NEWS AND REPORTS :

Central Valley Water Board Permitting Medicinal Cannabis Farms
May 10, 2016

In June, Sacramento, Davis, Yuba County, and Nevada County residents will be voting on various medicinal cannabis measures that range from growing prohibitions to legalizing outdoor farms. While local governments are grappling with the issue, State agencies have moved forward with implementing environmental controls on medicinal cannabis growing operations. In October of 2015, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) adopted waste discharge requirements (Order R5-2015-0013) regulating the discharge of waste, including stormwater, from outdoor and mixed outdoor/indoor medicinal cannabis cultivation activities. The order establishes requirements for operations that increase in intensity as the size of the operation increases. The Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply for coverage outlines these varying requirements. Tier 1 operations include those that are less than one-quarter acre, and do not encompass greater than 50 percent of the landowner/cultivator’s total parcel size. These operations require minor documentation to complete the NOI process. Tier 2 operations include those that are greater than one-quarter acre, less than one acre, and that also do not encompass greater than 50 percent of the land owner’s total parcel size. These operations require the applicant to complete the environmental compliance assessment portion of the NOI, which includes conducting biological and cultural resource assessments. Tier 3 operations are greater than one acre or disturb greater than 50 percent of the landowner’s parcel. These operations require not only completion of the environmental compliance assessment portion of the NOI, but development of a Site Management Plan which incorporates best management practices selected from the approved list attached to Order R5-2015-0013. For those projects disturbing greater than one acre of land, coverage under the State’s General Construction Permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System is also required (which requires development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan ([SWPPP]). AES is currently assisting clients with not only the biological and cultural resource assessments, but also the Site Management Plans. These plans are very similar in nature to SWPPPs and can be incorporated in the site SWPPP to prevent duplicity. Please contact AES if you have questions regarding compliance with the Regional Board’s order at (916) 447-3479

Posted in News