Irrigated Lands Program - Agricultural Order Renewal 4.0 (In Progress)
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Irrigated Lands Program
Information on this web page relates to the renewal of the Agricultural Order adopted by the Central Coast Water Board on March 8, 2017. This is a three-year Agricultural Order which must be replaced by March 7, 2020. The current Agricultural Order is the third Agricultural Order adopted in the central coast region, so is referred to as Ag Order 3.0. Information provided in this page relates to the development and documentation of the fourth Agricultural Order (Ag Order 4.0). For information on the Water Board’s implementation of the current Order (Ag Order 3.0) and what growers need to do to comply with the updated requirements, please go to the Water Board’s main Irrigated Lands Program web page.
April 9, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis and associated response to protect public health and safety is adversely impacting individuals, communities and businesses alike and it is uncertain how the crisis will progress in the coming weeks and months. In acknowledgement of this uncertainty and how the crisis is impeding the ability to effectively implement the Ag Order 4.0 public process and stakeholder’s ability to effectively engage in the process, The Central Coast Water Board is hereby extending the draft Ag Order 4.0 public comment period 60 days to June 20, 2020.
Although not the only stakeholder group currently struggling to participate in the public comment process, the agricultural industry that will ultimately be subject to the forthcoming Ag Order 4.0 requirements is particularly struggling to engage in the public process at this time. This is because agriculture, designated as “critical infrastructure” necessary for providing food during the crisis, is subject to compounding factors such as labor shortages and supply chain limitations while having to address additional worker and food safety issues associated with the COVID-19 crisis.
The public comment period is being extended to facilitate a fair and inclusive public process, one that effectively engages a broad spectrum of interested and affected stakeholders relative to the progression of the COVID-19 crisis and the development of suitable alternatives that may be used to carry out the public process while following COVID-19 related guidance associated with social distancing, gathering restrictions, and shelter-in-place, etc.
Moving forward the Central Coast Water Board will implement the following:
- Provide at least two weeks advanced notice of rescheduled draft Ag Order 4.0 workshops.
- Provide at least one week between the date of the last workshop and the close of the public comment period to allow the workshops to help inform written comments.
- Provide at least three weeks advanced notice of the first public Water Board meeting to discuss draft Ag Order 4.0; the first meeting will be devoted to stakeholder input.
- Schedule additional Water Board public meeting dates in August and/or September to facilitate the next step in the public process (i.e., receive additional public comment and Water Board direction on the draft order).
The Central Coast Water Board will provide updates as needed to inform stakeholders of the Ag Order 4.0 process as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds.
The Central Coast Water Board remains committed to the ongoing Ag Order 4.0 process to address agricultural sources of water quality and beneficial use impairment and its mandate to protect and restore the water resources we all depend on in the Central Coast. The COVID-19 crisis warrants compassion, flexibility and reasonableness, and the Central Coast Water Board will proceed accordingly while maintaining focus on its water quality mandate.
Best regards and good health to you and your families in the coming weeks and months.
February 21, 2020 (revised June 11, 2020)
The Central Coast Water Board has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and a Draft Agricultural Order 4.0 for the regulation of waste discharge from irrigated lands throughout the central coast region. The public review period for the Draft EIR and Draft Agricultural Order 4.0 is from February 21, 2020 until June 22, 2020. Persons interested in this proposed permit are encouraged to submit written comments electronically. Written comments are due June 22, 2020 by 11:59 PM and may be submitted via email to AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov with either “Comments on Draft EIR” or “Comments on Draft Ag Order” in the subject line. During the public review period, Central Coast Water Board staff will hold public workshops on the Draft EIR and Draft Agricultural Order 4.0; staff will provide notice at least 10-days prior to the workshops.
