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Proposed budget 2020-2021 includes $220 million for Salton Sea plan

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY)- The Imperial County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency on the Salton Sea last October.

Urging the state step in and for the county to be able to use available resources.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Luis Plancarte said, "There is a lot of funding that becomes available. And there's also a lift that happens of certain permitting issues and regulatory issues to allow you to get over that emergency quicker

On Tuesday, the county received a letter from the California Natural Resouces Agency, explaining that California Governor Gavin Newsom will include $220 million dollars in additional funding for the Salton Sea Management Program in his proposed state budget later this week.

Plancarte said this is a step in the right direction.

"Part of the reasons why we're falling behind, is because there's not enough money to do some of that work. With this, some of that work can be fast-tracked and hopefully, we can catch up."

Comite Civico Del Valle Executive Director, Jose Luis Olmedo said more funds mean more studies can be conducted on the Salton Sea is continuing to affect the way of life for residents.

"We know it's already happening. It's an area that's an endemic to high incidents of asthma. You know we have other health conditions. We know what's in the Salton Sea. We know everything that's floating in the Salton Sea. What we need to do is fully mitigate it."

But local agencies are urging community members to do their part.

"They need to participate. They need to go to the meetings. We need the general public. You know pick up the phones. Call your legislature. Support them. Call the governor's office. Support the governor and this budget. It's in negotiation right now," added Olmedo.

Plancarte said local agencies and stakeholders will meet within the next few days to decide how to allocate the proposed additional funds if the state budget is approved.

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Billy Khang

Billy Khang joined KYMA in January of 2018 as a Multimedia Journalist.

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