Imperial, Arizona - IID Board President Erik Ortega: "Today the House Natural Resources Committee and Senate Energy Committee introduced legislation to authorize the federal Drought Contingency Plan.
"I want to offer my very deep appreciation to Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senators Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Harris (D-Calif.), Congressmen Vargas (D-Calif.) and Ruiz (D-Calif.), Congressman Huffman (D-Calif.) and Chairman Griljava (D-Ariz.) for including Salton Sea protections sought by IID.
"A flawed draft version of this legislation was proposed by Reclamation and the seven negotiators for the Basin States in March.
"If enacted as proposed, this legislation could have removed Reclamation’s duty to evaluate, avoid and mitigate the impacts of the DCP on the Salton Sea.
"Congress stood with the Salton Sea by introducing legislation today, which maintains these critical environmental protections.
"IID remains committed to the DCP process and regrets that it is not able to become a signatory to the DCP at this point.
"IID approved the relevant DCP agreements in December 2018, but conditioned implementation on Board review and approval of all the DCP agreements, approval of the federal DCP legislation, and a 1:1 commitment of federal-to-state funding for the Salton Sea.
"As this greatly improved DCP legislation now moves forward in Congress, we hope our colleagues will join with us to address the public health and environmental crisis at the Salton Sea.
"That would achieve two critically important goals — protecting the public health and environment Imperial Valley, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the DCP."