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Summer 2011

Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Updates

As reported in the spring Green Ribbon Report changes are being made to the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP). The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board was considering adopting new Framework that would significantly change the successful program.

After an eight hour public hearing on June 9th the Board approved a 2-year extension on the existing ILRP instead of adopting the Framework, but only to give staff adequate time to draft additional regulations that will be applied to groundwater. Each groundwater plan will be region specific and will address both surface and groundwater quality.

The Board set timelines for agency staff to coordinate with watersheds groups to have draft plans completed over the next 8-24 month period. While it is unknown what the new regulations will be the cost of monitoring both surface and groundwater within area watersheds is one more cost for farmers and ranchers. ■

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