CCM attended the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) hearing regarding the proposed DPR Regulation No. 18-001 related to Ground Water Protection Areas (GWPA). A GWPA is a one-square-mile section of land that is sensitive to the movement of pesticides. GWPAs can be established if any of the following are true: previous detections of pesticides in that section, contains coarse soils and depth to ground water < 70 feet, and contains runoff-prone soils/hardpans and depth to ground water < 70 feet. The hearing was primarily aimed at providing background on the proposed regulation rather than acting on any agenda items. However, based on the “hearing,” CCM is concerned that additional outreach and discussion is necessary, and that GWPA needs further refinement.
Thus, yesterday, CCM signed on to a letter along with many other ag organizations describing our appreciation of the work that DPR has undertaken so far which offer some information regarding the proposed amended regulation. However, as the letter heavily outlined, we do not believe all stakeholder groups have been provided the necessary information to assess the utility and/or potential effects of the proposed regulation within the current comment timeframe. The current comment period does not allow stakeholders adequate time to review the information contained in the provided data sheets. Therefore, we requested that DPR extend the comment period 30 days. We also asked that, prior to DPR finalizing the proposed regulation, DPR meet directly with agricultural stakeholders to provide a better understanding of the regulation’s intent seeing as the proposed GWPA regulation affects approximately 2.5 million acres of California cropland. CCM will be part of the ag stakeholder who will work with DPR to further explain how the proposed regulation may impact stakeholders and other regulatory agencies and programs. We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.