In June 2011, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) adopted another extension of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Waiver and an ILRP Program Environmental Impact Report. In July, CSPA and C-WIN appealed adoption of the Regional Board order to the State Water Resources Control Board. A coalition of agricultural interests also appealed the order. The State Board accepted the petitions, ordered preparation of the evidentiary record and offered appellants the opportunity to respond to the opposing petitions. CSPA and C-WIN responded to the agricultural coalition appeal on 14 September. The State Board will consider the matter over the coming months.
Discharges from irrigated agriculture are the largest source of pollution to Central Valley waterways. The Regional Board has long regulated irrigated agriculture through a series of “waivers” of waste discharge requirements that exempts agricultural activities from reasonable requirements applicable to cities, factories and mom-and-pop businesses.