U.S. Representative Raul Ruiz of Coachella introduced a bill November 18 to increase federal investments in the Salton Sea, a region that continues to grapple with an ongoing public health crisis.
In a press release, the office of Rep. Ruiz said the federal government is one of the largest landowners in the area. This is one of the reasons why the bill aims to hold the federal government accountable to its commitment to restore the lake.
Air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals from agriculture runoff and military testing have increasingly become an issue as the Salton Sea rapidly shrinks due to climate change and regional water flow modifications.
The act would coordinate efforts to address these concerns among the federal, state, and local levels. Measures to control dust, create habitats for local bird species, and funding for a public health study are included.
The bill comes after a September Congressional hearing which was the first on the lake since 1997.