Documents Available for Public Review
- Public Notice
- Draft Agricultural Order
- Draft Environmental Impact Report
Growers may choose to comply with portions of Draft Ag Order 4.0 (DAO 4.0) by participating in third-party groups or programs (e.g., certification program, watershed group, water quality coalition, monitoring coalition, or other cooperative effort). In this case, the third-party can assist individual growers in achieving compliance with DAO 4.0, including implementing water quality improvement projects, and required monitoring and reporting as described in the Draft Monitoring and Reporting Program. The DAO 4.0 outlines minimum criteria for Third-Party Programs such as effectiveness of scale and scope, clearly stated goals, objectives, and roles as well as planning, coordination, data management, and documentation (see pages 19-20 of DAO 4.0).
In addition to describing opportunities and criteria for Third-Party Programs in DAO 4.0, Central Coast Water Board staff developed a Draft Third-Party Program Expectations document. Central Coast Water Board staff held a public meeting on July 28, 2020 to go over the expectations document and receive feedback from stakeholders.
Setback Interactive Map Tool and Instructions
Central Coast Water Board staff created an online tool in response to grower and other interested party requests for a tool that illustrates what the proposed setback requirement would be for individual ranches. Links to the tool are provided below.
Recall that Draft Ag Order 4.0 includes setback requirements from surface water bodies. These requirements are described in Draft Ag Order 4.0 beginning on page 40, under Part 2, Section C.5. - Riparian Area Management for Water Quality Protection. Riparian Setback Monitoring and Reporting is discussed in Draft Ag Order 4.0 Monitoring and Reporting Program beginning on page 50. This tool is in draft form. Please let us know if you find any errors so we can fix and improve the tool.
Please join Water Board staff at one of three stakeholder workshops to learn more about the Agricultural Order. Due to health concerns from COVID-19, these workshops will be conducted virtually to avoid in-person gatherings. These virtual workshops are free of charge and will be hosted using the Zoom video conferencing platform. Attendees can use a computer or mobile device to view presentations and take part in a question and answer session with Water Board staff. Presentations will cover Agricultural Order 4.0, monitoring and reporting requirements, and information about the draft environmental impact report.
All workshops will have the same content, so please only attend the workshop for your county. We will send updates to notify stakeholders if any workshop information changes.
|June 2, 2020
Virtual Workshop #1
|9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.|
|June 3, 2020
Virtual Workshop #2
|9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.|
|June 4, 2020
Virtual Workshop #3
|9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.|
There will be five brief presentations which will be followed by a question and answer session. For questions, please contact Water Board Staff at AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov.
Members of the public are invited to participate in the workshops. A quorum of Central Coast Water Board members may be present at the workshops; however, the Central Coast Water Board will not be taking any action at the scoping meetings.
Workshop Presentation Recordings and Slides
- Introduction Presentation Recording and Introduction Presentation Slides
- Groundwater Protection Requirements Presentation Recording and Groundwater Protection Requirements Presentation Slides
- Surface Water Protection Requirements Presentation Recording and Surface Water Protection Requirements Presentation Slides
- Riparian Area Management Requirements Presentation Recording and Riparian Area Management Requirements Presentation Slides
- Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Presentation Recording and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Presentation Slides
Audio Files of Workshop Question and Answer Sessions
June 2, 2020 Workshop – Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties
June 3, 2020 Workshop – Montery and San Luis Obispo Counties
June 4, 2020 Workshop – Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties
Ex Parte Disclosure Requirements
This item is subject to the ex parte communication disclosure requirements of Water Code section 13287, as explained in https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/laws_regulations/docs/exparte.pdf. Interested persons who communicate with board members other than at a noticed board meeting or submitted as a comment letter in compliance with the public notice must publically disclose the ex parte communication within seven days of the communication. Section 13287 defines interested persons as dischargers and their representatives/employees; persons with a financial interest in the general order; and representatives acting on behalf of an interest group. A sample disclosure form as well as further explanation of the requirement is available at: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralcoast/publications_forms/forms/docs/central_coast_disclosure.pdf Ex parte communications between interested persons and board members concerning this item will be prohibited beginning 14 days prior to any meeting scheduled for adoption of an order in this matter.
