Imperial County Lithium Initiative

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Project Overview

On June 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 125 authorizing the state to assist in developing Imperial County’s lithium resource in an area that is a part of the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area, known as Lithium Valley.  Among other provisions, SB 125 appropriated funding to develop a Lithium Valley Specific Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) and to distribute grants to local community-based organizations to conduct engagement related to the Specific Plan and PEIR. The Lithium Valley Specific Plan and PEIR is intended to map out and expedite the development and permitting of additional power plants, mineral recovery, lithium battery manufacturing, and other renewable industries within an approximately 51,786-acre area adjacent to the Salton Sea. A major goal is to encourage renewable energy industry investment that provides quality local jobs, while minimizing adverse effects on the environment and public health. This project will be a pivotal step for Imperial Valley and the nation towards a more sustainable and localized economy.

The County of Imperial has embarked on an aggressive goal of preparing itself to work with the Lithium/Rare Mineral Extraction Industry, educational sector, specialty groups, community-based organizations, and local/state/federal governments for lithium mining within Imperial County.

The actions that the Imperial County Board of Supervisors are taking is an effort to help meet the State of California’s renewable energy production goals, while providing industry with a clear timeline for project delivery, an infrastructure plan that would facilitate development, and recommendations for public improvement that would benefit residents of the surrounding communities.