Western Growers Executive Committee and Arizona Directors, led by Chairman Vic Smith, President and CEO of JV Smith Companies, and President and CEO Tom Nassif, were in Arizona this week for meetings at the Arizona State Capitol. The Western Growers delegation met with statewide officials and legislators regarding several issues facing our members.
Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif sent a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) on February 12, 2015, strongly objecting to a recent staff decision to deny limited increases in export pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta under certain conditions and asked the Board to rapidly reconsider its decision on the Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP).
Today, the California Natural Resources Agency released a draft spending schedule and grant guidelines for future water bond projects. The schedule and guidelines were created as a result of Proposition 1, a ten-year water bond that was overwhelmingly passed by voters in November of 2014.
Yesterday, the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) rejected a proposal by the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that would have allowed limited increases in export pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta under certain conditions. The rejected plan had the support of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corp) withdrew a controversial rule intended to clarify the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) in the Clean Water Act. Ag groups -- including Western Growers – have argued the interpretive rule, which became effective in March of 2014, limited their available exemptions under the Clean Water Act.
Now that the freshmen members of Congress have unpacked their boxes, settled into their offices and learned how to navigate the corridors of Capitol Hill, Western Growers’ Tom Nassif went back to Washington this week to meet with a few of them, as well as some congressional stalwarts.
o you have days when you feel you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t? I read news reports all the time about our industry, as you probably do. It’s the criticism in the media that stings when judgments are made that farmers do not use natural resources well, in particular, water.