- Author: Ben Faber
In April 2016, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Irrigated Agricultural Lands, which will be in effect until April 14, 2021. Education is a cornerstone of the Ag Waiver program. Ventura County Agricultural Irrigated Lands Group (VCAILG) was created to help growers comply with the requirements. All owners or operators of irrigated agricultural lands are required to attend at least 2 hours of water quality education annually. One of VCAILG's primary responsibilities is to provide educational opportunities and to report member attendance to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.
To better coordinate and offer a wider range of classes/trainings/workshops/events, an Education page on the Farm Bureau website lists all approved and planned education opportunities. The Education page will be updated regularly when registrations open, new classes become available, and locations, dates and times are confirmed. Please use this one-stop tool to plan which classes best meet your and your staff's educational needs. As listed on the page, you will find that a number of regular workshops hosted by University of California Cooperative Extension and other partners will now provide VCAILG education credit.
Although joining VCAILG is voluntary for Ventura County commercial farmers, compliance with the Conditional Waiver is mandated by the state, which can fine property owners who don't comply. If you do not join VCAILG, you may alternately choose to file as an individual and work directly with the Regional Board (contact Snejana Toneva at (213) 576-7159 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to fulfill the Conditional Waiver requirements.
In 2006, VCAILG was established to help you and your fellow growers and/or landowners comply with this regulatory program in the most cost-effective way. Managed by Farm Bureau of Ventura County, VCAILG helps growers comply with the regulations by conducting water-quality monitoring on growers' behalf, contracting with labs and field crews, and preparing and submitting all required documents and reports. The compliance cost is reduced by sharing program expenses with other members.