January 10, 2020

Congressman Raul Ruiz Secures Army Corp Salton Sea Project in Water Resources Legislation

By Bob Marra

On December 8, the House of Representatives passed S. 1811, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA) which contains a section authored by Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) and Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) to strengthen the federal, state, and local partnership at the Salton Sea. This provision was also included in an earlier version of WRDA passed in July of this year.

Included in S. 1811 is an authorization for the Army Corps of Engineers to take the first step toward the construction of a northern perimeter lake project at the Salton Sea. The northern perimeter lake project is one of the next major undertakings under the State of California’s Salton Sea Management Program 10-Year Plan.

“The Water Resources Development Act of 2020 becoming law will be a victory for our district and our Salton Sea efforts, and I am calling on the Senate to take this bill up immediately,” said Dr. Ruiz. “This bill will strengthen our all-hands-on-deck approach to build projects and protect the public’s health at the Salton Sea by making this Salton Sea project a priority for the Army Corps of Engineers. I look forward to working with the State, County, and the Corps to get to work on this effort as soon as possible.”

“Restoring the Salton Sea is critical to protecting the health of the surrounding communities,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “Reducing toxic dust storms, which this provision seeks to do, would be an important step toward that goal. It would also increase habitat for migratory birds, another welcome development. I’m glad to see Congress is making this important investment in the Salton Sea’s future and appreciate Rep. Ruiz’s dedication to this issue.”

“The Salton Sea’s environmental and public health crisis is affecting the lives and livelihood of residents and workers in my district,” said Rep. Vargas. “I’m very pleased that Rep. Ruiz and I joined forces to ensure that our Salton Sea Restoration language was included as a provision in the Water Resources Development Act. We need resources and an all-hands-on-deck approach to reduce the harmful effects of the Salton Sea.”

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