Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz formally introduced legislation to help mitigate the environmental crisis at the Salton Sea on Thursday.
The bill, called the "Salton Sea Public Health and Environmental Protection Act," follows a congressional hearing on the Salton Sea in late September, the first hearing on the environmental crisis at the lake since 1997. The legislation, if passed, would bring substantial federal funding to support dust suppression and habitat projects at the Salton Sea. It would also increase coordination between stakeholders at all levels of government.
Ruiz announced the introduction of the bill on News Channel 3 in the Morning and spoke on the timeliness of the bill as well as the wide-ranging health effects of the toxic lake on Southern California.
According to Ruiz's office, the bill would "be done in tandem
with the State's Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) and create the most significant infusion of resources into the Sea since the SSMP was drafted. In addition, this legislation would increase coordination and streamline project development by establishing a federal interagency Salton Sea Management Council, consisting of officials from the key federal agencies with jurisdiction over the Salton Sea with a mandate to push forward and manage Salton Sea projects."