On May 2, the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board unanimously approved the stipulated order for abatement for the Red Hill Bay (RHB) site near the Salton Sea addressing dust control measures on-playa exposed at the Red Hill Bay site due to the shrinking Salton Sea.
Following the approval of this order, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at their May 3 regular board meeting to delegate authority to Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO), Matt Dessert, to enter into the Settlement Agreement and Release contingent on the issuance of the stipulated order for abatement.
“The County of Imperial will continue to prioritize the health of our residents and protection of our environment regarding this matter,” stated Chairman of the Board, Jesus Eduardo Escobar. “The Board of Supervisors looks forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the IID, and all partner agencies, to ensure actions continue to be taken to address the crisis at the Salton Sea.”
“As the health and safety of all communities in and around the Salton Sea remain a priority for IID, we are pleased to work with the county to reach an agreement,” said James C. Hanks, Board President. “IID remains committed to continuing our work in implementing, operating and maintaining science-based proactive dust control measures for these important air quality projects.”
Both the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District and Imperial Irrigation District were in agreement with the actions identified in the order. Within the order, IID agrees to install, operate, and maintain Best Available Control Measures (BACM) on the RHB site according to the following:
- IID to submit to the APCD for review and comment on an initial Red Hill Bay Implementation Plan to support the implementation of BACM for fugitive dust no later than sixty calendar days after the issuance of the Order;
- IID shall install, operate, and maintain temporary surface roughening to support vegetation establishment at the RHB site no later than six months after issuance of the Order;
- IID shall complete all necessary water supply upgrades, install all irrigation infrastructure, and complete all vegetation seeding/transplanting to support the implementation of vegetation BACM at the RHB site, or identify as soon as possible the locations of and initiate the process to install gravel BACM or apply chemical stabilization BACM at the RHB site where vegetation is not practical, no later than 3 years after the issuance of the Order;
- IID shall achieve the performance criteria for vegetation, gravel, or chemical stabilization BACM; and
- IID shall submit written semi-annual reports summarizing monitoring data and implementation progress by January 31 and July 31, with the first report due on January 31, 2023, and the final report due on January 31, 2027.
The Stipulated Order can be read in its entirety at https://apcd.imperialcounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Stipulated-Order-for-Abatement.pdf.