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Restoration Legislation aims to preserve the Salton Sea

Senate Bill 583 would create the Salton Sea Conservancy - 13 On Your Side's Vanessa Gongora reports

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - The California State Senate passed a bill to try and unify efforts to preserve the Salton Sea.

Senate Bill 583 was authored by Senator Steve Padilla (D-California) who represents Imperial County.

It would form the Salton Sea Conservancy to speed up preservation projects, protect residents’ health and foster an ecological recovery in the area.

Senator Padilla says this bill gets the ball moving forward to form a stronger umbrella structure.

"So it's very important that all of the stakeholders from the local level, state and the federal are coordinating and communicating and collaborating in a way that actually achieves results," Padilla said.

Padilla said we need better progress because the poor air quality has caused more than double the rate of childhood asthma in that area.

"The reason the restoration is important is if we can and we have, and the state is investing significantly restoring that with natural habitat, that prevents that sediment that's being exposed from being aerosolized," explained Padilla. "So it improves air quality and it restores some of that area to its natural state and also it helps encourage support some of the ecosystems that are there that are healthy."

He says this problem has been going on for many decades and it's about time to step it up and have a sense of urgency.

"It's been a long slow-moving ecological, environmental and public health disaster," said Padilla.

The bill has received bipartisan support and passed on a 39-0 vote.

It now heads to the State Assembly.

"There's a lot of work to be done there as we look to the future moving this bill forward," said Padilla.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA team in 2022 and is the anchor/producer for CBS at 4 p.m.

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