July 10, 2013

California Legislature 

  • Assembly on summer recess, Senate recesses July 12 - - The state Capitol is a quieter place these days as the Assembly has gone on summer recess and Senate gets ready to recess on July 12. The Assembly began its summer recess on July 2 and will return August 5. The Senate begins its summer recess at the end of the session July 12 and return August 12.

  • Water fees hiked in state budget but no fertilizer tax - - Gov. Brown has signed a $96 billion state budget that includes a water fee increase on farmers to fund the State Water Resources Control Board to hire seven staff members to increase oversight and enforcement of agricultural wastewater discharges and develop greater expertise in agricultural production at the Central Coast and Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. In the final budget, Governor Brown chose to reduce the new staff members at the State Water Board from seven to five, saying this reduction is “necessary to prevent an excessive fee increase on farmers.” The final budget does not contain a fertilizer tax. However, a separate state bill by Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno), AB 69, would impose a $100,000,000 tax on all fertilizer products sold in California. The bill has passed the Assembly and is now being considered by the Senate Agriculture Committee. 




  • New CDPR Proposal Would Further Tighten Fumigation Rules - -
    The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) has proposed new regulations on the use of chloropicrin (Pic) to reduce potential worker and bystander exposure that could impact almond growers who fumigate soil when replanting with a Pic-containing product, such as Telone C35.

    The new regulations come on the heels of already revised federal EPA application requirements for Pic and other soil fumigants, which appear on labels as of this year. These revised requirements include buffer zone restrictions, depending on tarp usage, notification requirements and the requirement that trained applicators be present.

    CDPR has said that additional mitigation measures are warranted for chloropicrin, which is a powerful eye irritant. CDPR’s proposal contains language that caps the number of acres that can be treated in a day at 40 acres, as well as specific language that would increase the size of buffer zones and tighten rules when they overlap, likely making the application process longer and more expensive.

    Under current EPA rules, buffer zones listed on the labels can be reduced if certain conditions are met during fumigation, such as using certain tarps, applying water over fumigated fields, or if the field matches a certain soil type. Under the new proposed CDPR rules, the only approved measure to reduce the size of mandated buffer zones would be the use of tarps designated as “totally impermeable films” (TIF).

    Written comments may be submitted until July 31 by fax to (916) 445-4280, or by email.loconnell@cdpr.ca.gov


California Senate



  • Denham introduces bill to expand New Melones water supplies - -U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) has introduced legislation allowing Oakdale Irrigation District and South San Joaquin Irrigation District (Districts) to enter into a Warren Act Contract with the U.S. Bureau Of Reclamation to store up to 100,000 acre feet in New Melones Reservoir. In the early 1980s when Old Melones was inundated following construction of New Melones, the Districts lost the ability to store nearly 200,000 acre-feet of water at the Old Melones Dam and reservoir, which the Districts built and owned. Since construction of New Melones, the Districts have performed millions of dollars’ worth of system improvements which have enabled them to convey and use water more efficiently. By improving efficiency, the Districts’ customers can now grow more with less water. The water savings is thus temporarily available for further use outside of the Districts until such time as their internal demand increases. “Allowing local districts to use New Melones is an inexpensive and easy way to increase water supplies,” said Rep. Denham. “Working together with the Bureau of Reclamation helps lessen the blow of the dry conditions the Valley is experiencing. I will work to enact this common sense legislation into law as quickly as possible.”

  • CA water encyclopedia online - - The Water Education Foundation has launched Aquapedia www.aquapedia.com an interactive online water encyclopedia that provides easy-to-understand factual information on topical water issues. The resource articles are vetted by the Water Education Foundation and supplemented with photos, graphics, videos, maps and other online tools. In addition to the resource articles, there’s a water terms glossary, timelines of California water use and how water issues have evolved, a directory of federal and state water agencies and water organizations, and background and context on breaking news.

  • Individual WDRs released by Central Valley water board - - The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region has released tentative waste discharge requirements (WDRs) and a monitoring and reporting program (MRP) for discharges from irrigated lands within the Central Valley Region for dischargers that are not participating in a third-party group.  The board will consider adoption of the WDRs and MRP in Rancho Cordova on July 25-26, 2013. Further information is available from Adam Laputz at (916) 464-4848 or AWLaputz@waterboards.ca.gov.


  • House leaders agree to split Farm Bill into two sections  - - House Republican leaders decided on July 10, 2013 to drop food stamps from the Farm Bill and are whipping the farm-only portion of the bill for a vote that will likely come this week, according to a GOP leadership aide. The nutrition portion of the bill would be dealt with later. Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas said he would support splitting the measure to allow separate votes on the nutrition title — a strategy promoted by Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The Farm Bill was defeated in the House by a 195-234 vote on June 20, 2013. The US Senate passed S. 954, the 2013 Farm Bill, by a vote of 66-27 on June 10.

  • Speaker Boehner says no House vote on Senate immigration bill - - House Speaker John Boehner on July 8, 2013 said the House will not vote on the Senate-passed immigration bill. “I’ve made it clear and I’ll make it clear again, the House does not intend to take up the Senate bill,” Boehner said. “The House is going to do its own job in developing an immigration bill.” He added, “It is time for Congress to act. But I believe the House has its job to do, and we will do our job.” The Senate passed comprehensive immigration legislation by a 68-32 vote on June 27 with the support of 14 Republican senators.


Air Quality


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