STWEC is in place to assist its members for compliance with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. As of March 12, 2014, the new Waste Discharge Requirements and Monitoring Reporting Program collectively known as the General Order (Order) require each member to submit monitoring and evaluation reports. Order compliance requires a substantial increase in the collection of information and reporting by members and STWEC staff to include:
Notice of Confirmation: The required Notice of Confirmation (NOC) was included in the annual invoice sent to STWEC members at the end of December 2014. Regulatory coverage under this Order is automatically terminated if STWEC does not receive the signed NOC by June 30, 2015. Signing the NOC indicates that the irrigator is aware of the Order and chooses to meet the regulatory coverage as a STWEC member. The NOC also confirms that owners and operators of irrigated lands are required to maintain a hard or electronic copy of the Order at the farm headquarters and that the owner and/or operator shall be familiar with the contents.
Farm Evaluation Survey: Active STWEC members received a pre-populated Farm Evaluation that is usually mailed in late January. A completed Farm Evaluation is to be returned to STWEC by all members no later than March 1, 2017. The survey consists of 5 sections for members to complete. The survey is to reflect member’s crop management practices used during the crop year 2016.
Initially members only need to submit their FES every five years, however, STWEC recently learned that all members must submit their FES annually. The reason for this action is because Anderson Creek, the current surface water monitoring site representing the entire Shasta-Tehama Watershed, has registered test results showing exceedance levels of E. coli and dissolved oxygen.
Nitrogen Managment Plan: In addition to the Farm Evaluation Survey, commercial irrigators are required to complete the Nitrogen Management Plan (NMP) to comply. The NMP is also referred to as the Nitrogen Management Plan Worksheet. Worksheet Instructions serve as a reference to complete the Nitrogen Management Plan document. Note that the numbering in this document differs slightly from the NMP Worksheet. See the Resource section on the Library tab for supportive NMP information. Members located within a groundwater High Vulnerability Area (HVA) must prepare and implement a Certified Nitrogen Management Plan annually. To comply with the Order, the plan must be certified in one of the following ways and is to remain on farm:
Nitrogen Management Plan Summary Report: In addition to the Nitrogen Management Plan Worksheet, commercial irrigators with parcels within a groundwater High Vulnerability Area (HVA) must complete and submit a Summary Report based on your 2016 NMP Worksheet. The Summary Report is to be submitted to STWEC by February 1, 2017.
Sediment and Erosion Control Plan (SECP): In addition to the certified Nitrogen Management Plan, commercial irrigators with parcels within an area susceptible to sediment and erosion are to complete and submit a certified Sediment and Erosion Control Plan. Review the SECP instructions, before completing the SECP template. A sample SECP is also available. This plan is to be updated annually as on-farm conditions dictate. There is no need to submit this plan to STWEC, please keep on-farm or at the place of business. The next self-certification training workshop for members with this designation will be posted on Home Page. For further insight, review the SECP self-certification curriculum resources with the SECP self-certification training session. Note, a member with this designation must enroll in the training session and pass the test with a score of 70% or better to certify their SECP.
Access to the Waste Discharge Order: To comply with the Order, owners and operators of irrigated lands are required to maintain a hard or electronic copy of the Waste Discharge Order at the farm headquarters and that the owner and/or operator shall be familiar with the contents. See ILRP tab for updates. Amended Waste Discharge Requirements General Order, adopted 19 February 2016.