Waiting on Jerry Brown to pass Salton Sea Bill

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EL CENTRO – The Imperial Irrigation District, along with other agencies connected to the Salton Sea, are pleased that $2 million has been budgeted to help the Salton Sea. Now the wait to see if Governor Brown will sign it.

The Salton Sea has been in trouble for decades and leaders say time is running out. This money for the feasibility funding is a needed starting point.

“It was approved last year but it was vetoed out of the budget. It will be going before the Governor. He has 15 days to sign the bill,” President of Salton Sea Authority, Jim Hanks said.

Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez has made the big push to put the bill before the governor. The Salton Sea is in need of restoration if it is to stay alive. Otherwise the dry playa is anticipated to be a major health risk to the residents of the Imperial Valley.

The IID has been providing water for the past 10 years to sustain the wildlife. That contract will be up in 2017.

“The Salton Sea Authority is trying to pick up the slack of the state and hopefully we can come up with the Salton Sea plan that is affordable,” Hanks said.

“The acceleration of all of the problems that the sea has been facing it’s just going to increase. It’s going to all start happening much more rapidly and the concerns we have for public health and the environment,” Communications Director Amy Wilson of Manuel Perez’s office said.

In addition to the $2 million, a grant of $3 million is also included to improve habitat for the fish and wildlife at the sea.

All will know in a few weeks if the Governor signs the bill.