A decade of litigation and appeals in the Quantification Settlement Agreement coordinated cases may enter a new chapter soon, one of cooperation and teamwork.
The Imperial Irrigation District is seeking a stay of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly’s pending decision on the environmental component that originally invalidated a portion of the case while the district and Imperial County move forward with their common interest on the Salton Sea, namely restoration.
“The underlying rationale for securing this stay of 90 days in the QSA litigation would be to allow IID and Imperial County sufficient time to come to some resolution of their dispute regarding restoration of the Salton Sea,” IID General Manager Kevin Kelley said, reading from a prepared statement at Tuesday’s Board of Directors meeting.
What this resolution might look like is not yet clear, but it centers on finding a long-term funding source for restoration of the Salton Sea. The county issued a statement in support of the IID’s initiative “to identify sources outside the Imperial Valley that can realize the permanent stabilization of the Salton Sea and fulfillment of all mitigation responsibilities to protect the public health.”
With few believing that the state of California will be able to pay for the restoration of the Salton Sea, attention is shifting to private-public partnerships as potential funding sources for restoration, which Director Jim Hanks confirmed. However, he did not elaborate what such arrangements might look like, saying only that the district wants to explore any possibilities.
Although the county is just one party of many to the QSA Coordinated Cases, there is hope that the rest will settle if the IID and the county find a way to work together.
“If the county and the IID were to resolve their differences by securing a long-tem funding mechanism for the Salton Sea, then it’s conceivable that other parties in the litigation might see their way clear to settling as well,” Kelley said.
Staff Writer Antoine Abou-Diwan can be reached at 760-337-3454 or email@example.com
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