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Bill Would Restart All-American Canal Project

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Aired 4/19/09

Supporters of a controversial project that would bring Colorado River water to San Diego County got a boost from the lame-duck Congress. The House and Senate passed a bill that removes legal roadblocks to the lining of the All-American Canal in Imperial County. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more. 

President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law. The $250 million lining project has been on hold for months while a coalition of groups challenged it. San Diego County Water Authority spokeswoman Halla Razak says the bill paves the way for the project by clearing those legal challenges.

Razak: There are some milestones that we need to meet as far as schedule goes, but we are hoping if all goes well we might be starting construction this spring.

Razak says replacing the earthen canals with concrete will eliminate seepage, conserving enough water to supply about 110,000 San Diego County homes. Opponents sued to stop the project, saying lining the canal would harm an important wetland in Mexico and cause air pollution in Imperial County. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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