The United State House of Representative has passed H.R. 2740, an appropriations bill in support of a federal agreement to allot $30 million for projects which would address the environmental and health crisis at the Salton Sea.
Included in the Bill is an amendment from Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D – Palm Desert) which would dedicate an added $2 million to stymie the decline of California’s largest lake.
“This bill reflects the all-hands-on-deck approach we must take to mitigate and manage the decline of the Salton Sea by investing in our local environment and the health of our children, seniors, and families,”read a statement from Ruiz’s issued in a news release from his office. “By working together, federal, state, and county governments, businesses, and tribes can deliver real, pragmatic results to protect the health and economy of our local communities.”
The bill passed by a vote of 226 to 203.
The Salton Sea has experienced repeated catastrophic environmental events in recent months, including mass bird die-offs, steep declines in migrating animal populations, and the appearance of widespread harmful algal blooms.
In 2003, runoff from the Colorado River was diverted from the Salton Sea, hamstringing the shrinking body of water’s ability to replenish. This has led to acres of former lake bed becoming exposed, which has caused significant air quality issues in the surrounding area.