IMPERIAL COUNTY – In an effort to assist the State of California’s administration in accomplishing Salton Sea restoration goals that were established in October 2015, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors authorized the Imperial County Executive Officer Ralph Cordova, Jr. to release guidelines for a Solicitation of Interest for Dust Suppression Projects at the Salton Sea that are consistent with the Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation (SS AQM) Program. Statements of Interest must be submitted by August 31, 2016.
“The County of Imperial, in collaboration with the Imperial Irrigation District, is leading the conversation in relation to the Salton Sea in an effort to move this topic to the forefront with our state and federal administration and legislature,” stated District 4 Supervisor Ryan E. Kelley. “During these discussions, we recognized that there are private properties along the Sea that should be and can be a part of the solutions to address the impending environmental and public health hazards posed by the receding shoreline. By releasing the Solicitation of Interest, we can tap into the creative minds of Imperial Valley landowners and local entrepreneurs who are willing to test new dust suppression methods that can be adopted and applied to a large surface area, such as the Sea’s exposed playa.”
The County of Imperial is soliciting Statements of Interest that will present test projects that can be implemented in the short term and that provide demonstrated results to control dust emissions at the Salton Sea. According to the solicitation guidelines, the Statements of Interest shall not be more than three pages, all applicants must demonstrate ownership of property identified at or near the Salton Sea, and the proposed project must meet the goal of achieving dust suppression that is consistent with the SS AQM Program.
The SS AQM Program was prepared by the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in coordination with the County of Imperial to provide a comprehensive, science-based, adaptive approach to address air quality mitigation requirements associated with the transfer of up to approximately 300,000 acre-feet per year of conserved water under the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA). The overarching goal of the SS AQM Program is to identify the tools that can be used to prevent exposed Salton Sea playa from becoming a significant source of dust emissions that are hazardous to human health based upon the best available science.
The Salton Sea, the largest inland body of water in the state of California, is a man-made lake that is located primarily in Imperial County. It was formed between 1905 to 1907 by a flood from the Colorado River and is now sustained by agricultural runoff from Imperial and Coachella Valley farmlands. To mitigate the reduction of water inflows due to the QSA, the IID is required to deliver mitigation water to the Salton Sea. That mitigation water ends on December 31, 2017 which will further exacerbate the already dwindling inflows to the Salton Sea and significantly increase the amount of exposed lakebed. Airborne dust from the exposed lakebed would pose huge environmental and public health risks.
For more information about the Solicitation for Statements of Interest for dust suppression projects at the Salton Sea, please contact the County Executive Office at (442) 265-1001. The Solicitation is available for review beginning today, at www.co.imperial.ca.us. Statements of Interest are due by August 31, 2016.