On October 14, 2015, the County of Imperial participated in a workshop presented by the Natural Resources Agency regarding restoration of the Salton Sea. The Agency introduced the Salton Sea Management Concept as part of its Salton Sea Strategic Vision and Action Plan to numerous federal, state and local stakeholders. This workshop was presented by Bruce Wilcox who was recently appointed as the Assistant Secretary for Salton Sea Policy.
This event followed the signing of legislation by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr on October 9, 2015 (AB 1095 (Garcia)) requiring the Natural Resources Agency to report to the legislature by March 2016 a list of shovel-ready projects for the Salton Sea that will address the economic, environmental and public health consequences of the receding sea. Governor Brown also announced a series of measures to be taken by the Salton Sea Task Force Agency to help protect Salton Sea habitat and air quality in Imperial Valley as well as surrounding communities. Consistent with Imperial County and IID efforts to address the Salton Sea environmental concerns, the Salton Sea Task Force Agency actions called by Governor Brown include restoring of up to 12,000 acres of shoreline habitat in the next five years and up to an additional 25,000 acres starting in 2020; direction to the State Water Resources Control Board to monitor and asses the development, funding and implementation of the Salton Sea Management Program; and directing state agencies to evaluate renewable energy development around the Salton Sea. These events are encouraging to the County as the Governor’s administration and numerous state agencies have recognized the critical need for urgent action.
“The Governor’s actions are a direct result of all of the hard work invested by local residents, stakeholders and agencies, demanding action at the Salton Sea. While encouraging, the Salton Sea must have the shovel-ready “no regret” projects move forward without delay and a long term plan which includes renewable energy funded by the State.” said Imperial County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Ryan Kelley.
“We appreciate the efforts of the assistant secretary, Bruce Wilcox, in developing the Salton Sea Management Concept and look forward to working with him on developing a plan that meets the Governor’s entire objective for the Salton Sea. Focus must be on restoring exposed playa to avert a public health crisis and on development of substantial quantities of new renewable energy and the necessary transmission facilities as well as continued involvement of the State Water Resources Control to monitor efforts and ensure projects are implemented in a timely manner is critical,” states, Chairman Kelley.
Contact: Ralph Cordova, CEO – Imperial County – 760-604-2670