The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board monitors and regulates water quality for Los Angeles and Ventura counties in addition to small portions of Kern and Santa Barbara counties. A conditional waiver program for irrigated agricultural lands was adopted on November 3rd 2005 for the Los Angeles Region. Approximately 100,000 acres of irrigated agricultural lands have contributed to degraded water quality and exceedence of Water Quality Benchmarks (WQB) by every monitored watershed in the region. WQBs are requirements established by:
- The Basin Plan, including discharge prohibitions
- A relevant statewide plan or policy
- United States Environmental Protection Agency, including National and California Toxics Rule
- TMDL load allocations
Pesticides and biostimulatory substances are considered two key pollutants from agricultural discharges impairing watersheds of the Los Angeles Region. Major concerns include threats to beneficial uses and high levels groundwater nitrate.
The conditional waiver includes typical implementation of management practices, monitoring and reporting in addition to completion of 8 hours of educational training, a BMP checklist and preparation of a Monitoring and Reporting Plan (MRP) and a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). Water quality must be monitored twice during the wet season and twice during the dry season with results reported annually. Any exceedance of WQBs requires development of a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) with targeted management practices.
|Submit NOI and MRP||Individual or Discharger Group||6 months after adoption of Conditional Waiver|
|Annual Monitoring Report (AMR)||Individual or Discharger Group||One year after Notice of Applicability (NOA) is issued and every year thereafter|
|WQMP, if necessary||Individual or Discharger Group||6 months after submission of AMR and annually thereafter (if necessary)|
The Nursery Growers Association Los Angeles County Irrigated Lands Group (NGA-ILG) and the Ventura County Agriculture Irrigated Lands Group (VCAILG) are the two discharger groups in the Los Angeles Region covered under the conditional waiver. As of 2009, the VCAILG represented about 92% of the irrigated agricultural lands covering an area of approximately 125,000 acres. The NGA-ILG contained 237 locations at this time and covered approximately 2,232 acres  The VCAILG received a Notice of Applicability from the RWQCB in September of 2011 while the NGA-ILG was issued an NOA in February 2012. These groups currently comply with the MRPs and WQMPs from the orignal waiver adopted in 2005  but have established opportunities for their members to comply with the education requirements of the renewed waiver that was adopted in October of 2010.
On October 7, 2010 the conditional waiver for WDRs was renewed with few changes by the Los Angeles RWQCB. Monitoring results have indicated exceedence of WQBs and the new waiver renewal in 2015 may see significant changes if effective BMPs are not implemented and progress is not demonstrated . Several grants are in the process of being acquired through Clean Water Act section 319 grant and Proposition 84.
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