EL CENTRO — The Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted to send a joint resolution letter with Riverside County Tuesday, February 23, to Governor Gavin Newsom requesting membership of the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA) Joint Powers Authority (JPA).
The QSA JPA was created in October 2003 by the State as an agreement between the California Department of Fish and Game, the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD), the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), and the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) to implement and fund certain obligations and limitations as part of the signed QSA and related to the Salton Sea restoration, including environmental mitigation requirements.
Supervisor Ryan Kelley said he brought the item to the Board because the County has a vested interest in mitigation of the receding Salton Sea. He said it is important for Imperial County to sit at the table to ensure funding is being utilized efficiently to meet the mitigation requirements.
After some discussion, it was decided that it would be beneficial for Riverside County to have a seat at the table as well, and that a letter from both sets of county supervisors would be more impactful.
As the local land use authority that encompasses a vast majority of the Salton Sea, the Board agreed with Supervisor Ryan Kelley’s request to be included in the conversations with the QSA JPA.
The letter that was drafted before the Board decided to open a dialogue with Riverside County supervisors stated both counties are public agencies that are directly affected by decisions related to the Salton Sea mitigation efforts.
The letter states, “For many years, the Board of Supervisors has been sounding the alarm regarding the large-scale ecological, environmental, and public health crisis that has been unfolding due to the Salton Sea’s rapid decline.”
Imperial County has the highest rate of asthma-related emergency room visits for children in the State of California, according to the letter.
The Board recognized that some recent efforts have been made toward the mitigation at the Salton Sea, but the County wants the opportunity to play a more active role in the QSA JPA and how the funding is utilized.
Supervisor Ryan Kelley said, “Their (CA Department of Fish and Game, IID, SDCWA, and CVWD) impact on the receding Sea (through the JPA) has been limited.”