Fresno Session On Nitrate Rules Will Be April 25
A tentative general order on Tulare Lake Basin groundwater quality and nitrates management has been issued by the Central California Regional Water Quality Control Board and is to be the subject of a Fresno workshop later this month.
The session, third to be held in the valley on the controversial rules and regulations, will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 25, in the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Ventura and M streets, in downtown Fresno.
The general order is expected to affect every grower or farm operator within the Tulare Lake Basin watershed.
Hundreds of valley growers as well as business and civic leaders attended sessions last year on the issue in Tulare and Bakersfield. In Fresno, there will be no sworn testimony and oral presentations will be limited to three minutes.
Adoption of the general order is expected at a June 21 meeting of the Regional Board. It is expected to be similar to a general order adopted late last year for the eastern San Joaquin River watershed in portions of Madera, Merced and Stanislaus counties.
Once certified, a tight timetable will begin. There will be a 150-day open enrollment period (extended from 120 days proposed earlier), probably starting in August, in which growers will be able to sign up for representation by a local coalition. Growers opting not to take the coalition approach will be individually liable for Regional Board compliance.
For a year after certification, a great deal of groundwater assessment and monitoring strategy analysis will be undertaken by watershed coalitions.