MOU is to achieve 25,000 acres of dust suppression and habitat projects to minimize human health and ecosystem impacts. It will also improve coordination as it relates to project approvals, permitting, programs and funding for projects at the Sea.

One provision specifically commits the federal government to pursue $30 million for maintenance and monitoring of the Salton Sea Management Program projects. The MOU agreement will stand for a period of 10 years with an option for renewal.

“The signing of the MOU between the state and the federal government brings hope and optimism to the communities negatively impacted by the deterioration of the Salton Sea. There have been significant strides on the Sea with the formation of the Task Force and the recent allocation of $80 million from the state.

The MOU will help improve the coordination between the state’s Natural Resources Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior and build on recent momentum. Through this MOU, these agencies have committed to implement the Salton Sea Management Program, expedite permitting, and seek much needed funding for restoration projects.

It will also ensure we preserve our geothermal corridor, which is vital to meet our state’s renewable energy and climate goals. Our public’s health is gravely at risk, and we must achieve tangible outcomes as soon as possible.”

Last year, Assemblymember Garcia authored AB 1095 which directed the Natural Resources Agency to promulgate a list of shovel-ready projects for the Sea – meaning projects that are in the final engineering and design phase. The report was released this year.

Last year, the Governor created a task force comprised of various state agencies to develop a management plan for the Sea. Assemblymember Garcia has also held numerous hearings to analyze ongoing efforts to implement the AB 1095 projects, as well as to analyze the allocation and implementation of the use of the $80 million.