Salton Sea Authority Seek Delay on SB 583

The Salton Sea Authority, which has concerns with SB 583, is asking state Sen. Stephen Padilla to delay consideration of the measure until next year to allow the “space and time necessary for stakeholders to have the robust and transparent consideration the issue deserves.”

Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez earlier this month expressed concerned about a bill, Senate Bill 583, that could stall progress and projects for the Salton Sea.

“It has taken years to get to where we are, where we have agreement between Imperial and Riverside counties and the local communities with the state on plans for the Salton Sea,” Perez said in a statement. “As a result, we are now seeing projects moving forward and actually happening. This bill, SB 583, could upend the positive course that we are on for the Salton Sea and I am very concerned that the Senator has yet to reach out to local communities to discuss this bill.”

The Salton Sea Authority was formed on June 2, 1993, as a joint powers authority consisting of the Coachella Valley Water District, the Imperial Irrigation District, the County of Riverside, the County of Imperial and the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

According to the letter sent to Padilla, the Authority was created out of a “need for a local agency to work with the state of California, the federal government, and the Republic of Mexico in the development of programs to ensure the continued beneficial uses of the Salton Sea, including enhancing the “recreational and economic development potential of the Salton Sea. “The Authority was deliberately created as a “public agency separate and apart from any Party” to coordinate and harmonize Salton Sea activities across the member agencies “relating to improvement of water quality and stabilization of water elevation and to enhance recreational and economic potential of the Salton Sea and other beneficial uses.”

“The Authority is certainly not opposed to having robust and transparent conversations with stakeholders on how a Conservancy could help the state succeed where its other efforts have failed, but that engagement cannot be siloed,” the letter states. “One-off conversations with individual stakeholders are not helpful and does nothing to build the consensus building this undertaking requires. Just as important, these conversations cannot be rushed.”

Read the letter in its entirety here.

Image Sources

  • Salton Sea: Image by StockSnap from Pixabay