Opportunities for Public Input into the Agricultural Order
- 2020 Ag Order Public Comments on Draft Order 4.0
- The above link provides access to view public comment letters that the Central Coast Water Board received during the public comment period on the Draft Agricultural Order 4.0 and Draft Environmental Impact Report that ended on June 22, 2020 at 11:59pm.
- 2019 Ag Order 4.0 Public Comments on Options Tables
- The Central Coast Water Board sent a notice of written comment period to Interested Parties on November 19, 2018 inviting written public comments for Ag Order 4.0 regulatory requirement options tables. The deadline when written comments must be received was extended to 8:00 a.m., January 22, 2019. Commenters emailed written comments to AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov
- Log of Ag Order 4.0 Related Meetings with External Stakeholders
The following list provides links to board meeting information for agenda items related to Ag Order 4.0.
- March 2019: See agenda item 3 - Agricultural Order 4.0 Requirements Discussion
- Staff Report
- Attachment-1: Summary of Public Comments and Assessment of Alternative Proposals
- Attachment-2: NPS Policy Five Key Elements
- Attachment-3: Eastern San Joaquin Agricultural Order Precedential Requirements
- Attachment-4: Appellate Court Decision on State Board Modified Order
- Attachment-5: Antidegradation Policy
- Attachment-6: Nexus to Climate Change
- Attachment-7: Summary of TMDLs with Ag Discharges as a Source
- Attachment-8: Summary of Outreach Opportunities
- Attachment-9: Environmental Protection Agency Aquatic Life Benchmarks
- Attachment-10: Regional Board Authority
- Presentation: Staff
- Presentation-1: Vineyard Team; Strawberry Commission; Wine Institute; CA Certified Organic Farmers
- Presentation-2: U.C. Cooperative Extension, Monterey County (oral comment and written comment submitted)
- Presentation-3: Sustainable Ag Water Corp.
- Presentation-4: Rio Farms; U.C. Cooperative Extension, Monterey County; True Organics
- Presentation-5: Environmental Law Foundation (no presentation, oral comment only)
- Presentation-6: Central Coast Groundwater Coalition
- Presentation-7: Preservation, Inc.
- Presentation-8: Grower Shipper Association of Central California; Somach Simmons & Dunn; Monterey County Farm Bureau; Grower Shipper of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties
- Presentation-9: Otter Project; Kamman Hydrology & Engineering, Inc.; Chartrand Environmental LLC; Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, Stanford Law School; Environmental Law and Justice Clinic, Golden Gate University Law School; Environmental Law and Justice Clinic, Golden Gate University Law School
- Staff Report
- November 2018
- Staff Report
- Supplemental attachment: Alternative Proposal 1 – Ag Industry Organizations (10/8/2018)
- Staff Presentation
- Strawberry Commission Presentation
- Agricultural Advocates Presentation
- Lowell Zelinski, Precision Ag Consultation Presentation (submitted, not presented)
- KMI public comment letter
- Agricultural Community letter dated 11/5/18
- September 2018: See agenda item 6 - Ag Order 4.0 Stakeholder Workshop
- Staff Report
- Presentation: Staff Introductions Day One; Day Two ( see slide 7)
- Presentations: Agricultural Panel
- Presentation: Environmental Advocate Panel
- Presentation: Creeklands Conservation for People, Ag and Wildlife Panel
- Presentation: Environmental Justice Advocates Panel
- Presentation: Agricultural/Environmental Partnerships for Improving Water Quality Panel
- June 2018: See agenda item 11 - Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed Agricultural Order – Update
- June 2018: See agenda item 12 - Healthy Soils Projects, Composting and Gleaning Crops
- May 2018: See agenda item 8 - Groundwater Quality Conditions and Agricultural Discharges in the Central Coast Region
- Staff Report
- Presentation: Groundwater Quality Conditions and Nitrate Impacts to Groundwater in Agricultural Areas
- Presentation: Current Nitrogen Loading Based on Total Nitrogen Applied Information and Nitrogen Loading from Irrigation Water
