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Imperial County Declares Emergency At Salton Sea

State lawmakers and state agency representatives look at an area that once wa...

Photo by Brooke Ruth

Above: State lawmakers and state agency representatives look at an area that once was covered by water from the Salton Sea, March 16, 2017. The sea in the distance.

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The emergency declaration is aimed at forcing state and federal officials to take action to decrease the dust around the Salton Sea.

Aired: October 23, 2019 | Transcript

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to declare a local state of emergency over air pollution at the Salton Sea.

The action is aimed at forcing state and federal officials to take action to decrease the dust around the lake.

The shoreline of California’s largest lake is receding and creating more dry lake bed, in part, because of a water transfer deal between Imperial Valley and San Diego. That transfer prevents surrounding irrigation runoff from stabilizing the lake's water level.

The dry lake bed has fine dust particles that may contain pesticide residue from farm fields and other toxic materials from runoff.

Imperial County Board of Supervisors chair Ryan Kelly joins Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss why the board took this step.

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