I appreciate the speed and effort of your team in looking at the causes and sources of this odor issue. Now, the difficult task of reducing the threat of a repeat episode or a potentially more harmful health incident by restoring the environmental health of the Salton Sea is more important than ever.
In addition to the environmental and health benefits of a healthy ecosystem, there is great potential in developing renewable energy resources that could provide real economic benefits to the region. I am reaching out to all relevant agencies at the federal, state and local levels of government urging them to work together with the same goal - preserving the Salton Sea with a long-term strategy to restore and manage its ecosystem, which will lead to better air quality, improved habitat, and great potential economic growth.
Difficult decisions must be made in prioritizing our resources and budgets. As spending levels in yearly budgets are being decided - or other revenue sources come up, such as receiving air mitigation funds from the Sentinel project - it is appropriate to ask if these scarce dollars would be better spent improving the region's air quality by mitigating the harmful impacts of the Salton Sea, instead of a bike path with questionable air quality and economic benefits.
As I have shared with you in the past, I urge the District to use these mitigation funds wisely by approving projects that will improve the air quality in the Coachella Valley, especially in the eastern part of the Valley, which has some of the poorest air quality in the country.
Thank you for your continued attention to this matter.
Sincerely, Mary Bono Mack Member of Congress