Supervisor Perez, Salton Sea Authority Raise Opposition to Bill that Could Threaten Salton Sea Progress

PALM DESERT – Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and the Salton Sea Authority are concerned about a bill, Senate Bill 583, that could stall progress and projects for the Salton Sea.

Supervisor Perez has submitted a letter of opposition to SB 583, a bill in the state Legislature proposed by State Sen. Steve Padilla. Last week, the Salton Sea Authority voted to formally oppose the measure.

Supervisor V. Manuel Perez letter.

Salton Sea Authority letter.

Perez was a member of the State Assembly a decade ago when he established, through his legislation, AB 71, the existing successful partnership between the State of California and the Salton Sea Authority, which consists of local entities: Riverside County, Imperial County, the Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District and Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians. This partnership has now led to the state’s 10-year Salton Sea Management Program and active projects now happening at the Salton Sea.

SB 583 could undo years of progress to get local governments from Riverside County and Imperial County, water agencies and Tribal governments on the same page working together with the state. SB 583 proposes a “Salton Sea Conservancy,” a new governance structure, that could sidestep the local Salton Sea Authority and add an unnecessary planning layer that could  elay the delivery of projects.

“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.”

Image Sources

  • Salton Sea: Shutterstock