Difference between revisions of "Regional regulatory approaches to agricultural runoff in California"
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Each [[RWQCB]] is tailored to a specific region. The regulations that are established are specific to
Each [[RWQCB]] is tailored to a specific region. The regulations that are established are specific to types of irrigated land and environmental concerns . For example, the regulations in San Francisco will be different then the regulations in Los Angeles because the agricultural settings are different (San Francisco is currently developing a [[conditional waiver program]] for vineyard facilities).
== '''Regions''' ==
== '''Regions''' ==
Revision as of 12:50, 12 April 2012California Water Code requires some combination of Waste Discharge Requirement (WDRs), conditional waivers of WDRs (ag waivers) and/or basin plan prohibitions. WDRs and conditional waivers are adopted as permits and requirements and can include discharge prevention, implementation of management practices, water quality monitoring, remediation and reporting. WDRs implement applicable water quality control plans to protect receiving waters and consider beneficial uses, suitable water quality objectives, nuisance prevention and other waste discharges . Although waivers of WDRs are less intensive, permitting requirements are not simply abandoned; rather permittees must follow a certain set of conditions specified in the conditional waiver that are designed to avoid water quality violations while the waiver can be terminated at any time . The conditional waiver does not hinder the need for other required permits and does not prevent the establishment of additional requirements as authorized by the California Water Code. A prohibitions approach simply restricts certain types of discharges such as municipal, industrial or hazardous wastes while the level of discharge risk to water quality determines the requirements of WDRs and ag waivers . The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act 1969 is the primary law regulating the quality of both surface and ground waters. This Act makes the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) the agency responsible for water quality planning statewide and grants the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs) authority. The RWQCBs are responsible for the enforcement of WDRs, ag waivers and prohibitions. California contains nine Water Quality Control Regions, each regulated by its own RWQCB. Therefore each region regulates discharge from agricultural irrigation independently with different conditions and variations of the required regulatory approaches as shown in the Central Coast Region Agricultural Waiver.
- 1 Regions with ag waivers
- 2 Characteristics of Various Regulatory Approaches
- 3 Regional Commonalities
- 4 Regional Differences
- 5 Regions
- 6 Technical Assistance
- 7 References
- 8 Links
- 9 Disclaimer
Regions with ag waivers
Characteristics of Various Regulatory Approaches
|WDRs (ag waivers)||Conditional Waivers of WDRs|
|Permit Type||Individual or General||Usually General|
|Risk of Discharges||Moderate||Low|
|Management Practices||Not Prescribed||May be Prescribed|
|Monitoring and Reporting||High||Low|
|Expiration||No - Open ended renewal depending on program effectiveness||Yes – Reviewed, revised, replaced, or reissued every 5 years|
Each of the 9 regions contains issues related to agricultural runoff. The goal of settings regulations to remedy agricultural runoff is common amongst the regions, although each region contains unique irrigation practices and previous regulatory actions if any at all. These unique circumstances cause each region to form preferential regulatory approaches and lead to differences amongst the regions.
Each RWQCB is tailored to a specific region. The regulations that are established are specific to types of irrigated land and environmental concerns within a region. For example, the regulations in San Francisco will be different then the regulations in Los Angeles because the agricultural settings are different (San Francisco is currently developing a conditional waiver program for vineyard facilities). Vineyard facilities are a larger concern for agricultural runoff in San Francisco then in Los Angeles.
The 9 RWQCBs for California are:
Region 1 -- North Coast
Region 2 -- San Francisco
Region 3 -- Central coast
Region 4 -- Los Angeles
Region 5 -- Central Valley
Region 6 -- Lahontan
Region 7 -- Colorado River Region
Region 8 -- Santa Ana
Region 9 -- San Diego
The following organizations provide a wide range of information, tools and guidance to assist California growers in water management and discharge reduction:
- University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources- Free publications on agriculture, insects, soil, water, and irrigation
- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) – A federal agency that aims to preserve and enhance natural resources
- NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Financial and technical assistance for Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation
- NRCS Agricultural Water Enhancement Program - Financial and technical assistance for BMP implementation for the purpose of improving water quality of surface and groundwaters.
- University of California Cooperative Extension - Local advisers and researchers provide assistance to growers and conduct education programs and research to address agriculture issues.
- California Irrigation Management Information System - weather stations across the state specifically developed to support efficient water management
- Pesticide Wise – Database provides pesticide information to growers and threats to water quality
- Water Quality Compliance Program Initial Program Framework http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/northcoast/water_issues/programs/irrigated_lands/pdf/120227/dec_14_ad_grp/4_Powerpoint_Initial_Staff-Developed_Framework.pdf
- Vineyards and Waivers http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfranciscobay/water_issues/programs/TMDLs/vineyard/waiver_newsletter.pdf
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