California Citrus Mutual Opposes Water Board Proposal

California Citrus MutualCalifornia Citrus Mutual (CCM) joined with several other associations to oppose major changes proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board set to be adopted for the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition. The affected agricultural community and water quality coalitions expect the board to adopt the proposed revisions without substantial modifications at its Jan. 23 meeting.

CCM and other concerned groups submitted comments to the board that outlined their specific areas of concern. Independently, CCM also submitted comments that called into question the legal basis for the revisions in order to create an administrative record detailing the board’s clear track record of overstepping and abusing its regulatory authority.

That letter states, “… the entire basis for the proposed revised order is questionable at best and, at worst, a drastic abuse of power. When viewed through a comprehensive lens, it is glaringly obvious that the board is incrementally expanding its authority and placing new fees and costs upon growers without justification.

“The proposed revised order will undo the significant progress made toward establishing a productive working relationship between industry and the CVWB (Central Valley Water Board) and sends a clear message that the board is disingenuous and untrustworthy. If the board is sincere in its quest to create meaningful, effective policy for protecting water in this state it will follow the lead of the CVWB and stop placating environmental activists.”

The letter points out contradictory statements made by board staff and the proposed revisions. In addition, CCM is greatly concerned that the changes will result in growers’ identity and information being made available in the public domain.

CCM’s letter to the board can be read on its website.

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About the Author

Len Wilcox

Len Wilcox is a retired scientist who also ran a newspaper and has written for agricultural publications since the 1980s. He was a regular contributor to California Farmer Magazine. His commentary "The Western View" is a regular feature on Farm City Newsday and AgNet West.