Imperial, California - The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors today announced a settlement agreement that will bring to an end the litigation that has pitted them against each other for more than 12 years.
Terms of the settlement call for the county and its Air Pollution Control District to dismiss their pending appeal of the 2013 Sacramento Superior Court ruling validating the agricultural-to-urban water transfers authorized by the Quantification Settlement Agreement and to join with IID in its petition regarding the state's unmet restoration obligation at the Salton Sea, now before the State Water Resources Control Board.
IID, for its part, agrees to waive its court costs and to seek the same waiver of costs from the remaining QSA parties. It will also pay the county and air district $750,000 to dismiss their appeal.
The settlement was approved by both boards and reported out of their respective closed sessions by IID board President Steve Benson and Imperial County board Chairman Ryan Kelley.
"This settlement is important not only for the two agencies but to the entire region," said Benson, "and it wouldn't have happened if not for the hard work by the negotiators on both sides over many months. I want to particularly thank Directors Jim Hanks and Matt Dessert, who stayed with this process and saw it through to a successful conclusion."
"What this settlement means to the residents of Imperial County," Kelley said, "is that, for the first time since the QSA was signed, the two governmental bodies that represent the same constituents are now in a position to speak with a single voice on what we both agree is a looming environmental crisis at the Salton Sea and to demand not just accountability but action."