IMPERIAL The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors unanimously approved issuing a letter of support for Imperial County’s recent proclamation of a local air pollution emergency at the Salton Sea.

In the letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, IID Board President Erik Ortega stated the threat requires immediate action.

“The imminent threat to the health and safety of the communities in the Salton Sea region requires immediate action before the playa exposure gets ahead of the state’s ability to implement dust control and habitat projects in order to prevent the exacerbation of the regional public health and the collapse of the sea’s ecosystem,” Ortega said.

The county issued its emergency proclamation for air pollution at the Salton Sea October 22, declaring that conditions are of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property caused by receding shorelines of the Salton Sea, exposing harmful dust and air pollution to the air.

According to the county, the air pollution, which began accelerating in January 2018, has not been reduced and is now an extreme peril to the safety of persons in the surrounding areas of the Salton Sea.

The gravity of the situation, IID’s letter added, is “beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of the county of Imperial, thus requiring immediate attention and additional resources from the state of California.”

For these reasons, IID stands in support of the county’s proclamation of a local emergency at the Salton Sea and urges the governor to proclaim a state of emergency exists.

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