- Presentation: Pesticides in Groundwater
- Presentation: Santa Clara Valley Water District - Regional Groundwater Quality Monitoring Program
- Presentation: 2018 Program Update (Central Coast Groundwater Coalition)
- Presentation: California Nitrogen Assessment – Direct Drivers of California’s Nitrogen Cycle
- Presentation: Irrigation Technology and Best Management Practices
- Presentation: Use of Lysimeters to Monitor Nitrogen Below the Root Zone
- Presentation: Using Lysimeters to Evaluate Subsurface Nitrogen
- March 2018: See agenda item 4 - Surface Water Quality Conditions and Agricultural Discharges in the Central Coast Region
- Staff Report
- Presentation: Surface Water Quality Conditions
- Presentation: Riparian and Wetland Habitat
- Presentation: Waste Discharges and Surface Water Quality in Agricultural Areas
- Presentation: Modeling Pesticide Application Data, Predicting Risk to Water Quality and Prioritizing Pesticides to Monitor at the Watershed Level
- Presentation: Current Pesticide Occurrences and Trends in Surface Water of the Central Coast Region
- Presentation: Toxicity and Pesticide Trends in Surface Waters of the Central Coast. Test Organism Sensitivity to Currently Applied Pesticides
- Presentation: CMP Monitoring Results – Status & Trends
- Presentation: Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Water Quality
- February 2018: See agenda item 17 - Update on Erosion/Sedimentation Cases at Elkhorn Road and Discussion of Erosion/Sedimentation Issues on Agricultural Lands
- December 2017: See agenda item 16 – Nutrient Budgeting and Irrigation Management
- September 2017: See agenda item 16 – Update on Agricultural Order 4.0
- November 2018: See agenda item 5 - Agricultural Order 4.0 Requirement Options
Public Scoping Meetings – Listening Sessions
Listening Sessions, August 2017: The Central Coast Water Board held public listening sessions on the development of the new Agricultural Order at three regional locations in August of 2017. Links to the scoping meeting flyer and scoping meeting presentations are provided below:
- Link to Flyer (English)
- Link to Scoping Meeting Presentation
- 2018 Sustainable Ag Expo - Central Coast Water Board staff presentation: Presentation
February 21, 2020 (revised June 11, 2020)
The Central Coast Water Board has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the regulation of waste discharge from irrigated lands throughout the central coast region. The public review period for the Draft EIR is from February 21, 2020 until June 22, 2020. Persons interested in this proposed permit are encouraged to submit written comments electronically. Written comments are due June 22, 2020 by 11:59 PM and may be submitted via email to AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov with “Comments on Draft EIR” in the subject line.
- Draft Environmental Impact Report
May 25, 2018
The release of the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is planned for August 2019, which is concurrent with the planned release of the draft Ag Order 4.0. The release of the final EIR is planned for February 2020, which is also concurrent with the planned release of the final Ag Order 4.0. Please note these dates represent a later time frame than was presented in the March 2018 CEQA scoping meeting presentations.
March 20 – March 29, 2018
CEQA scoping meetings
- Draft notes: These notes are real time transcriptions and may contain shorthand, abbreviations, and typographical errors due to nature of live note taking. Staff has not edited or modified these notes. These notes were projected during each of the meetings.
February 16, 2018
- Notice of CEQA scoping public workshops for Agricultural Order 4.0. Please see notice for more details.
- Initial Study for Agricultural Order 4.0 Public review and comment period for the Initial Study is from February 16, 2018 to April 30, 2018. Please see Initial Study for more details.
- Fact Sheet - Development of the Agricultural Order for Discharges from Irrigated Lands (Ag Order 4.0)
Please contact Shanta Keeling at 805-549-3464 or Shanta.Keeling@waterboards.ca.gov for questions regarding CEQA.