County asks IID to withdraw draft report, study

June 26, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL

Staff Writer

The county supervisors believe the Imperial Irrigation District's draft environmental report and study on the San Diego-IID water transfer is flawed and needs to be withdrawn.

The board sent a letter Tuesday to the IID Board of Directors asking it to withdraw the draft and proceed with a revised version.

The county's letter states the draft environmental report and study fails to measure impacts of growth in San Diego, air quality in Imperial County and idling farmland to save water.


The county asked the IID to delay a formal hearing, scheduled for Friday, on the environmental report and study but that request was turned down, county Planning Director Jurg Heuberger said.

The draft's failure to measure the impacts of San Diego County's growth results in a failure to look at the community's future needs. Without studying future needs, the draft cannot address alternatives that might require the export of less Imperial Valley water, the letter states.

The supervisors also said they cannot support a proposal that might cause unhealthy air to be exposed from the Salton Sea shoreline or from idling farmland.

There is no acceptable definition or plan in the draft for the long-term idling of farmland, also known as fallowing, the letter states.

The letter also states the board believes a revised draft should include a newly suggested long-term fallowing program, which has not been evaluated in the current draft environmental report and study. Including such a program would allow it to be measured and would let affected agencies determine if it is acceptable.

The county has not received all of the documents it requested from IID on the draft environmental report and study. The county specifically wants to see comments made by others on the drafts, the letter states.

The county discussed IID issues in a closed-session meeting last month. Closed-session items, such as litigation or pending litigation, are not open to public scrutiny.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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