April 10, 2013
 

California Legislature

  • Bills of interest to the almond industry - - The deadline has passed for bills to be introduced in the State Legislature. Legislative committees are considering the first of 2,233 bills awaiting their attention. May 31, 2031 is the last day for each house to pass bills introduced in that house. Here is a look at some of the bills of interest to the almond industry.

    • Nitrates. AB 69 Nitrate at Risk Area Fund by Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno) This bill would establish the Nitrate at Risk Area Fund, to be administered by the board and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, moneys in the fund would be available for the purposes of developing and implementing sustainable and affordable solutions for disadvantaged communities in specified areas designated by the department, in conjunction with the board. This bill will be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 10, 2013. April 9, 2013
       

    • Nitrates. AB 145  State Water Resources Control Board drinking water by Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno). This bill would transfer from the State Department of Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board the various duties and responsibilities imposed on the department by  the California Safe Drinking Water Act. On April 2, 2013, this bill was approved by a 9-2 vote of the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxics Material Committee.  April 9, 2013
       

    • Nitrates. AB 21 -Safe Drinking Water Small Community Emergency Grant Fund by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) This bill would authorize the department to assess a specified annual charge in lieu of interest on loans for water projects made pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, and deposit that money into the Safe Drinking Water Small Community Emergency Grant Fund, which the bill would create in the State Treasury. The bill would authorize the department to expend the money for grants for specified water projects that serve disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities, thereby making an appropriation. This bill is set for a hearing on April 10, 20134 by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  April 9, 2013
       

    • Fracking. AB 288 by Assemblyman  Marc Levine (D-San Rafael). This bill would define “hydraulic fracturing” and require the operator of a well, at least 30 days prior to any hydraulic fracturing operations, to file with the supervisor or the district deputy a written notice of intention, as specified, to commence hydraulic fracturing. This bill is set for a hearing April 15, 2013 by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.  April 9, 2013
       

    • Fracking. AB 669 by Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz). This bill would additionally require the operator prior to drilling operations to submit proof to the supervisor that the applicable regional water quality control board has approved the method and location of wastewater disposal for the well.  The bill is set for a hearing April 15, 2013 by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. April 9, 2013
       

    • Fracking. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) has introduced SB 395, a bill to regulate the wastewater produced from fracking. Jackson’s bill would require that any fluids brought up during the fracking process be regulated as a hazardous waste by the Department of Toxic Substances Control, giving it the authority to ensure that the appropriate precautions are taken in how the wastewater is transported and disposed. This bill is currently awaiting action by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. April 9, 2013
       

    • Fracking. Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) has introduced AB 982, which would require companies fracking for oil and gas in California to monitor groundwater near their operations. The proposed legislation would require monitoring of groundwater quality both before and after any fracking. This bill is set for a hearing April 15, 2013 by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. April 9, 2013
       

    • Fracking. Two bills seek to define hydraulic fracturing and hydraulic fracturing fluid as well as require new rules and regulations specific to hydraulic fracturing be adopted by Jan. 1, 2015. SB 4 was introduced by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Los Angeles) and AB 7 was introduced by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont.) SB 4 passed the California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on a 6-2 vote on April 9, 2013. AB 7 is set for a hearing April 15,2013 before the Assembly Natural resources Committee. April 9, 2013

    • Fracking. AB 649 by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks)  would define “hydraulic fracturing” in oil and gas operations and would prohibit hydraulic fracturing, as well as the use of clean freshwater for purposes of hydraulic fracturing, on any oil or gas well, if the well is located ____ miles from an aquifer, until the completion of a report, as specified, and a determination is made that hydraulic fracturing can be conducted without a risk to the public health, welfare, environment, or the economy of the state. The bill was approved by the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on Feb. 12, 2013 and referred to the Appropriations Committee. April 9, 2013

    • Fracking. AB 1303 by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D- Santa Monica) would define “hydraulic fracturing” and would prohibit hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas operations until the Legislature enacts subsequent legislation that determines whether and under what conditions hydraulic fracturing may be conducted while protecting the public health and safety and the natural resources of the state. On April 1, 2013  this bill was referred to the Natural Resources Committee. April 9, 2013

    • Fracking. AB 1332 by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell (D-Culver City) would define “hydraulic fracturing” in oil and gas operations and would prohibit hydraulic fracturing until the completion of a report, as specified, and a determination is made that hydraulic fracturing can be conducted without a risk to the public health and welfare, environment, or the economy of the state. The bill would also express the intent of the Legislature to, among other things, protect the public health and welfare, natural and environmental resources, and economic interest of the state. On April 1, 2013 this bill was referred to the Natural Resources Committee. April 9, 2013

    • Air quality incentive funding - - Legislation has been introduced in the state Assembly and Senate that would continue incentive funding for equipment replacement to meet air quality standards. The program by the state air board has proven to be very popular with farmers looking for assistance in purchasing cleaner burning farm equipment. SB 11 was introduced by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Los Angeles) . The bill will be heard on April 9, 2013 by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.  AB 8 was introduced by  Assemblymembers Henry Perea (D-Fresno) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley.) AB 8 was referred to the Assembly Transportation committee. April 9, 2013
       

    • Pesticides- toxic air contaminant control measures.  AB 304 by Assemblyman Das Williams  (D-Santa Barbara)  would require the written determination regarding control measures for each pesticide listed as a toxic air contaminant and all findings made by consulting agencies be made available to the public. This bill will be heard April 16, 2013 by the Assembly Environmental, Safety and Toxic Materials committee. April 9, 2013

Water

  • Feds cut Valley water allocation to 20% - - The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced March 23, 2013 that the past couple of months of dry weather prompted a decrease in water allocations to contractors south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin river delta to 20% of the contracted supply. In February, the bureau had estimated the allocation at 25%. The earlier allocation was based on pumping restrictions in the delta to protect threatened fish species under the federal Endangered Species Act. But dry weather from January through March prompted federal officials to classify the Sacramento and San Joaquin river supplies as critical based on reduced river flows into the delta.

  • West Side farmers to benefit from water agreement - -  In the face of major cuts to their water supply, West Side farmers received good news  April 5, 2013 after two irrigation districts agreed to sell Stanislaus River water that will be available to many local farm water districts. Oakdale Irrigation District’s board of directors agreed Tuesday, April 2, to sell up to 40,000 acre-feet of river water to the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority and the state Department of Water Resources. South San Joaquin Irrigation District’s board agreed to sell the same amount to those agencies on March 26. The agreement will aid the water authority’s 29 agencies in the western San Joaquin Valley and San Benito and Santa Clara counties, including most irrigation districts on the West Side. The extra water comes during a critically dry year when West Side farmers have only been allowed to draw up to 20 percent of their full federal Central Valley Project water allotments from the Delta-Mendota Canal.

Air Quality

  • Energy Input in Almonds — Can It Be Offset?
    New research funded by the Almond Board of California Environmental Committee is looking at net energy use and greenhouse gas emissions during the life cycle of almonds from nursery to hulling and shelling. Read More

    http://cts.vresp.com/c/?AlmondBoardofCalifor/a6fd0316cf/9920bb325f/fdbe9e92b0/pid=371

     
     

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