Aug 172015

A workshop on proposed cannabis water rules is scheduled in Fresno on Thursday.

The workshop begins at 1 p.m. the Fresno office of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. (Event link, map.) The new rules will require large-scale growers to obtain a permit, or “water discharge requirement,” showing compliance with state and local regulations. The rules are designed to address environmental impacts for reported problems that include water diversions and sediment discharges in sensitive watersheds.

Marijuana cultivation map

This map shows a fraction of the estimated 20,000 growing sites in the Emerald Triangle. New water rules will take aim at similar cannabis farming operations in the Central Valley

You can read the draft regulations here.

The “water discharge requirement” is not a permit, technically, but a type of “waiver” that precludes further enforcement by the Central Valley regional water board. The process requires an application fee, fee-based property inspections starting at $500, adherence to “Best Management Practices, establishment of water management plans and remediation on sloping parcels. As currently proposed, the waiver/permits will not be available in Fresno County, so there’s some question about how and when the new rules will be enforced, and by whom.

The proposed action by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is titled: General Order for Discharges of Waste Associated with Medicinal Cannabis Cultivation Activities.

Background story.

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