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Congressman Raul Ruiz

Representing the 36th District of California

Dr. Ruiz Helps Pass New Drought Contingency Plan that Protects Water Flow to the Salton Sea

April 8, 2019
Press Release

Today, Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) helped pass H.R. 2030, the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act, a bill that includes language Dr. Ruiz advocated for to preserve environmental regulations critical to protecting the Salton Sea. The bill passed the House unanimously and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

“By fighting to protect the Salton Sea, I am fighting for the health of local children, seniors, and families,” said Dr. Ruiz. “I am proud to have successfully advocated for reforms to the Drought Contingency Plan legislation that preserve environmental protections and defend water flow to the Salton Sea. This bill’s passage was a key victory for our local communities, protecting our access to water while addressing the environmental and public health crisis at the Salton Sea. I will never stop working to protect the Salton Sea, our local environment, and the health of families across our region.”

Background

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2030, the Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act, by Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), which implements the seven-state Drought Contingency Plan agreement to preserve the Colorado River in the event of worsening drought.

Despite widespread agreement that a Drought Contingency Plan is needed, initial drafts of the implementing legislation potentially threatened the Salton Sea by waiving federal environmental regulations critical to protecting the Salton Sea from reduced inflows. The bill that passed the House included new language clarifying that federal environmental protections will remain in place.

The passage of the revised bill comes after Dr. Ruiz gave a floor speech on March 28th highlighting the need for a Drought Contingency Plan that preserves progress in restoring wildlife habitats and protecting local communities from the public health crisis at the Salton Sea. In a House Natural Resources Committee hearing earlier this month, Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) recognized Dr. Ruiz for his advocacy.

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