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California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review

March 17, 2017


SB 49 (Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, and Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park) would require California to enforce the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act (ESA), and their implementing regulations and policies as they were on January 1, 2016, or January 1, 2017, whichever version is the most stringent. Additionally, the bill would create a private right of action in state law for citizen enforcement of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and ESA if the citizen suit provisions are removed from these federal laws. Specific to the Clean Water Act, SB 49 would require the State Water Resources Control Board to ensure that all waste discharge requirements, permits issued, and water quality control plans adopted after January 1, 2018, be at least as protective of the environment and public health as federal standards in place as of 2016 or 2017. SB 49 also would add all native species that are listed under the federal ESA to the list of species protected by the California Endangered Species Act.

Farm Bureau testified in opposition to SB 49 before the Senate Natural Resources Committee this week. Despite our opposition and the California Chamber of Commerce placing the bill on its “Job Killer” list, SB 49 passed out of the committee on a party line 7-2 vote. The bill was also referred to the Environmental Quality Committee and the Judiciary Committee. SB 49 will be heard next in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

The state Department of Pesticide Regulation has released a revised proposal for regulating use of pesticides near schools and licensed child-care centers. The proposal maintains restrictions based on method of pesticide application within a quarter-mile buffer zone that we consider unnecessary, but it does remove a previous requirement for a 48-hour notification to schools and includes other minor modifications to make the regulation somewhat less onerous.

In summary, the proposed regulation:
 Prohibits fumigation, aerial sprinkler, air-blast, dust or powder application (including sulfur) within a quarter mile of public K-12 schools and child day care facilities from Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
 With a 25-foot minimum buffer from the school, a ground-rig sprayer, flood or drip chemigation, field injection and other equipment can be used. The 48-hour notification was removed from this category and will not be required.
 Bait stations, field injection of dust or powder, flakes or pellets, back pump or hand pump (without any air blast mechanism) or non-fumigant applications can be made at any time with no 48-hour notification or 25-foot minimum buffer from the school or child care center.
 Growers will still be required to provide annual notification of the pesticides expected to be applied within a quarter mile of these facilities.

Each annual notification, PDF (846 kb) must list the pesticides expected to be used during the upcoming July through June period. This list must be provided to the school principal or child day care facility administrator by April 30 each year. The notice must include, among other things:
 The name of pesticide products (and the main active ingredient) to be used;
 A map showing the location of the field to be treated;
 Contact information for the grower/operator and the county agricultural commissioner;
 The website address for the National Pesticide Information Center where additional information on pesticides may be obtained.

More details on the regulation at: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/legbills/rulepkgs/16-004/16-004.htm . A 15-day comment period on the regulations will open on March 20 and end on April 4. Farm Bureau will submit comments.


AB 975 (Laura Friedman, D-Glendale) would expand the extraordinary values for rivers designated as wild and scenic under the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (SB 107) enacted in 1972. The 1,362 miles of state designated rivers in the California Wild and Scenic Rivers system are currently preserved for their “extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values” and from the river up to the first line of riparian vegetation. AB 975 would add “historic, cultural, geological, ecological, hydrological, botanical, or other values” beyond those currently listed in the act. Additionally, the measure would expand current protections to include the river and adjacent lands within one-quarter mile on each side of the river. AB 975 will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee next week. Farm Bureau opposes.

Governor Brown announced this week the appointment of Joaquin Esquivel and reappointment of Tam Doduc to the State Water Resources Control Board.

Tam Doduc, 50, of Sacramento, has served on the water board since 2005. Doduc also served in several positions at the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2000 to 2005, including deputy secretary for environmental quality, assistant secretary for air and chemical programs, assistant secretary for agriculture and chemical programs and assistant secretary for technology certification. She was an air resources engineer at the California Air Resources Board from 1997 to 2000 and served as special assistant to the secretary at the California EPA from 1995 to 1997 and from 1993 to 1994. Doduc was a water resources engineer on staff at the State Water Resources Control Board from 1994 to 1995 and from 1989 to 1992. She has been a registered professional civil engineer since 1995. Doduc earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Business and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from California State University, Sacramento. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $142,095. Doduc is a Democrat.

Joaquin Esquivel, 34, of La Quinta, has been appointed to the public seat on the State Water Resources Control Board, previously held by Frances Spivy-Weber. Esquivel has served as assistant secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency since 2015. He served in several positions in the office of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer from 2007 to 2015, including research assistant, legislative aide and legislative assistant for water and agriculture issues, and director of information and technology. This position also requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $142,095. Esquivel is a Democrat.


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