The decision was made Wednesday by the county Board of Supervisors during a closed session meeting that was adjourned Tuesday and then continued, said Imperial County Counsel Michael Rood.
One portion of the agreement that requires the state to pay for restoration costs for the Salton Sea was ruled invalid in 2010. This ruling put the future of the water transfer at risk, as it was a key component of the agreement.
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But early last month the nation’s largest agriculture–to-urban water transfer was deemed valid by an appeals court in Sacramento.
“The county does not oppose categorically” the transfer of water from the Imperial Valley to San Diego and Los Angeles, said Antonio Rossmann, special counsel to the county of Imperial. But the county wants to make sure that those who benefit are responsible for the mitigation cost of the QSA, he said.
The transfer of water creates environmental concerns that revolve around the Salton Sea, said Rossmann. The sea would be reduced, exposing the shoreline, increasing its salinity and harming the fish and wildlife there.
There is also an economical harm to farmers who may have to fallow their land because of the QSA, he said.
The county is “literally excluded from any of the negotiations,” said Rossmann.
The county believes state law gives the right to the county to prevent the QSA until those impacts are addressed, said Rossmann.
In as much as 90 days the state Supreme Court will answer whether it is going to hear the case, Rood said.
IID General Counsel Jeff Garber was not available for comments.
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org