Riverside County 5th District Supervisor Marion Ashley is accusing Sacramento and Washington of not working with locals and showing "neglect and exploitation" when it comes to efforts to restore the Salton Sea.
"...the resources appear to be in hand, the locals are united and willing to forge ahead with a new plan. They just need cooperation and support instead of neglect and exploitation from the state and federal government." Ashley said via a statement released today from his position as the Chairman of the Board of The Salton Sea Authority.
The topic has become a hot-button issue this week, as the weekend thunderstorms pushed the locally-known "Salton Stink" into Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles Counties, prompting complaints and 911 calls over the "rotten egg odor".
As part of the solution, Ashleys says it will take more than just words and good intentions from the state and federal government.
"In 2003, the QSA legislation directed the Resource Agency to develop a restoration strategy and funding plan. Four years and 20 million dollars later, Resources presented a plan estimated to cost 9 billion dollars. To this day, no funding plan has been proposed.
The legislature failed to act on the Resources’ plan and instead formed a Salton Sea Restoration Council to generate an actionable plan. The council never met, and in the current budget cycle, the legislation empowering the Restoration Council was repealed."
After noting that the state has approved millions of dollars on plans to restore the wildlife habitat, only to see bills stalled in committees and money vetoed at the Governor's desk, Ashley says its time for Sacramento to give up efforts, and return authority to the local level.
"It is time for the state to step aside," Ashley said, "and yield the reins to the Salton Sea Authority, the local entity that is committed to resolving this issue of critical concern to all who hope to breathe freely in a healthy environment and strong economy."