EL CENTRO, Calif. â€“ The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors voted today to retain two communication and public outreach firms that will work with IID staff on matters related to theÂ Quantification Settlement AgreementÂ water transfers and Salton Sea mitigation and restoration. The board approved six-month agreements with APCO Worldwide and Diversity Consulting Group to support the districtâ€™s initiative to ensure the QSA incorporates a viable Salton Sea restoration strategy.
The board directed the general manager to retain communication support as part of his â€œ2013 Program of Workâ€ adopted in April and the districtâ€™s â€œ2012 Six-Point Action Plan.â€ The firms add to the integrated, multi-disciplinary team of internal experts and outside advisers the IID has assembled to represent its interests in QSA matters, including litigation and the boardâ€™s effort to work with Imperial County to develop an affirmative strategy for addressing the QSAâ€™s impacts on the Salton Sea before its decline harms the Imperial Valley.
IID also recently retained Munger, Tolles and Olson to act as counsel in partnership with Land Resource Planning Associates,Â a nationally recognized water rights law firmÂ that represents the district in QSA litigation. Munger, Tolles and Olson, based in Los Angeles, brings expertise in the areas of energy and public policy.
â€œThis board will continue to collaborate with others in theÂ valley, Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to formulate a viable solution to the significant threats to human health, agriculture and the environment posed by a declining Salton Sea,â€ said IID board President Matt Dessert. â€œKey to achieving our goal of moving beyond the QSA litigation is transparency with the public, frequent engagement with our stakeholders and sound communication with decision makers at the local, state and federal levels. These firms will help ensure IID is delivering a proactive, consistent message about our commitment to resolving the dilemma of the Salton Sea.â€